Tuesday, May 6, 2014

FAREWELL TO THE SEAFARE INN

Owners Bill & Dorothy Milhouse, second cousins to 37th President of the United States
Richard Milhouse Nixon

It is never easy to say goodbye and when you have to say goodbye to an old friend or family member it is even harder. That is exactly what the Seafare Inn is to the folks of Whittier. It has been one of  Whittier's oldest and most cherished restaurants. Established August 8, 1961.

 If you are from Whittier there is no doubt that you and generations before you walked in to the Seafare in for some great seafood. It is and has been an institution.

How many times did you do this walk?
There have been so many rumors swirling around regarding when the Seafare would close so I thought it would be best to call the Seafare myself and get first hand information. I was lucky enough to get Scott Milhouse on the phone and Scott is the son of owners Bill and Dorothy Milhouse. Scott told me he was just 3 years old when the Seafare Inn opened it's doors, "This is all I have ever known, I have been doing this for 53 years." You can hear the heartfelt emotion in his voice. He has been overwhelmed by the love and kind words from everyone. Along with the kind words he has even heard all kinds of different suggestions from people in hopes that they would give him the right suggestion to keep the doors open. I laughed and said "I'm sure you haven't thought of any of those suggestions yourself have you?" 


Suggestions aside Scott had to take a good hard look at the business and over the last 5 years the Seafare just has not been getting the steady flow of customers like they once did. He went from employing 45 to employing 27 and with the announcement of the restaurant closing that number dwindles from day to day. The cost of seafood keeps going up and the maintenance on the old building is never ending. It was a gut wrenching decision but it was one that had to be made. News of the close didn't come out the way he had planned. Scott actually wrote a heart felt letter to the staff that was meant for staff only and a photo of that letter was taken and it was later posted on another Whittier Facebook page. Scott was a little bummed about that but at the end of the day it was going to come out anyway. 

photo: herobyday.net Jeff Hensley

The love for the Seafare Inn is at an all time high right now and everyone from Whittier and beyond have been trying to stop by and get one last taste before the doors close forever. Scott was laughing because he had 150 Seafare Inn T Shirts and he put them out for 5 bucks thinking nobody would want them and they ended selling out within a week! Whittier collector's item right there. I asked Scott when the last day of business would be and he said, "You know I really can't say. We are trying to stay open in to June but the reality is one day you will show up and the door will just be locked."

"One day the doors will just be locked"


To The Seafare Inn Family, Thank you for 53 years of service. I have been driving up and down Whittier Blvd most of my adult life and I have passed the Seafare Inn a Zillion times. Every time I passed it I would look and admire it just as if I was seeing an old friend. The brick, the rock, the fountain and baby palms. These images will forever be etched in my mind. "You don't know what you got till it's gone." Sadly the Seafare Inn will soon be inducted in to the MY WHITTIER HALL OF FAME along with Skateland, Hinshaws, Sackett & Peters, The Plush CUE, Ambrose and all of the other legends of Whittier's past. Godspeed Seafare Inn, take care you will be missed tremendously.

Thank you Scott Milhouse for taking the time to speak with me. I really appreciate it and respect you and your family even more now for doing so. 

Make sure you stop by and say goodbye to one of Whittier's All Time Best before it's to late.










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