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

brea downtown

  • SUO COMING SOON: Brea Downtown vintage-inspired store

    7 years ago by


    SUO peach dress ensemble

    SUO Boutique is a women’s fashion forward clothing store. They opened in 1999 and currently have three locations including their newest in Brea Downtown which is scheduled to open in the end of March. It is located on Birch St. directly across from the Edwards Theatre.

    Along with women’s apparel, SUO also carries a large selection of affordable handbags, shoes,jewelry, and other accessories. They have an experienced team of buyers and receive new items weekly. The selection is always fresh and on-trend with looks ranging from classic and casual to vintage-inspired and feminine. SUO has a strong denim following and they carry several denim lines including Miss Me, Silver, H&G, and Flying Monkey. They have wonderful jewelry and the Brea location will be carrying items from the sassy retro collection of Classic Hardware.

    For more information about this adorable boutique, follow them on Facebook at


  • Salon 5150 Brea relocates to Brea Downtown

    7 years ago by


    Salon 5150

    Salon 5150 has relocated from the Brea Marketplace near Target, to Brea Downtown.  As of today they are open for business and located at 375 West Birch Street next to Octopus Restaurant in Brea Downtown. They are a full service hair salon offering expert skin care and  makeup artist  services.  New clients will receive half off all hair and skin services! Grand Opening coming soon. Check out their web site at

  • A Brea Tradition – Ron & Wayne’s Automotive

    7 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


  • The Brea Sign, Old and New

    7 years ago by


    The Brea Sign, July 2001

    On June 22, 2001, after almost 10 years in storage, Breans were delighted when our most famous landmark, The Brea Sign, was re-placed at the intersection of Brea Blvd and Birch Street. But, why was the sign placed on a rotating post on the corner of Brea Blvd and Birch Street, instead of a bridge?  Why is it standing, specifically, on that corner? Is this the original sign, or was it completely rebuilt?

    Originally constructed  over seventy-five years ago by the Brea Lions Club, the sign was dedicated in a grand ceremony on April 5, 1934, attended by Mayor Lynn Amos Hogue, Councilman Frank Schweitzer, Sr. (who designed the original candilever bridge that held the sign), W.D. Shaffer (a local businessman who funded a significant part of its construction), and former Mayor, Assemblyman (and soon to be Speaker of the California Assembly), Ted Craig, among other local dignitaries. The Brea Sign, over the years, became a landmark, not just for the local community, but for people passing through from neighboring cities.

    After 58 years, in 1992, Breans were disappointed to find their beloved sign had been removed after the bridge holding it was damaged by a passing vehicle. What most didn't know, however, is the sign had been carefully placed in storage and was awaiting renovation and reconstruction for an eventual re-dedication in the new Brea Downtown.

    Architects for the Downtown Redevelopment Agency found the Brea Sign to be an interesting design challenge. The first question they had to answer was how would it integrate into the new downtown. In the years between removal and redevelopment, Brea had grown up and Brea Blvd, once four-lanes, was now six. New code requirements, truck height restrictions and right-of-way requirements had to be considered.

    The actual Brea Sign is 3' x 10' wide. If the sign were to be put back on a bridge, that bridge would have had to be fifty feet across. That's almost half a football field of bridge holding up a 3' x 10' sign. It's a difficult concept to imagine.

    Design architects created photo montages of the sign, each suggesting various possibilities for placement. One suggestion, mounting the sign on the side of a building, was rejected  immediately since they didn't want to make a private building owner responsible for the sign. Another idea was to span the sign across and above one of the Paseos (the bricked walkways between some of the businesses), but, the sign needed to be visible from a prominent location. This idea was also taken out of the equation. read more


    7 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!