A GoFundMe campaign has been started to save the Saugus Cafe in the face of the COVID-19 restaurant dining closure.
Saturday, Yecenia Mercado, current Saugus Cafe owner, set up a social funding campaign to help keep the 100 year old restaurant open following the restrictions made on businesses to keep L.A. County residents safer from the coronavirus.
“I’ve seen my dad work so hard throughout these years and it breaks my heart seeing him struggling due to the restrictions Covid 19 has caused,” Mercado wrote. “Saugus Cafe Is L.A. County’s oldest restaurant and I refuse to see all of my dad’s hard work go down the drain, please help save Saugus Cafe, please save all small businesses!”
Saugus Cafe, originally named the Tolfree Saugus Eating House, first opened in 1888 and has now been open for 132 years.
Saugus Cafe opened at a time when the town of Newhall, named after Henry Mayo Newhall, was growing rapidly due to the construction of the South Pacific Rail Network connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles, which passed by the area.
The restaurant was opened by James Herbert Tolfree and was located near the Saugus train station. Tolfree sold the restaurant, along with a portion of land, to brothers Richard and Martin Wood in 1899. The brothers shortened the name of the restaurant to the Saugus Cafe, according to SCV History.
Martin would go on to manage the restaurant and eventually move the cafe to where it stands today.
Over the course of its history, the restaurant has served many famed historical figures, including William Mulholland, John Wayne, Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, William S. Hart and Charlie Chaplin. Additionally, presidents Benjamin Harrison and Theodore Roosevelt dropped in for bites at the eatery, with Roosevelt allegedly calling his New York-style steak “splendid”.
In 1994, Karen and David Nardiello bought the property and renovated it. After that acquisition, Whoopi Goldberg and Drew Barrymore entered the restaurant to shoot part of a film there.
Saugus Cafe is known for having a wide variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. Their menu includes traditional breakfast foods like steak and eggs, pancakes, sausage and omelets. Burgers and sandwiches are available on the lunch menu.
The cafe’s most popular dish is the country fried steak, which is on the dinner menu.
Saugus Cafe plans to continue serving hearty meals at a reasonable price in its signature homey atmosphere. The diner is located at 25861 Railroad Ave. in Newhall. To donate to the fundraiser, visit this site.Do you have a news tip? Call us at (661) 298-1220, or send an email to email@example.com. Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking KHTS Santa Clarita News Alerts delivered right to your inbox. Report a typo or error, email Corrections@hometownstation.com
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