Louis’ Restaurant: A User’s Guide
Waterfront, Cliff-Top Dining | 80 Years of History | Organic, Local, Fair-Trade Ingredients | Diner Menu
Breakfast: coffee with a cheddar-filled, chili-stuffed omelet
Lunch: Shrimp Louis salad
Dinner: 8-ounce new york steak sandwich
Beer: Anchor Steam
Dessert: locally baked pie served à la mode
The Setting: Louis' is nestled in the craggy, fog-blanketed cliffs of the Pacific Ocean. Massive windows not only showcase this stunning, panoramic landscape—with a red-streaked sunset if you time your visit right—but also indigenous and 19th-century ruins. This view, especially if taken in through the glass-walled corner booth, makes visitors feel like they're savoring their tuna melt in a fairy tale.
Eggs: cage-free, and sourced from within 100 miles
Produce: certified organic, and sourced from within 200 miles
Meat: natural, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, vegetarian-fed, humanely-raised
Bread: sourced from within 25 miles
Desserts: sourced from within 25 miles
Coffee: certified organic and certified fair trade
Green Stuff: Louis’ prides itself on being an eco-friendly establishment, from its 55% recycled tiled floors to its compostable takeout containers, and most everything in between.
Valentine's Day, 1937: Married Greek immigrants Louis and Helen Hontalas open shop. In addition to a full menu of dine-in options, they sell peanuts and popcorn from wagons outside.
1939: Their son Constantine, third after John and Jim, is welcomed as the newest Hontalas.
1947: 27-year-old Rachel "Rosie" Lelchuk, wearing her signature flower in her hair, begins her 55-year career as a Louis' Restaurant server.
1973: The National Park Service acquires the land Louis' sits on, making the restaurant an official NPS concessioner.
1975: Jim, now the owner, dramatically renovates the building.
1988: The NPS opts to shutter Louis' Restaurant—but thousands upon thousands of customer-written postcards convince officials not to go through with it.
1997: Jim retires, and his sons Bill and Tom step in.
2002: Rosie retires at the age of 82.
2010: Another remodel gives the place a whole new look, and a contract with the NPS keeps the Hontalas family in charge for at least another 10 years.