Cardiff by the Sea’s popular Kooks Café at 2121 San Elijo Avenue, named after the town’s famed surfing statue, has closed. The restaurant’s owner, who also owns several other restaurants including the Swami’s Cafe chain, sold about two weeks ago to Colin Frankie and Chris Garza.
The duo will re-open the restaurant next week, serving only breakfast and lunch, under the name Flat Rock, which is the name of the reef that sits off Cardiff beach.
The pair has each been involved in the restaurant business for years and has known each other since high school, along with their chef Josh Perkins. Originally from Northern California, they moved into the area last fall to get a feel for the Cardiff community.
They are calling their fare California cuisine. “It will mostly be locally sourced food,” said Garza. They have even talked with some Cardiff School parents about serving the vegetables the kids grow in the school’s garden.
There is no truth to the rumor that the Kooks Café owner closed because he didn’t want to pay licensing fees to the Cardiff Botanical Society — the copyright holder of the Cardiff Kook’s name and image. The society, which paid for the statue, recently announced they would begin enforcing their right to collect royalties for any commercial use of the Kook image.