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By Eric Heinz
She has indelible confidence and a penchant for entertainment.
Adele Lux, the owner of Adele’s at the San Clemente Inn, enjoys providing unique entertainment as well as quality options for dinner.
Born and raised in San Clemente, Adele worked as a waitress for 20 years before opening her own restaurant. She said she established her business in the Old City Plaza with not much money in the bank.
“Many people would say it was financial suicide,” she said. “I didn’t have any money for advertising, but I had food. So, I would count how many people were at a bank or another business and I would bring them breakfast. Even though they didn’t order it, I would tell them ‘I’m the new restaurant in town and I’d like you to try my food.’”
Adele said she would complement the breakfast with her business cards and people eventually got to know her business.
“I was there for eight and a half years, Adele’s Café, but the (event room) at the San Clemente Inn had been vacant for 15 years, but I had catered and done parties here,” she said. “My mom says ‘If you don’t ask, you don’t know,’ and my attorney says ‘If you don’t ask, the answer is always no,’ so I approached them and we decided to rebirth this place.”
The 10-year anniversary of Adele’s at the San Clemente Inn will be Aug. 3.
“We made it through the toughest of times,” she said, adding she started doing the Powder and Poof shows about six years ago when the economy wasn’t doing well. “I had a friend at the Boom Boom Room in Laguna Beach, and we had to do something—80 percent of restaurants in the area were closed or not doing well.”
She also has Hart & Soul 30s and 40s songbook and open mic on the fourth Friday of every month. Adele said she wanted to stand out and provide entertainment for the masses. The shows are open to all ages with dinner.
“My claim to fame is breakfast, and we were open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. but when the economy turned we couldn’t absorb that,” Adele said.
She also has been a fan-favorite with mixology competitions and other local awards.
“Even today, one of the toughest things is making sure an employee will show up, but I think I have the best staff in the world,” she said. “I train down because you’re only as good as your weakest employee. People sometimes think waitresses are a dime a dozen and that’s not true at all. A good waitress is hard to find.”
One of Adele’s employees, David, has been with her since the beginning of the café.
“You absolutely have to love what you do, or it won’t work,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how much money you make; it matters how much you save. San Clemente is really a great place to run a business. And you just have to get your name out there and be consistent with good customer service.”
Something out of delicious food science fiction complements the Adele’s experience. One such dish is crispy hash browns with bacon, spinach, mushrooms and onions with sour cream and salsa on the side. This can also be complemented by French toast.
For more information, visit www.adelesanclementeinn.com.
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