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San Clemente Journal

The Pier Shack - Tasty Food with a Million Dollar View

May 01, 2011 09:35PM ● By Brian O

Owner Randy infront of the Pier Shack.

by Helen Chade Mahshi

For many exercise enthusiasts who walk or jog the beach trail, there’s extra incentive to include the end of the pier in their route. At the end of the pier is the Pier Shack and Grill, owned by Randy Raneses for the past year. Offering coffee and hot chocolate to go for folks on the run, the Pier Shack and Grill also offers a complete breakfast and lunch menu, as well as four picnic tables to seat those looking to dine in.  And in summertime, the Pier Shack and Grill is open for dinner too.  If the flag is up, they’re open.  Between owner Raneses and Chef Eric, the Pier Shack and Grill offers patrons a combined 35 years of experience in the restaurant industry. Raneses was the former manager of the bustling Hard Rock Café in Universal City when he recruited Eric, who was then the kitchen manager.  Owning his own place was a long-held dream of Raneses who just celebrated the birth of his first baby “Keegan” born Christmas Eve to wife, Danielle.

The end of the pier has always been home to die hard fishermen who wake at 5am to get the best catch. Along with the fishermen, you’ll also see locals and tourists alike, sitting down to share a meal or indulge in a game of chess. A group of gentlemen, who call themselves the Bucket Club, can be found every morning playing chess, drinking coffee and chatting with passersby. According to these gentlemen, the breakfast burrito with bacon or sausage at $6.95 is the item of choice on the breakfast menu.  About seven options are offered for breakfast, from a bagel with cream cheese at $3.50 to the popular Loco Moco which consists of white rice, brown gravy, hamburger and two eggs for $6.95. The lunch menu is more extensive with 20 different options. In cold weather, the homemade New England clam chowder is popular and sells out quickly. The Philly cheese steak for $8.95, which includes rib eye, mushrooms, onions, peppers and cheese sauce, is “just as good as what you can get in Philly,” say the tourists. Hot dogs, hamburgers, fish and chips, taco salad and unique items like Hawaiian Chop Steak and Spam Fried Rice are also offered on the lunch menu. 

If you want to enjoy ice cream with your family, the Pier Shack and Grill offers assorted flavors, as well as cotton candy, chili cheese nachos, onion rings, French fries, and Spam Musubi, a Hawaiian treat.  And if you can’t start your morning without a good cup of coffee, jog to the Pier Shack and Grill for everything from cappuccino to a latte to espresso shots or even Café Americana. Ice Blended coffee, shakes and smoothies are also made to order there.  The Pier Shack and Grill also makes available unique hand-crafted souvenirs, displayed at the front of the shack. Fishing bait is attainable there, as well as full or half day pole rentals.  

The end of the pier has always been a place where locals and tourists can take a deep breath and revel in the beauty that abounds. And the Pier Shack and Grill makes going there even more enticing.  b Pier Shack & Grill is located at the end of the SC Pier.