Last week, Great Escape offered up the idea of spending the night at the idyllic Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel, recently outfitted with new Tempur-Pedic mattresses. This week, stay close to home again and discover Rockaway Beach in Pacifica.
Most Coastsiders just drive right by this precious little beach, unaware that the sandy cove with rocky bluffs tucked between Linda Mar and Vallemar in Pacifica has quite an interesting history as well as a retro-style roadside restaurant, serving up classic cuisine and comfort food in a casual seaside atmosphere.
has offered seashore dining since 1927. The Horseshoe Bar inside is right out of an old movie with its mahogany bar top and bartendars serving up classic drink specials and appetizers like their Prawn Cocktail and Deep Fried Prawns. There's a large dance floor with live music on Fridays and Saturdays. The cocktail lounge and adjacent have views of the Pacific Ocean and seating in the main restaurant is spacious with booths for family style eating and table rounds for large groups.
Rockaway Beach’s historic tale begins with a Greek immigrant named Stalios Karagianis, who took up work on the Ocean Shore Railroad, introducing the young man to the San Mateo Coast for the very first time. Years later, after a stint working as a contractor and in a glass factory in San Francisco, Karagianis, married with children and living in Daly City, returned to the Coast and bought a piece of property on the water’s edge at Rockaway Beach.
A business was first built selling sandwiches, peanuts and candy to fishermen and beach goers. After two fires, burning the business down to the ground, Karagianis reopened a third time, and in the years to follow the family moved to reside at the business and make Rockaway their home.
Because his name was difficult to pronounce for many, Karagianis had friends call him Charlie Gust, and they traveled narrow roads and many miles to visit the Greek at Rockaway Beach. Charlie has since passed on, but he lived to see his small rockaway stop become one of the most unique and pleasurable dining spots along the Pacific Coast.
Today, the family-run business upholds Charlie’s tradition of serving the public, and Nick's Dining Room offers breakfast, lunch and dinner daily in a relaxed picturesque setting with views of the Pacific Ocean. Fresh seafood is always available and dinner entrees range in price from $11.50 to $35. Menu options are extensive and range from seafood dishes such as Dungeness crab, calamari, prawns, and oysters to Italian pasta plates with fresh sauces and garlic bread and Greek fare, featuring lamb and pepper steak entrees and Papa Charlie’s Greek Salad, a traditional hearty salad topped with tomato, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, cucumber, stuffed grape leaves, and Italian dressing. Nick's bar and lounge is open daily for cocktails and appetizers and features live music and dancing on the weekends.
Here’s the live music calendar for the remainder of August:
* Friday August 19th,
The Band at Nicks, With Singer Caesar Young
* Saturday August 20th,
The Band at Nicks, With Singer Anna Kristina
* Friday August 26th
The Band at Nicks, With Singer Phil Nicholas
* Saturday August 27th
The Band at Nicks, With Singer Joyce Grant
Nick’s is located at 100 Rockaway Beach Ave., Pacifica. For reservations, call 650-359-3900.