Pismo Beach, with its sandy shores, seaside pier and surfers riding the waves is a classic California beach town, so it’s no surprise that people from landlocked places such as Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley find their way to the area.
It’s how the owners of Hoagies on Cypress Street found the perfect place for their restaurant.
Jason Joseph, one of the three proprietors of the Rastafarian-themed cafe, was born in Bakersfield and lived there with Kasey, his wife and business partner. They moved to Pismo Beach 12 years ago after vacationing in Jamaica, discussing the idea of opening a restaurant with a bartender and deciding to take a chance.
“I spent most of my summers in Pismo, and that’s when I fell in love with it,” said Jason Joseph. “We love Pismo Beach for several reasons, but mainly the weather and experiencing that small-town feeling.”
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Nick Stieb, the third business partner, grew up in Porterville in the San Joaquin Valley and also spent his summers on the shores of Pismo Beach. He packed his bags and moved to town when he was 19.
“This is the place I always vacationed,” he said. “It’s the best place to live in California.”
Hoagies has a laid-back attitude, with posters of Bob Marley and reggae music. But with people speaking in a variety of accents and languages often lined up outside the front door, it seems the owners aren’t the only people who see the seashore town as a great vacation spot.
“A lot of our friends come to Pismo Beach for holiday because of the weather and the beautiful beaches,” said Sidney Molter of Canberra, Australia, as he stood in line waiting for a Hoagies tri-tip wrap. “Anyone who calls this place home is very lucky.”
Joseph agrees that tourists from all over can enjoy this intimate beach town and all it has to offer. He finds the residents of Pismo Beach are supportive of each other, making the city almost sound like a Marley song.
“I don't think I could have a better place to live, work and raise a family,” Joseph said. “Tourists should know that when they come, it’s time to slow down, take your time and eat like locals.”