For 40 years Eiler Larsen, a native of Denmark, gave a friendly wave and warm smile to all those who passed through Laguna Beach. He began his “greeting” career during the Depression while living in Washington D.C. His cheery smile and bubbly personality gave people a much needed hope that things would get better, In the 30′s he moved out West first to San Francisco then Carmel. His friends urged him to go South and try out for the famed Pageant of the Masters held annually in Laguna Beach. Eiler Larsen was a natural for the production with his long hair and beard. He soon made this little artist colony his “greeting corner” of the world. The city fathers proclaimed him the Official Laguna Greeter in 1963. They even put his foot-prints in the sidewalk. Visitors and Lagunatics alike looked forward to Larsen’s friendly wave and warm greetings.
Our restaurant takes its name from the famed Greeter, Eiler Larsen and his former use of the corner by the entrance to our restaurant for the greeting passers-by. Greeter’s Corner stands on the threshold of Laguna Beach, a few feet away from Main Beach, the Pacific Ocean, Forest Ave., and Eiler’s foot-prints. We are located in the Isch Building, a 5-arched, white stucco building, which has its roots firmly in Laguna history. It was designed and built by Aubrey St. Clair, Roy Ropp and B.C. Mackey in 1928 to house Mr. Isch’s grocery store. The site was originally used as storage for the horse and stagecoach that Mr. Isch employed in running Laguna’s only stage line. One of the builders, Mr. Ropp is also famed as the founder of the Pageant of the Masters. Behind the Isch Building is El Paseo St. which was the scene of the Festival of Arts in the 30′s Greeter’s Corner Restaurant is truly on the threshold of both Laguna and the sea, and we hope, in some small way, helps keep alive the memory of Laguna’s remarkable “Greeter.”
Laguna’s charm attracts numerous visitors yearly, many of them stay! One of them is a young Canadian fellow, Tyler Wallace who works wonders with pen and ink. Our thanks goes to him for his fine sketch and interpretation of our corner.