March 12 marks 44 years since the Corder Family opened Besta Wan Pizza House. In 2004, Becky and Julio took over the lease from Ron Banks expanding the menu and adding meals with the famous pizza, spaghetti, lasagna and breakfast on the weekend starting at 9 a.m.
It is a Cardiff-by-the-Sea landmark where friends meet and the waitresses call you by your first name and Mrs. Corder told Becky, “It feels like home again.”
Becky managed the restaurant at Palomar Airport for six years and Ron was a breakfast customer who one day suggested she might like to take over Besta Wan. She came, she liked what she saw and she stayed. She said she is grateful that Ron gave her the opportunity to come here and we are too.
More menu expansion is in order adding weekly specials, soups, hot coffee and tea.
Once a private residence, Becky set about painting the walls cheerful colors, hanging colorful sun plaques, flags and other attractive memorabilia. A prancing pony with a sombrero greets you at the door, a sign etched by Dwight Dodd many years ago hangs over the bar proudly displaying the name Besta Wan and Kenny Trout, who came on board in 1973, is still cooking with a smile. The entry to the former bedroom greets you with grape lights and a sign that reads “There is no substitute for quality,” the closet is now home to a TV and it is a sunny, pleasant, quiet room for lunch.
Under the glass top on the tables cheerful sayings and pictures entertain and the menu covers feature well-known bands. The porch is a popular place and with heaters it is comfortable no matter what the weather.
Becky is appreciative of her great customers and says one night there were so many people there she had to go to another restaurant for dinner only to find some of her customers who also couldn’t find a seat.
I was pleased to hear that Papa Pouccini, who for years greeted Cardiff-by-the-Sea, is having his feet repaired and is scheduled to reappear on the roof by the sign in summer. He was stolen several years ago as a teenage prank but was returned much to the delight of the residents.
Always one to contribute to the community, Becky has played an important role in the Cardiff 101 Chamber Dog Days of Summer every year. Tentative plans for several events are being formulated for 2009.
Friendly folks, a warm, welcoming atmosphere and great food are several of the reasons that we are glad that Becky chose Besta Wan. This month, Cardiff-by-the-Sea Library will be celebrating 95 years of serving the community. All great reasons that Cardiff-by-the-Sea is the place we all love to call home.
Filed Under: A Place To Call Home