Compiled by Jim Shilander
Chen Yen, who has owned Cafe Calypso, which is located at the historic Hotel San Clemente, for the last 10 years, decided last month to take on a different kind of challenge. Yen purchased Sunrise Cafe, located at 701 North El Camino Real. Yen said she doesn’t see the two businesses as competing with one another, but instead filling different niches.
“(Sunrise) is totally different. It’s a more traditional American breakfast, with omelets and pancakes,” Yen said. “We don’t have anything like that at Calypso. We’re more focused on lunch. I basically saw it as a way to do something different. I love this town and this community.”
Yen said that while she’s spent most of the last month at the new business, in order to get situated, she would be splitting her time between the two businesses once things get going.
“That’s my goal,” Yen said. “It’s just so convenient for me to go in and out.” The crew at Cafe Calypso, she said, had done a great job of maintaining the business as she concentrated on the new venture the last few weeks.
Yen said there would likely be more portions of the menu from Cafe Calypso moving to Sunrise Cafe than the other way around, including adding a number of the soups and salads from the Calypso menu to enhance the lunch offerings at Sunrise.
Karen Casler of CB CycleBarn, a longtime fitness enthusiast and instructor, was struck with an idea for a new kind of establishment last February, an indoor cycle facility with state of the art equipment that would foster a sense of community.
After that, Casler said, she decided to turn her thought into a new business.
“It’s been great,” Casler said. ” The first few months were slow, since I was waiting on city permits. But ever since construction started, it’s been non-stop. I’ve never worked harder, never been busier, and have never been happier.”
Casler has assembled a large staff of instructors, but made it clear to them she expects something beyond just a workout leader.
“I hire people who understand that group exercise makes a difference in people’s lives.” Casler said. ”It is common to feel amazing after a workout, but The Barn is a place where people feel amazing the moment they walk in the door, because of our amazing team of instructors.” Being able to say hi and smile at a customer, which she said, from experience, could help make someone’s day and keep them coming back to work out.
Casler said that part of what makes The Barn special was the sense of community she believes has been fostered there.
“Everyone who’s built The Barn has been local. One of the things that’s so special about San Clemente is that sense of community. Every day, it seems, people meet someone here that they hadn’t seen in years.” Its not just about the workout, Casler said, it is about the entire experience.
The business made a soft opening last month but is open full bore now, Casler said. The Barn is actually offering free classes through January 12 to celebrate. For more information about the business, visit www.cbcyclebarn.com.
The Sunrise Cafe is also getting a new neighbor this week. Bikram Yoga San Clemente will be setting up shop at 711 North El Camino Real. The yoga studio had been in the planning stages for much of the last year, as it took time to work out parking agreements with the studio’s neighbors. The studio will host classes at 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. daily, then open up again in the afternoon at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Classes will also be held at 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays. To celebrate the opening, the studio is offering discounted yearly passes. For more information, see www.bikramsc.com or call 949.388.9595.
Mike Russell of Mike’s Pet Care is celebrating his seventh year operating a unique pet care service in San Clemente. Russell, a trained veterinary technician who has worked in animal hospitals, has spent the last six years offering a mobile pet sitting and animal medical assistance service.
“If you do good stuff, it gets around,” Russell, who has primarily relied on word of mouth to generate business, said. He has twice won the Best of San Clemente People’s Choice Ole Award for “Best Pet Sitter.” Russell does not provide grooming services, but instead administers medications and injections, as well as providing standard pet-sitting type services such as walking. “It’s a little bit higher level of quality than other pet sitters.” Russell said the services he provides can help animals that have experienced kidney failure, were diabetic, or suffer from ailments that might require injections or medication to be administered.
For more information about the business, visit www.mikespetcare.com.
Coral Thrift Store is offering scholarships for seniors at San Clemente and San Juan Hills high schools. The applications are available at the store, located at 534 North El Camino Real in San Clemente, and at the counseling offices at both schools. The store provided over $35,000 in scholarships last year, and are likely to surpass that amount this year according to the store’s projections, President Sandi Murray said in a statement.
The store is also now accepting credit cards, as well as adding an additional hour to its operations. The store is now open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The store is also looking for donations and volunteers.
Prior to its official opening on November 30, The Habit Burger Grill held fundraising meals for several area organizations as a soft opening. All of the proceeds from the three meals, two on November 28 and one on November 29, went to three charities.
The meals raised $1,234 for The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Orange County & Inland Empire, $1,498 for Boys & Girls Club of South Coast Area, and $1,380 for Friends of San Clemente Beaches, Parks & Recreation Foundation.