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Captain Keno's owner Gerry Sova, 82, in front of his restaurant on Wednesday in Leucadia. Photo by Jordan P. Ingram
Captain Keno's owner Gerry Sova in front of his restaurant on Wednesday in Leucadia. Photo by Jordan P. Ingram
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Captain Keno’s welcomes return of newly refurbished sign

ENCINITAS — After waiting more than 18 months, Gerry Sova, owner of Captain Keno’s Restaurant in Leucadia, watched on Wednesday afternoon as workers installed a newly-refurbished sign above his restaurant along North Coast Highway 101.

Last year, a developer purchased Keno’s and neighboring Portofino Beach Inn with plans transform the properties into a mixed-use space by 2025.

In the meantime, Sova, who has owned and operated Keno’s for more than 50 years, wanted customers to see the restored sign, which for months was leaning against a fence at the edge of the restaurant’s parking lot.

“We got 22 months left,” Sova said, noting the freshly painted sign will be featured inside the new restaurant and bar, “Keno’s at Moonlight Plaza.”

Sova, 82, bought the original property for $110,000 in 1970 with his Keno winnings in Las Vegas, hence the name. According to a previous story in The Coast News, one of several reasons Sova decided to sell Keno’s was due to the building’s constant maintenance and repair needs, including a new roof.

The sign sat for more than 18 months against a fence at the edge of Captain Keno's parking lot. Photo by Jordan P. Ingram

The refurbished Captain Keno's sign was placed above the restaurant on Wednesday afternoon in Leucadia. Photo by Jordan P. Ingram
TOP: The sign sat for more than 18 months against a fence at the edge of Captain Keno’s parking lot. BOTTOM: The refurbished Captain Keno’s sign was placed above the restaurant on Wednesday afternoon. Photos by Jordan P. Ingram

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1 comment

Tim Adams September 11, 2022 at 6:48 pm

A historical landmark it will be interesting to see what becomes of it. Have had a few breakfasts here with friends over the years. One of the more memorable anecdotes was that I was at a short movie film festival and one of the movie was shot completely in the interior of Captain Keno’s. Captain Keno’s immortalized.

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