Recapturing Essential Local History


Dizz’s As Is restaurant is great but it’s not 80 years old.I knew Rick and Shannon, the two owners who opened Dizz’s in the early 1970s, not the 1930’s. With limited funds, they bought mis-matched silverware, plates and glasses at garage sales. Rick ran the “front” and Shannon managed the kitchen. Cioppini was $5.95 and much of the art and period pieces were given or loaned.

To build the business, they invited all customers to parties at their humble apartment, but after several years they lost interest in the day to day operation and eventually sold the business, with a final gratis party including all the food that made their parties and restaurant a legend including Swedish meat balls, rack of lamb and whole salmon fish baked to perfection.

Ironically before Dizz’s there was a cafe in the building owned by another gay couple, who served spaghetti for $2 and burgers, etc. It was a popular spot, especially for kid’s birthday parties, but was not named Dizz’s.

Another local news source reported that our current greeter, Michael Minutoli is our second greeter – more or less. Actually Joe Lucas is considered our first greeter. He welcomed people arriving in Laguna on stage coaches in the old days. I believe Eiler Larsen (“Helloo”) was our second greeter and certainly the most famous, but in his early years of greeting, some people didn’t appreciate his friendliness. Later he was provided a room and money was raised to pay his way to Scandinavia,  his native home.

Number One was our third greeter and that was his legal name.  He didn’t necessarily stand and wave but sat at Forest and Coast Highway telling thousands “you are perfect.” A film telling more about Number One is shown from time to time on Saddleback College TV channel 39. History is important so we should try to get it straight.


Roger Carter, Laguna Beach

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