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

brea downtown

  • Safe and Sound at Brea Gateway Downtown

    6 years ago by

    From left, Ivan Magdaleno and Joseph Acevedo standing outside of their office at Brea Gateway Downtown.

      Brea is boring, says Joseph Acevedo and Ivan Magdaleno, security guards at Brea Gateway Downtown. Aside from being a Northern Orange County destination for shopping, dining and entertainment, their assessment is on the mark. Are we complaining? I think not!

        Both young men aspire to be police officers. They take their job seriously working different shifts that overlap an hour each day. Anyone who frequents downtown has passed their office, which is very nondescript other than looking like a tiny janitorial supply room next to Cost Plus World Market. Open the door and there is one lawn chair and a bicycle.

          Each day they set out on foot or bicycle patrolling the center, checking each building, looking for graffiti (which seldom occurs), giving out tickets for those who double park, park in handicapped spots and are not disabled, and exceed the 3-day maximum parking limit.

            Other than a homeless man who for a short period of time was staying at Brea Gateway Downtown, there really haven’t been any problems, with the exception of the children who run amok riding their skateboards and bicycles. When confronted by Joseph and Ivan, most of the kids disregard the notice. So that is an ongoing battle that Joseph and Ivan are diligently on top of.

              Just like their office, you may not take notice, but they’re keeping us safe and deserve praise for their good job. No doubt they will make fine police officers someday.

                Thanks to their efforts, we’re boring.

  • Angel statue relocated to new home at Brea Downtown

    6 years ago by


      Many people say they haven't noticed her yet, even though she's been there since before Halloween and shared space with a huge Christmas tree and Santa. Maybe it's because there usually is a brown covered wagon, several trees, the revolving Brea sign and other distractions around her. Brea Angel isn't new to Brea Downtown. She used to hang out near the former Pane Vino Restaurant on Brea Boulevard. At that time, she was titled “Breaking Down the Orange Curtain” and surrounded by orange glass blocks. When 240 South wanted to move in, it needed more space for a front patio, so the angel left.

        She was gone for quite a while and ended up back at her creator's studio according to the artist, Cheryl Ekstrom, to give it a new look. Ekstrom said she has heard from many people over the past 10 years who really like the piece, took their Christmas photos by it in both its old and now its new location. Last year, Ek-strom redesigned the piece without orange blocks, added a raised base, some concrete stools for seating and renamed it “Brea Angel.” Then it was placed on the cluttered corner of Brea Boulevard and Birch Street.

          Cluttered isn't how Ekstrom sees it, though. “I love the new location, with all the interactive elements,” she said. “The Brea Angel is all about new possibilities, growth and change. It makes me very happy.” I've heard from several people who have definite views, so I did one of my unscientific email surveys of 45 Brea residents. Of 38 responses, 18 people like the Brea Angel and her location, and 20 prefer the original angel – though some thought the old location and the new one were both bad. Interesting that they were pretty much split even on which angel they preferred.

            Even more interesting was that nine people said they initially had not noticed the angel at her new location. One person said she drove by it three times before she finally spotted it among all the trees and stuff around her.

              “I definitely appreciated the original; it was artwork with a message,” said former planning commissioner Ralph Heinmann. “The current placement … does not have a sense of place, and there is no context.” Another person thought the orange blocks looked out of place at the former location and was glad they were gone but thought Brea Angel would look better in a park.

                All Art in Public Places pieces are owned by each location's property owner; the Brea Downtown Own-ers Association owns the angel.

                  Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. She gives her perspective on Brea issues twice a month. Contact her at

  • Last contest of the year on Brea Gateway Facebook!

    6 years ago by

    Brea Gateway photo courtesy of Greg Voisan Panoramic Photography

    Hi everyone!

      We thank you for subscribing to BBON website! In addition to posting interesting Brea News, we run year-round contests on Beautiful Brea Old & New!

        We ended the year with a great giveaway for two: Dinner at Burrissimo and a short walk to catch a movie at Edwards Theater.

          Fast forward: Our first giveaway of 2014 ended with three people winning gift cards to Corner Bakery! And guess what? We're already planning our second giveaway of this New Year on Brea Gateway Center-Brea Downtown and first contest on BBON!

            Brea Gateway , a fan page we're thrilled to be a part of, is located on the corner of Imperial Highway and Brea Boulevard and considered a part of Brea Downtown.

              This shopping center may indeed be the first retail shopping center in Brea, other than Brea Downtown and Brea Mall, to have a presence on Facebook, a sign that social media is being recognized by shopping venues as a way to connect with customers.

                With two contests in February, try your luck. You just may be a winner!

                  Let's stay connected!

  • Welcome to one-stop shop – City of Brea

    6 years ago by




            TERRI DAXON The wild and crazy shopping season has begun, and the best place to go is right here in Brea. Where else can you find such a wealth of shopping choices? There are the beautiful, recently Mall, our Brea Downtown, the Brea Marketplace across from the mall, Brea Gateway Center, plus several other shopping areas up and down Imperial Highway and elsewhere in our city.

              While Brea has many unique shops, there also are chain stores, including a few big-box ones such as Target, Walmart and Home Depot. Sure, you can shop the chains in many cities, but the sales tax dollars come back to Brea only if the merchandise was purchased here.

                Why is shopping in Brea so important? I asked Heidi Gallegos, the new executive director of the Brea Chamber of Commerce.

                  “Shopping Brea first keeps our dollars in the community in order to support public safety, capital improvements as well as retain programs that are unique to the culture of Brea,” Gallegos said via email. “We encourage shoppers to keep our dollars in Brea and shop Brea first.” Brea is definitely a shopping destination. Brea Mall is Orange County’s fourth largest mall in sales tax revenue.

                    Keeping those shopping dollars here makes a big difference. According to Brea’s June 2012 fiscal report, Brea’s sales tax revenue has increased 4.4 percent over the previous fiscal year, which is pretty good. Sales tax for general retail sales, such as department stores, apparel shops, home stores and other retailers , made up 46.7 percent of the increase.

                      According to Bill Gallardo, Brea’s administrative services director, in Brea you are charged 8 percent sales tax on taxable items. Of that 8 percent, only 1 percent stays in Brea. “The rest goes elsewhere, mostly to the state,” Gallardo said via email.

                        So how does that work? Gallardo said, for example, when you make a $100 purchase, you pay $8 in sales tax. Of the $8, Brea gets $1. That doesn’t sound like much, but in fiscal year 2012, it totaled $19 million. That’s a lot of buying in Brea, folks.

                          What about online sales, such as at Amazon, that include California sales tax? Does the city benefit from those sales? Yes, but it isn’t much. Amazon charges Brea and other Orange County customers the 8 percent rate, and the 1 percent is sent to the state. “Then the state divides that local money based on your city’s percentage of total sales in the county,” Gallardo said. What that breaks down to is that Brea gets a measly 3.5 percent of the 1 percent. So shopping locally, rather than online, makes better dollar sense for our city. And while you are shopping in Brea, visit the new Santa’s village on the lower level of Brea Mall. It is one of the most attractive I’ve ever seen in a mall. Plus, it gives the kids something to marvel at while Dad checks out the Tesla showroom a few shops away.

                            Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. She gives her perspective on Brea issues twice a month. Contact her at  .

  • 20th Annual Best of Orange County

    6 years ago by

      After many months of preparation the Orange County Register’s 20th annual Best of Orange County (People’s Choice Awards & Critics’ Picks) arrived at our doorsteps this Sunday morning. The Register’s Best of Orange County is a well conglomeration of readers’ picks, critics’ choices, and register picks to determine the best of the best in Orange County.

        As a fan page and blog consisting of “All things Brea,” we will focus on the readers’ picks. With almost 12,000 voters determining the top three categories in 70 categories, Brea did not manage to be chosen for best overall shopping venue, i.e., Brea Mall, Brea Downtown, however, many of our shopping, dining, and luxury lifestyle services were chosen. Following is a list, albeit not complete, of those establishments who were chosen for their fine amenities. Any thoughts? Comments?

          For shopping, dining & services (the guide displays top 3.) For our purposes, only Brea businesses are shown.

            Fitness Center

              1.24 Hour Fitness

                Grocery Store

                  1.Trader Joe’s



                        Organic Food Selection

                          2.Mother’s Market and Kitchen

                            3.Sprout’s Farmers Market

                              Pet Boutique



                                    Tech Store

                                      1.Apple Store

                                        Wine Selection

                                          2.Total Wine & More


                                              Day Spa

                                                1.Glen Ivy

                                                  3.Massage Envy Spa




                                                          Food & Drink


                                                              1.Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que


                                                                  2.Kimmie’s Coffee Cup


                                                                      1.BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse


                                                                          3.Outback Steakhouse



                                                                                3.The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf


                                                                                    1.Mrs. Fields

                                                                                      Family-friendly Restaurant

                                                                                        1.Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants

                                                                                          Happy Hour

                                                                                            1.Yard House

                                                                                              2.El Torrito

                                                                                                Ice Cream

                                                                                                  1.Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants


                                                                                                      3.Cold Stone Creamery

                                                                                                        Italian Restaurant

                                                                                                          1.Lomeli’s Italian Restaurant



                                                                                                                2.Round Table Pizza

                                                                                                                  3.BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse


                                                                                                                      1.Jersey Mike’s


                                                                                                                          Sunday Brunch

                                                                                                                            1. El Torito

                                                                                                                              2. Taps Fish House & Brewery

  • Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour rolls back the clock for 50th Anniversary

    6 years ago by

    Farrell's 50th Anniversary Celebration

      Bob and Ramona Farrell, founders of Farrell’s, reminisce with their favorite shakes at Farrell’s Brea. Photo courtesy of Susan Gaede.

        Farrell’s is turning 50 on Friday, September 13, 2013! To celebrate their great milestone they’re offering four of their original sundaes at the store opening prices on September 13, 1963. Choose from a Farrell’s Banana Split at 75 cents, Straw-ana at 70 cents, Banana Royal at 75 cents and Black and White at 65 cents, with the purchase of an adult entrée.

          It all started when Bob Farrell wanted to take his steady, Ramona, to an old fashioned ice cream parlour, but there were none around. So what did he do when faced with a dilemma? Bob opened his own old fashioned ice cream parlour. It went over quite well as he and Ramona married and the rest is history!

            Turning 50? You’ll be pinned with a free Farrell’s 50 year anniversary pin.

  • Two former playmates play catch-up at Brea Improv

    7 years ago by

      Debora Zullo Baker,(right) Sonora grad and a former Penthouse Centerfold, attended the Brea Improv show on April 20 where Jenny McCarthy, a Playmate of the Year, model, actress, and author was the Brea Improv guest host. They enjoyed catching up.(courtesy Susan Gaede)

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    Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour to celebrate Barbie’s 54th Birthday

    7 years ago by

    Hey everybody, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour is celebrating America’s favorite doll, Barbie! She is turning 54 years old but still looks 24! Join Barbie and Ken look-alikes this Saturday, March 9, from 10-11:00 a.m. for a fun filled morning at Farrell’s, with a special Barbie inspired pink 30-scoop – 5 ½ lb. ice cream Zoo. Kids will sing along to a birthday song especially created to honor Barbie and best yet, kids get to eat the Zoo for free and receive birthday presents as well.

      For guests that can’t make it to the 10am main birthday event, Farrell’s will be celebrating all day by selling a pink $1.99 birthday-sundae to all guests that bring in their favorite Barbie doll and purchase a kids or adult entrée and drink. The special $1.99 birthday sundae is fashioned from one scoop of strawberry ice cream, strawberry sauce, pink whipped cream, party sprinkles and a cherry on top.

        “Barbie is America’s favorite doll. She’s an original piece of Americana and takes all of us back to the fond memories of our childhood, just like Farrell’s.” says Michael Fleming, CEO, Parlour Enterprises, Inc. “This was a great opportunity to celebrate an American icon, but even more so, it was just a great excuse to have a lot of fun.”

  • Brea Downtown to celebrate city’s 96th birthday

    7 years ago by

    Click here to view Brea Downtown merchant special offers for next week!

      Can you believe little old Brea is turning 96th years young on February 23, 2013! Four years from now we will be celebrating our 100th year – how amazing is that! Can you envision on top of our beautiful backdrop a BREA sign, welcoming visitors from afar to our quaint Northern Orange County Destination? We can!

        Beautiful Brea Old & New has partnered with Brea Downtown in arranging the City of Brea's birthday celebration to start the momentum. Brea Downtown merchants are participating in a week-long birthday event, from February 18 through February 24, giving special offers to those who mention Brea’s anniversary.

          On Tuesday, February 19, the Brea Museum and Heritage Center will be setting up a booth at Brea Downtown’s Farmer’s Market. They will be selling their history books. Also, signed books from Tim Harvey the author of the latest Brea pictorial book: Brea, Then and Now (2012) will be available for purchase.

  • NBC4’s weathercaster Fritz Coleman makes a holiday stop in Eagle Hills

    7 years ago by

    NBC4’s Fritz Coleman Holiday Toys for Tots Campaign Bus with Susan Gaede in Brea Downtown.

    Well, it was a ride chasing NBC4’s Fritz Coleman promoting his Toys for Tots holiday bus campaign. He was due to broadcast live in Brea Downtown last night at 11:00 p.m. while featuring the Eagle Hills Neighborhood on TV. Some people say he was spotted at Country Hills Elementary, others say at Brea’s Sports Park, but Susan Gaede and I found him at 11:00 sharp at Primose & Foxfire Street in the festive neighborhood of Eagle Hills.

    Eagle Hills home owners, Bertha & Jose Moreno pose for a photo with Fritz.

    Fritz and company set-up in front of Bertha and Jose Moreno’s beautifully decorated home with all their neighbors anxiously waiting to be on TV. It was a long process, but well worth it.  Everyone had a great time experiencing live local action news in progress.

    Lights, Camera, Action – the moment everybody was waiting for.

    Prior to each live segment, and there were at least four taken, Fritz would gear up in a serious thought process manner before going live. It was definitely fun to watch as he is a pro - reporting for 30 years now!

    Neighborhood kids are chosen to do a special holiday greeting from Brea.

    We heard that there will be a holiday segment this Sunday, December 23 on NBC4 featuring Fritz’s Toys for Tots campaign stops – you’ll see the neighborhood residents of Eagle Hills shouting “Happy Holidays from Brea.”