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

City Guide

  • Brea Plaza 5 Discount Cinemas Provides Affordable Entertainment

    8 years ago by

    Where can you go these days, to see a current movie, at a theater, for less than $5.00?

    The Brea Plaza 5 Discount Cinemas is the place to take yourself, your friends, and your sweetie, 365 days a year!, for an afternoon or evening of fun and entertainment that won't break your wallet.  And at these prices, you can even get snacks at the snack bar!

    Located near the corner of Associated Road and Imperial Hwy, behind Mother's Market, the Brea Plaza 5 Cinemas boasts a long history of providing affordable entertainment to the community, showing classic movies from every decade. And they still use 35mm film! Matinee prices are $3.00 a ticket, evening movie prices are $3.75. You can find their current movies and showtimes at their website located at Brea Plaza 5 Discount Cinemas

    Ample parking, affordable entertainment, great movies. And free seasoning for your popcorn.

    Did you know that the Haunted Mazes were once hosted at the site before it was a movie theater?

    Shop Brea at the Brea Plaza 5 Discount Cinemas, 453 S. Associated Rd, Brea (714) 257-9377

  • A Brea Tradition – Ron & Wayne’s Automotive

    8 years ago by

    The old foundry building, 1983.

    Ron & Wayne's. If you don't know them, you probably have seen the name. But, where? Ah, yes! That's right! The Brea Downtown, near the corner of Brea Blvd and Bracken. Ron & Wayne's Automotive.

    Ron Piattoni came to a quiet, rural Brea in 1964, at age 16, after graduating from South Gate High School. With his brother, Wayne, he took a job at a Mobil Oil Station, once located at Central and Brea Blvd, and in 1967 the brothers bought the business from owner, Ted Vliss. It became known as Ron & Wayne's until 1983, when the brothers bought the old foundry building on Brea Blvd. They enlisted family and friends to help  with construction improvements and after learning of the foundry's history, the brothers maintained as much of the buildings original appearance as possible.

    Most Breans are aware that the Ron & Wayne's Automotive building has an historic significance to the city, because it served as the place where Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, and other celebrated baseball players changed into their uniforms before "The Big Game", played on Halloween Day in 1924 at the Brea Bowl.

    Built in 1916, the building was originally constructed as a pillar to post foundry, providing oil well parts to a thriving local industry. While making improvements and modifications, the Piattoni brothers discovered that the foundry had once utilized a horse and buggy loading dock on the north end of the site, and there was a steel beam spanning the center of the building that had served to move heavy equipment by pulley. The beam remains, but had to be relocated to the side of the garage area.

    According to Ron, the one-story buildng, built two-stories high, stays suprisingly cool in summer heat and still retains some of the original trappings of the foundry such as aluminum siding and steel posts sunk 9 feet into the ground.

    Ron told me that a few years ago, an older man stopped by asking if he could see a small building behind the garage shop where, he said, his father once tested diesel engines for wind machines that warmed citrus orchards on cold winter nights. The gentleman was the son of Fred Thaheld, who also designed diesel engines for aircraft that were tested and flown at the two airports that once flanked the Brea city limits.

    Several of Thaheld's innovative engine designs are housed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

    With so much history in it's past, this long standing building still serves Breans, making new history as the family-owned home of one of Brea's favorite businesses, Ron & Wayne's Automotive. Wayne retired a few years ago and Ron enjoys semi-retirement, with the help of his son, Rod, who has worked with his dad since his days of attending Brea-Olinda High School. Although Ron says he enjoys that freedom, he has no plans for full retirement.


    Ron (right), and Rod Piattoni at Ron & Wayne's Automotive

    In business in Brea for over 40 years, Ron & Wayne's Automotive provides good, old-fashioned service from fan belts to differential overhauls, for Domestic and Foreign cars (with the exception of German automobiles).

    Ron & Wayne's has a long tradition of great service, fair prices, and they'll give you a ride home when you drop off your car!

    Full disclosure: I am a Ron & Wayne's customer. They're professional, they will answer your questions, they won't try to sell  you unnecessary repairs, and they do a great job! And they're really nice guys!

    Looking for a car mechanic? Shop Brea! Give Ron & Wayne's Automotive a  call.

    Located at 227 N. Brea Blvd, Ron & Wayne's Automotive is open Monday thru  Friday, from 8am until 6pm. (Not open on weekends) 714-529-5756 or 714-529-5757


  • BBON gets Two Scoops! on the new Farrell’s in Brea

    8 years ago by

    Our BBON Kid Reporters, Christine and Carly, had a super fun BBON Video Adventure as they did a walk through interview with Farrell’s cast member Dominique at our new Farrell’s Brea!  It was a tough job, I know, but somebody had to do it!  

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    Grand Re-Opening at Brea Albertson’s

    8 years ago by

    BBON was at the Grand Re-opening this morning of the Brea Albertson's grocery store, located at 2500 Imperial Hwy, Brea, CA 92821. Vintage Chevrolet Club members Jerry and Billie Bowland were there with their 1963 Impala SS, along with Jack Smith and his Model T Ford, and other classic car club members. Albertson's presented Brea Olinda High School and American Legion Veteran's Post Brea #181, each, with gift cards worth $500.  Attended by several dozen patrons, Brea City Councilman Ron Garcia, Albertson's staff and management, even Santa Claus!, the grand-reopening was a huge success.

    Be sure and stop by and shop at the newly remodeled Albertson's! Shop Brea!

  • Brea Historical Society Publishes New Brea History Book

    8 years ago by

    The Brea Historical Society is accepting pre-orders of its new pictorial history book,  Brea: Then and Now.

    You will journey into the past some 10,000 years ago when the local indigenous tribe the “Tongva” inhabited the ethnographic area of Brea.  Next, you will travel to the Spanish era when California was first discovered by Juan Cabrillo in 1542 and when Portola walked through Brea in 1769 along ‘El Camino Real’, to the Mexican era when Brea was part of “Alta California” under Mexico through the Rancho periods of the Ontiveros family and later Abel Stearns to the modern day era of the 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, two world wars and several others, oil, oranges, opportunity, education, commerce, until today the 2010s.

    It is the only pictorial book of Brea in existence.   Each hard cover copy of this limited edition book is $25.00.  Checks should be made payable to the Brea Historical Society and mailed along with your name, address, phone number, and e-mail to the Brea Museum & Heritage Center.   The museum mailing address is P.O. Box 9764, Brea, CA  92822-9764.

    Brea, Then and Now. Authored by Tim Harvey & published by the Brea Historical Society, this exciting new book is a pictorial history of Brea from the ancient & colonial times to the present day era illustrating a rare collection of photographs of the people, workers, city, industry, school, churches, and much more! On sale now at the Brea Museum or submit your order by mail.  New Edition - $25.00, including tax. (Add $5.00 for shipping & handling mail orders.)


  • Brea Florist: Community business, Customer loyalty.

    8 years ago by


    Brea Florist, at its current location of 341 South Brea Blvd

    Brea Florist had been a fixture on Brea Blvd for forty-three years, before it relocated to West Central Avenue in 1990 due to downtown redevelopment.  Since that move, despite early concerns, the business continued to thrive and soon residents familiar with the old location found their favorite florist at the new location.

    In 2010, Mary Jo Britt, who purchased the business in 2007, moved the shop back to Brea Blvd, at 341 South Brea Blvd, just one block south of their original location of forty-three years.  Mary Jo, who was employed at the business for twenty-four years before buying it, credits 35-years of customer loyalty, as well as new clients from the internet and a more visible storefront, for their continued success. She recently told BBON, "The unexpected move worked out great!"

    With her devoted staff, (Anna Davidson, who is a prior owner and semi-retired; Roxanne Whitney, who has worked with Mary Jo for 23-years; and Ruben Gallegos, making floral deliveries for 8-years) Mary Jo hopes Brea Florist will continue to serve the community for another 50 years.

    BREA FLORIST 1947 - 2011

    1947 - Brea Florist opens at 235 South Brea Blvd

    1978 - Mike and Linda Jacoby purchase Brea Florist

    1983 - Mary Jo Britt gains employment at Brea Florist

    1990 - Brea Florist relocates to West Central Ave due to downtown redevelopment

    1991 - Anna Davidson purchases Brea Florist

    2007 - Mary Jo Britt purchases Brea Florist after 24-years of employment

    2010 - Brea Florist relocates back to Brea Blvd, to their current location at 341 South Brea Blvd

    Visit Brea Florist


    8 years ago by

    October is definitely potato month at the Brea Souplantation.  The spuds are cropping up in dishes from tossed salads to the soups and kitchen favorites to the bakery.  For potato lovers this is the month to let your appetite for the taters go wild in the local  casual dining favorite spot. You can lead off your lunch or dinner with the Arugula Chicken and Tarragon salad with Crunchy Potatoes, and the bonus is that it's gluten free.  In the Deli Salad section you can select from the Sweet Vidalia Onion and Yukon Gold Potato or the Roasted Potato with Chipolte Chile Vinaigrette.  Shepherd's Pie over Skin-On Smashed Potatoes is featured in the Soup area, and Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon are close by in the Kitchen Favorites. After 4 p.m. you can feast on this month's warm dessert, Gooey Caramel Pumpkin Cake.  That's to be found in the bakery section close to the Roasted Potato Focaccia. The Brea Souplantation is just off Lambert at Pointe Drive.


    8 years ago by

    By Carolyn Campbell

      Dwight Manley is Brea's hometown successful businessman who purchased a huge portion of Brea Downtown in 2003. When approached by BBON for an interview, traces of his boyhood shyness are evident in his short answers.

        Dwight Manley

          BBON: What kind of a kid were you, when at an early age you discovered a deep passion for collecting coins?

            Dwight: I was shy. I loved coins + went to the Brea coin shop where Yard House is now all the time!

              BBON: In 2003, you made community headlines in purchasing Brea Downtown. Today Brea Downtown is a destination location. What do you foresee for Brea Downtown in five to 10 years?

                Dwight: It's only going to get better!

                  BBON:From successful rare coin expert, sports agent, real estate developer, to television producer, what’s next for you?

                    I take each day one at a time. So we'll have to see!

                      BBON: Tell us what it was like growing up in Brea in the 70’s and early 80’s?

                        Dwight: It was a lot of fun: watching open fields + orange groves become the Brea mall!

  • Olive Pit Grill

    8 years ago by

    Olive Pit Grill is truly a one-of-a-kind, fast-casual dining establishment offering endless and affordable menu selections including Appetizers, Salads, Fresh Grilled Proteins, Wraps, Kid’s Meals, and more. Our concept is unique in that we serve Fresh, Healthy, Fast and Affordable Mediterranean food with California fusion. Our friendly, fun efficient service, casual atmosphere allows our guests to comfortably dine-in, or just as easily take-out and enjoy at home or in the office.

    Our theme – healthy, low-fat, low cholesterol, natural ingredients, flavorful, and familiar offerings. Our goal is to create the image of light, healthy, satisfying and still nutritious food.

  • Brea Plaza Shopping Center and Cinema

    8 years ago by

    Contact Information:
      1639 E Imperial Hwy
      Brea, CA 92821

    Brea Welcomes You Neon Sign


    When thinking of the Brea Plaza Shopping Center, a popular phrase comes to mind: “Location, Location, Location.” It is easy to find in that it is just east of Highway 57 and just north of Imperial Hwy about one mile east of Downtown Brea, California.

    Brea Plaza Shopping Center Map


    The Brea Plaza Shopping Center opened in 1975. With a prime piece of real estate property located near the intersection of the 57 Freeway and Imperial Highway near the Brea Mall, it certainly had the road visibility needed for success. It was anchored by large successful companies, such as: Albertson’s Supermarket, The Brea Plaza Theatre, and Thrifty Drug Store. However, due to a poor design that blocked visibility into the center, in combination with significant tenant dissatisfaction with property management, the retail center suffered. Of course, according to longtime Brea residents like, Julie Harrison Ferguson, there were great times at the Brea Plaza Shopping Center as well. She remembered when her Brea Olinda High School band rented space next to Thrifty’s for a big haunted house high school fundraiser event. Also, her family frequented The Big Yellow House which is now Lucille’s Bar-B-Que. She said that the restaurant would weigh children and use their weight to determine how much parents paid. She also enjoyed going with friends to the popular ice-cream parlor in the center, where waitresses waiting on customers wore cute striped uniforms.

    Expansion and Renovation:

    Brea Plaza Shopping CenterIn early 2011, the City of Brea announced the $40 million renovation and expansion project to increase the center's size to over 15.5- acres. The project would add four new building, increasing area shopping space to 161,000 square feet, restore the buildings of all 20 current businesses, upgrade the parking lot, and beautify the property with lush landscaping. According to Marc Harris of BOSC Property Advisors, it is a work in progress as sculptures, fountains, kiosks, and an eight-passenger golf-cart shuttle service are in process of being developed. Marc went on to say that Brea Plaza Shopping Center is the 2nd most desirable location in Orange County next to South Coast Plaza. The center rates number one in spending per capita in Brea and all of Orange County accounting for well over 400,000 cars a day from the 57 Freeway, Imperial Highway and Associated Road. This is no ordinary center to say the least. It is an “outdoor shopping mall” and is a great addition to Brea - North Orange County’s premier shopping and dining destination!

    Jareds Jewelry Store Brea Plaza

    Current Tenants and Businesses including:

    Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que
    Bucca di Beppo
    Panera Bread
    Mother’s Market
    The Meat House
    Brea 5 Cinemas
    Total Wine & More
    California Fish Grill
    Grand Salon Med Spa
    Pho Ha Vietnamese Restaurant
    Which Wich
    Yori Modern Japanese
    Carters Babies & Kids
    DXL Men’s Apparel
    DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse
    Bonny Bridal
    Eyebrow Beauty
    Jared the Gallery of Jewelry


    With a great variety of premier businesses (34 in total) to suit everyone’s interest, and a convenient one-stop park and shop design, Brea Plaza Shopping Center makes it easy to shop, dine, and catch a movie.

    The Brea Plaza Shopping Center is a local favorite and because of its location, broad spectrums of visitors have also enjoyed its many amenities. As with any great destination, it continues to move forward with its plan to inspire, attract, and capture the attention of many as being one of Orange Counties most noticeable and notable retail center.