Brea Old and New: Tick-Tock, History Isn't So Boring After All™ ~ Charlie the Clock


  • Birch Hills Golf Course Clubhouse now open

    3 years ago by

    Back in 2011, the Birch Hills Golf Course was is major renovations and swathed in green fencing cloth with signs that stated, “Thank you for your patience.”

      Some of us wondered if it would ever be completed, but in May the 18-hole executive course finally reopened, and it is a real beauty. Driving or walking by one always sees many golfers on the lush course with rolling hills and water features.

        While the golf course is first class and popular, it lacked a new clubhouse to replace the old, dinky one that was previously there.

          But that has finally changed.
          The view inside the new clubhouse at Birch Hills Golf Course.

          The view inside the new clubhouse at Birch Hills Golf Course.

            Imperial Golf, operators of the golf course, now have a clubhouse that includes the TreeHouse Restaurant, opened in October, a causal, family-friendly indoor-outdoor dining spot. And it is not just popular with golfers, said Imperial principal, Matt Clabaugh,

              “We get about 50-50 golfers and other folks,” he said, adding that the lunch and after-work crowd continues to grow, especially with people from the nearby office buildings on Birch Street and other locals. The daily happy hour and dinner menu might be attracting some of the after-work crowd. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day until 10 pm.

                But I think it would be difficult to just stop in for a quick bite at noon and go back to work because TreeHouse has huge, east and west facing glass walls that fully open to phenomenal views.

                  Clabaugh said the view at sunset is unbelievable. I’m afraid I’d just want to pull up a chair, maybe by one of the three outdoor fire pits, and just sit back and enjoy the view, which includes Segment 5 of the Tracks at Brea trail that is completed, but yet to open.

                    According to Bill Bowlus, Brea’s public works director, there are just a few items to wrap up, including some type of pass through for bikers and hikers, and then the trail will open. Hooray.

                      The trail meanders through the golf course and includes an interpretive rest stop with a replica of an old Red Car, like the ones that used to be in Brea. Of course, the rest stop is at the clubhouse and restaurant.

                        The restaurant, which Clabaugh described as efficient, casual and contemporary, can accommodate banquets for up to 75 people.

                          “We’ve already had some golf tournament banquets and sports groups award ceremonies in our restaurant,” he said. It could be a good spot for Brea Chamber of Commerce lunches and mixers too.

                            Something I didn’t expect to find at a golf clubhouse-restaurant is weekly live music. Clabaugh said they also plan some star walks and moon walks, once the trail opens. And you thought Birch Hills was just for golf!

                              But the official grand opening will not be until January or February, Clabaugh said. Perhaps they will coordinate it with Brea’s big Centennial Celebration Feb. 17, which begins with a community parade starting from Birch Hills Golf Course to the Sports Park to celebrate Brea’s 100th birthday.

                                Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. Contact her at

  • Wacky Whole Foods Market Meetup

    4 years ago by

    Just another Wednesday at WFM Brea!!

      Time to fuel UP!

        Ralph the Rex arriving at Whole Foods Market Brea!

        Ralph the Rex arriving at Whole Foods Market Brea!

          CLICK here to watch the video!

            Arriving in what else -- but a Jurassic Jeep, Ralph the Rex met his neighbor and new sidekick cartoon Charlie the Clock. What fun they had frolicking through the humongous store with a checklist of food to divide and devour!

              Many thanks to the "fun crew" at Whole Foods Market Brea, our friend Ralph_the_Rex, Dino Doctor - ranger_kevin, and Charlie_the_ Clock cutout performer --Austin Zemlo!

                Those of you on Instagram: Coming soon Charlie the Clock-- Time Travel Celebrating 100 Years in Brea!

  • City of Brea’s 99th Birthday Giveaway on BBON

    4 years ago by

    Brea's 99th Birthday Giveaway: A taste of what's coming up ! Brea Art in Public Places sculpture: Just a Taste, located in Brea Union Plaza

    Brea's 99th Birthday Giveaway: A taste of what's coming up!
    Brea's Art in Public Places sculpture: Just a Taste, located in Brea Union Plaza

  • What’s new at Brea Mall!

    4 years ago by

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      Brea Mall is bustling with new stores, remodels and reopenings!

        *Sprint, the popular cellular service provider, is now occupying a 980-square-foot store next to Lenscrafters.

          *Supreme Day Spa will open in spring, featuring a variety of skincare and cosmetic products. At 1,000 square feet, its location will be on the lower level, near Macy’s Women’s store.

            *Nature Republic, a South Korean-based cosmetics company, will follow Supreme Day Spa with a second cosmetic store opening. The store featuring natural cosmetics products will be located in a 1,300-square-foot space near Nordstrom.

              •Jack Monarch, a local Newport Beach-based jewelry retailer, is scheduled to open a 1,200-square foot space on the upper level near Center Court, offering handmade and hand-assembled unique gem collections.

                *Express is in the process of remodeling, updating the interior and exterior of the store. The store will remain open throughout the remodel, later opening upon completion in late spring.

                  *Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma are relocating within the mall. Pottery Barn will be reopening this spring in their new 5,000-square-foot location on the upper level near Nordstrom, and Williams-Sonoma will be reopening on the upper level near Lenscrafters in a new 3,400-square-foot space.

  • Daxon: Local spending funds summer events and fills potholes

    4 years ago by

    We hear “buy local” everywhere, but does it really make a difference to our city’s coffers?

      It certainly does.

        “Sales tax makes up 42 percent of the city’s revenues,” City Manager Bill Gallardo said.

          That 42 percent is approximately $21 million for fiscal year 2015-16. But, which businesses in Brea are the biggest sales tax revenue generators?

            “Brea Mall is a large contributor,” said Alicia Brenner, Brea’s senior management analyst via email, “and roughly represents 30 percent of the sales tax revenues.” That is significant, especially because four of the city’s top-10 sales tax generators are located in the mall.

              In fact, the city rakes in the most sales tax revenue from the mall’s Apple Store. All of us iMac, iPhone, iWatch and iPad fans can now take a bow.

                Following Apple in second place is Beckman Coulter, which is also one of Brea’s top employers. In third place is Home Depot, Macy’s comes in fourth place, then Nordstrom’s, Russell Sigler (HVAC distributors), Target, Tesla, wholesale distributor Walter’s Electric and in the 10 spot is Walmart.

                  I am surprised that Tesla isn’t higher on the list. That cool $80,000 Tesla you’ve been eyeing will have $6,400 in sales tax tagged on to it. I find it amazing that all the Apple iStuff sold at the Brea Mall store beats out a year’s worth of Tesla sales tax revenue at the same location.

                    And where does the tax revenue go?

                      First, it goes into the general fund and is then disbursed to support many city programs and services, including police and fire, according to Gallardo. Those taxes also go toward the many amenities that make Brea a nice place to live.

                        Do you enjoy driving on pothole-free city streets? Thank the guy down the street wearing an iWatch and driving his new Tesla while wearing clothing recently purchased at Macy’s and Nordstrom’s. Nice.

                          Besides helping fund pothole repair and other city maintenance, those sales tax dollars help keep the Community Center and Senior Center in operation and the free senior bus on the road.

                            Brea’s tax bucks also help fund the Family Resource Center, Tiny Tots, the Community Center’s Teen Zone, the fitness center, the annual Wellness Festival, the Nutcracker and Spring boutiques, the annual bridal show and other Community Center events.

                              The city-sponsored summer activities, such as Concerts in the Park, Family Film Night in Arovista Park, the July 4 Country Fair and Brea Fest, all receive funding generated by sales tax revenue. The Curtis Theatre, Brea Art Gallery and Art in Public Places also enjoy the benefits of Brea’s healthy sales tax revenue.

                                Another recipient of funding thanks to sales tax revenue is the Tracks at Brea Trail, Brea’s long-awaited rails-to-trails project. The largest segment of the paved and landscaped trail, between State College and Brea boulevards, is scheduled to open in March for walkers, runners and bike riders too. A portion of 4-mile the trail meanders through the Birch Hills Golf Course.

                                  So much of what we enjoy in Brea comes from sales tax. That’s my excuse for shopping more.

                                    Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. Contact her at daxon

  • Bruxie featured on Cooking Channel’s Junk Food Flip

    4 years ago by


      Why were all the TV cameras at Bruxie on November 11 and 12? Chefs Bobby Deen, son of comfort food legend Paula Deen, along with New York Chef Nikki Dinki, known for her healthy meal recipes, competed against Bruxie's founders, Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney, in a “flip” contest in which healthier food options were pitted against popular Bruxie recipes.
      Chefs Bobby Dean, left, and Nikki Dinki, not shown, of the Cooking Channel challenged Bruxie co-founders Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney to a food face-off in Brea Downtown. Dennis Rodman in background, announced the winner.

      Chefs Bobby Deen, left, and Nikki Dinki, not shown, of the Cooking Channel challenged Bruxie co-founders Dean Simon and Kelly Mullarney to a food face-off in Brea Downtown. Dennis Rodman in background, announced the winner. Courtesy of Susan Gaede

        The show "Junk Food Flip," will air on the Cooking Channel.

          Some 30 or so guests who were dining at the restaurant voted for the meal they liked the best.

            Breans Gabriel Linres, Erin Wedin Wilkinson, Shannon Watson, and Senator Bob Huff among others, took a filmed taste test and voted. Senator Huff said he was happy the Cooking Channel was in town supporting a local business. Other parts of Brea were also filmed.

              Dennis Rodman, former professional basketball player, a resident of Brea, tallied the votes and announced the winners: Simon and Mullarney. They plan to donate the $1,000 prize to a local charity. The winning pair also shared a delicious custard dessert with all of the show participants.
              Bobby Deen was a charmer at the cooking show. Courtesy Susan Gaede

              Bobby Deen was a charmer at the cooking show. Courtesy Susan Gaede

                I got a chance to interview the very personable and charming Bobby Deen, who said he loves to cook every day. He also adores working with his mom, and he was proud of her performance on "Dancing With The Stars." He noted wryly that she lost a lot of weight from dancing, as well as cutting way back on her sweet tea. "Unfortunately, I can’t dance,” he added. He said that the crew had been in Orange County for 10 days, also doing a show in Huntington Beach. He said he loved Brea and that it was a beautiful town, and other VIPs with the show echoed his comments.

                  It has not been decided when the episode will air, but I will be sure to keep you updated.

                    Any news? Give Susan Gaede a jingle at (714) 529-8561 or e-mail her at

  • Hometown fun at Brea’s 29th annual Brea Fest

    5 years ago by


      Did you make the 36th annual Brea Country Fair? If not, another opportunity for hometown community fun awaits you at Brea’s 29th annual Brea Fest – the City’s original food fest celebration. On Friday, August 21 from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., the Brea Civic & Cultural Center sets the scene for an awesome family event with a feast of enticing food and beverages from over 30 first-rate restaurants. Food and beverage samples are provided with taste tickets being sold for only $3.00 each, making it affordable for everyone!

        But wait the food fest doesn’t stop there! There will also be great live bands, outdoor dancing, a gallery exhibit and artist demonstration, along with theatre performances. And for the kiddos --the ever-popular “Kidsville” is returning to welcome your little ones with kid-pleasing food, entertainment, face painting and make-and-take crafts. No wonder this free well-rounded event attracts thousands!

          Don’t miss out! Our Brea Fest is truly a well-executed community event, with more than 100 volunteers, resulting in a successful outcome supporting many of the city’s events such as Curtis Theatre productions, Brea Gallery exhibits, Concerts in the Park, and arts education program.

  • Improv plan could be a windfall

    5 years ago by

    A huge opportunity was placed in the City Council’s lap. Now what will they do with it?

      At the May 5 City Council study session, Stu Schreiberg of the Improv Corporation and Dwight Manley, a major Brea Downtown property owner, gave a brief presentation of a proposed Brea Improv that has little resemblance to the present one on Brea Boulevard.

        The new Improv would move to the corner of Brea Boulevard and Birch Street, presently housing Old Navy. Manley Fanticola, owners of that property plan to spend more than $10million to tear down and replace that building with a 41,000-square foot, two-story Improv.

          “The Improv will invest heavily in the interior buildout,” said Manley via email.

            This new Improv would have a commanding and exciting exterior and feature large theater auditoriums on both floors, two fine dining restaurants and outdoor seating on both levels. Besides comedy, this Improv would feature live plays and musical productions. It would be, according to Schreiberg, an entertainment destination.

              He also said that Improv Corporation plans very soon to open five of these mega Improv theaters around the country in such places as San Francisco, Nashville, New York and Brea Downtown.

                It would put Brea on the SoCal entertainment destination map and add a new level of sophistication and excitement to the downtown.

                  Quite a windfall for Brea, right? But the air could quickly blow out of that windfall if another parking structure is not built on the eastside of Brea Boulevard, behind the very vacant former Tower building. Without it, the Improv will go elsewhere. Their present lease ends in 2016.

                    This is a huge opportunity for Brea and it all hinges on securing a new parking structure. You can’t build an entertainment venue with theater seating for nearly 600 people plus the restaurants without adequate, convenient parking. Such a parking structure will benefit not only the property owners, but also all of us who will benefit from the tax dollars the Improv Entertainment Center brings to Brea, and it can’t hurt our own property values either.

                      Our city leaders made the right decision in the 1970s with the very successful Brea Mall that could easily been built in another city along 57 Freeway. Do we want to see the new Improv be built in Fullerton or elsewhere in Orange County, when it could be built in Brea? I sure don’t.

                        What I am sure of is if you missed the fourth annual “Celebration of Brea’s Sister Cities” at the Curtis Theatre at the Brea Civic Center on May 3, you missed an evening of outstanding entertainment.

                          Presented by the Brea Korea Sister City Association, it featured a wide variety of music and dance representing Korea, Japan, Mexico and the USA, including the terrific the Brea Olinda High School Jazz Band. Also terrific was the very talented Korean American Youth Performing Artists who did amazing drum dances. All of the other dancers and singers were also outstanding.

                            Proceeds from the celebration will help Brea students to travel to our sister city of Anseong, Korea.

                              Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. Contact her at

  • BBON Brea SummerFest Giveaway Coming Soon

    5 years ago by

    BBON Brea SummerFest Giveaway Coming Soon!

    BBON Brea SummerFest Giveaway Coming Soon!

      Hey everyone, it’s time for another giveaway! We’re partnering again with Brea SummerFest to kick-off the festival with a three-day giveaway on BBON Facebook.

        Because one can be a lonely number, we’re multiplying it by seven for (7 Gifts for 7 Fans!)


            The Gifts:

              (2) $20 Gift Cards for Urban Plates. Urban Plates is due to open in Village at La Floresta, a hub of retail and destination dining in Brea, at Imperial Highway between Valencia and Rose Drive, in early 2016. The gift cards can be used at any of their locations: Brea, Irvine, Del Mar or Carlsbad.

                $25 Gift Card for California Grill Brea

                  (2) $25 Gift Cards for Taps Fish House & Brewery, Brea Downtown or Corona.

                    $25 Gift Card for On The Hook

                      $25 Gift Card for Green Tomato Grill. The Green Tomato Grill is opening another restaurant, which will be located in the Von's center, on the corner of Central Avenue and Brea Boulevard, in August 2015. The gift card can be used at their Orange or Brea eatery.

                        (2) $20 Gift Cards for Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen

                          $25 Gift Certificate to Brea's new eatery La Puerta Authentic Mexican Food

                            One month of free lessons at Virtuo Music & Performing Arts. Their prize is transferrable and is good for children or adults. Winners choice of dance, instrument or vocal.

                              The giveaway is scheduled to start on Tuesday, May 26 and will run through Thursday, May 28. The winners will be announced on BBON Facebook on Friday, May 29, the first day of the three-day festival. Gifts will be available to pickup during the 28th Annual Brea SummerFest! Good Luck!

  • Green Tomato Grill coming to Brea

    5 years ago by

    Have you heard the Biz News? In the Vons Center on the corner of State College and Brea Boulevard, the Green Tomato Grill is filling the spot where the Dollars Count store used to be.

      Due to open in August, Chef Kyle, co-owner of the Green Tomato Grill, is thrilled to be expanding with a second location in Brea. He opened his first restaurant in Orange 2 1/2 years ago. The restaurant offers fast, healthy, and tasty food using fresh ingredients cooked to order for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

        Chef Kyle of the Green Tomato Grill

        Chef Kyle of the Green Tomato Grill

          Chef Kyle was drawn to the location due to the building’s size at 3,000 square feet, and busy area close in proximity to Brea Mall and downtown. And as you may have seen, the strip location is being revamped. Chef Kyle said that a nice patio is being built to accommodate their customers. In addition, they are planning a full espresso service and will be working closely with the Founder of Diedrich Coffee, Martin Diedrich, considered one of the pioneers of the coffeehouse phenomenon, who now runs Kéan Coffee in Newport Beach and Tustin.