In July, 1988, original owner Tom Blake was burned out from working in the corporate world and dreamed of having his own business. He had worked for the restaurant chain Victoria Station and knew just enough about the restaurant business to at least give it a try. He wanted to open a deli near his home in Dana Point. One day, he noticed a "for lease" sign on a storefront location at 34135 Pacific Coast Highway.
He didn’t waste any time contacting a local realtor to sign a lease that day. The only problem: Tom had never owned a deli before and his dream was just an idea. There were no blueprints, he didn't know where to begin, he was still traveling in his corporate job and he was paying rent on the leased space. He didn't even know if the city of Dana Point would allow a deli on the site.