Don’t let the rows of Harleys out front intimidate you. Cook’s Corner is a biker bar, but you don’t have to ride on two wheels to feel welcome at the oldest roadhouse in south Orange County. Once fairly isolated, the laidback landmark in Trabuco Canyon is now just a few hundred yards from rows of upscale suburban homes, restaurants, and shopping centers. And it’s a good neighbor, beckoning all walks of life.
The place got its start in 1926, when Earl Cook, son of the surrounding lands’ owner, converted a cabin into a restaurant for local miners and ranchers. He turned it into a bar after Prohibition ended in 1933. Right after World War II, he bought an old mess hall from the decommissioned Santa Ana Army Air Base and launched the tavern. A Santa Ana bike-accessories owner bought the joint in 1970 and shaped it into the old-fashioned roadhouse it remains today.
There’s more than just food and drink to bring in visitors from around the region. The land is covered with trails for mountain biking and horseback riding, and scenic roads afford gorgeous views of the canyons and foothills. The bar also has an outdoor patio with horseshoe gaming, and a pool table inside. Bike owners come to show off their rides and mingle with their buds.
As for the reasonably priced menu, the hearty fare dished up daily gets rave reviews online. Breakfast choices include eggs made to order, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and eggs with hamburger patty. Meat eaters can enjoy a bacon cheeseburger, chili cheeseburger, beef gyro, pastrami sandwich, Philly cheesesteak sandwich, and roast beef and cheddar sandwiches. In a nod to the healthy eating-minded, there’s a veggie burger on the menu. Mexican food is served as well. Cold beer in on tap, along with wine and cocktails.
Special events are held throughout the month, including Taco Tuesdays with $3 Coronas, and spaghetti nights. There’s live music most Saturday and Sunday nights, and paid band auditions on Saturdays. Cook’s participates in causes such as cancer research and animal welfare, with fundraisers to support them. You can even get your bike washed onsite weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Use the free Wi-Fi while you wait.
19152 Santiago Canyon Road
Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679
Imagery provided by DeepGreen / Shutterstock.com.