By Douglas W. Motley
At a festive going-away affair on Sunday, Sept. 12, a farewell party was held to bid a fond farewell to Stockade restaurant owner Carol Deason, who has owned and managed the Stockade for the past 15 years.
She recently sold the business to a Skyforest resident, who will be taking over the property as soon as all the permits from the county and other details are worked out and available.
Though the restaurant has been for sale for the past several years, Deason said, “I never pushed it. I’ve just relied on word-of-mouth and, finally, someone responded.” Asked what she plans on doing after she retires, Deason said, “I’m not sure – I think I’ll stick around and get fat,” said the gracious bar owner, who’s known for her slender figure, with a sense of humor.
According to local historian Rhea-Frances Tetley, the bar/restaurant, which was was originally named Café Piland, dates back to the 1950s. It was a coffee shop, restaurant, and dinner house. The next owner, Deason said, was Patsy Melluso who took over the helm sometime in the late 1950s. After that, she said, it was Woody’s Stockade, which was owned by Woody Woodwaski and managed by a Mr. Guzman.
During the celebration, the Stockade’s head chef, Ramone, cooked up some tasty shrimp hors d’ouevres, rice with salsa and a large platter of delicious pork brisket from the whole pig he barbecued, as well as, pastries, all of which were free for the guests, which must have numbered in the hundreds during the nearly six-hour-long event.
On the other hand, there was the usual charge for beer and liquor, which was flowing quickly. After all, a business deserves to make a profit. In the meantime, Steve’s Rock ‘n Roll Time Machine was entertaining guests, playing classic rock and blues music for the jammed, outdoor patio area in the back.
Longtime mountain resident and local locksmith Grant Burkett told The Alpine Mountaineer, “I’ve been coming here for 25 years and I’ve always enjoyed the food, especially Ramone’s barbecued pork ribs, served with homemade barbecue sauce and baked beans. This is definitely the communitiy’s best local watering hole.”
Due to the crowed atmosphere inside, dozens mingled on the wooden boardwalk, which resembles the western boardwalks you can find at Knott’s Berry Farm and Calico, some to enjoy fresh air, while others smoked.
The new owner strolled outside, complaining about how long it’s taking the county planning department to approve all the permits he needs to open his new Yeti’s restaurant in Skyforest, while his children romped around and played with a friendly dog. Asked how he likes his dad’s new restaurant, young Nash Rocket (yes, that’s his real name) said, “It’s really cool.”