The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the SC Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.

By Fred Swegles

The Beach Hut Deli, a new business coming to San Clemente’s North Beach, is still in the works, having halted a remodeling last year.

The remodel is being redesigned to better reflect a Spanish Colonial Revival architectural motif that the city requires in designated gateways into town.

The city’s Design Review Subcommittee reviewed a new set of drawings at a meeting on Feb. 12. Committee members called the new look much better than a previous one sent back to the drawing board last summer after a review.

Members of the design panel generally supported the new look submitted by Bill Peters, a new architect brought into the project. They offered suggestions and asked Peters to submit a complete set of materials to look at during a final review, before sending the new design to the Planning Commission for possible approval.

This building, formerly a gas station and later a real estate office and a coffee house, is to be reborn at North Beach in Spanish motif. Photo: Fred Swegles

The main lingering question is how to provide nice-looking Spanish roof tiles without pushing the cost of the remodel beyond feasibility. The roof won’t support clay tiles, the panel acknowledged. Members suggested alternative tile materials for an authentic look.

The city is requiring a “minor cultural heritage permit” for the remodel. Panelists said the shape of the building—originally built as a gas station—doesn’t lend itself to easy rebirth as Spanish style.

“You’ve certainly improved it,” panel member Barton Crandell told Peters.

“The building is no box of chocolates,” the architect observed.

Spanish motif is fitting, said Larry Culbertson, president of the San Clemente Historical Society, since the city is proposing a North Beach historical district.

The Beach Hut’s neighboring buildings include several early San Clemente landmarks—OC Fresca restaurant, Casino San Clemente, the Ole Hanson Beach Club and the soon-to-be-renovated Miramar Theater.

Culbertson supported the direction the remodel is taking, acknowledging the design challenges that Peters faces trying to remake the building.

Fred Swegles

Fred Swegles is a longtime San Clemente resident with nearly five decades of reporting experience in the city. Fred can be reached at

Trustworthy, accurate and reliable local news stories are more important now than ever. Support our newsroom by making a contribution and becoming a subscribing member today.

About The Author Staff

comments (2)

  • Spanish motif = economic terrorists
    i can fix it i have before
    should never have pulled the front off the tin building

  • WHAT is wrong with this city and its handling of business. Over the 30 years I lived here, I have never once head on good word from a business person,it has been ALL negative and I mean negative. I remember years ago, a business man was packing up his mechanize . I asked if he was going out of business. With language I will not present here, he told he was heading to Dana Point where they “welcomed and respected the business man”
    A month or so ago I was speaking with another business man struggling with the city. He told me he screwed up coming to SC. A few blocks over he could have been in Dana Point.
    One thing this city does have down pat is the issuing of biasness license to women’s boutiques. They appear to be dime a dozen.. Especially on Del Mar street.

comments (2)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>