Crestline Café under new ownership

Apr 14, 2022 | Business, Crestline, Front Page

By Douglas W. Motley
Senior Writer

Amber Crubaugh, the new owner of the Crestline Café, began her eight-year-long career at the restaurant in June 2014.

“I had been a manager at McDonald’s in Blue Jay for five years,” she told The Alpine Mountaineer, “before an opening came up at the Crestline Café and I was recommended for a job here. At first, I only worked part-time as a waitress, one day a week. Now, I have been managing the restaurant for six years.”

The popular restaurant, which is known for its relaxed, alpine atmosphere, first opened its doors back in the San Moritz Club era of the 1950s and went through several ownerships and name changes for a number of years. Eventually, it became Billy Bear’s, which was owned by Yolanda and Bill Soper.

Crubaugh recalled dining there many times with her family back in the early 2000s, when it was extremely popular with young children because of its large collection of teddy bears of all different sizes and colors.

When they decided to retire, the Sopers sold the café to George Hoenig, who operated it for a number of years, and managed to hold onto it throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, tough as it was, and recently sold it to Crubaugh.

“I am forever grateful to my boss and my friend George Hoenig and his family for being so kind to me and my family. I truly believe we would not be where we are today without him. I am forever grateful,” said Crubaugh.

Originally from Riverside, Crubaugh has resided in Crestline for 32 years and attended schools here until her graduation in 2006. Asked if she plans any changes for the restaurant, now that she owns it, she said, “I will be expanding the dinner menu, but not right away. When asked if she enjoys cooking, she responded, “I cook at home, but not here. I have eight excellent cooks working for me, four that have been here longer than I have and two that had cooked for Billy Bear’s.”

Noting that breakfast hours are the busiest time of the day, Crubaugh said her most popular breakfast items are Biscuits and Gravy and Stuffed French Toast. “For lunch, it would be our Monte Cristo sandwich. We even get people who come here from Orange County, just for our soup.”

When asked whether she has any hobbies, she said,” I really don’t have time for any hobbies, but I did like collecting rocks as a child and I also played softball for Mountains Little League.”

As for the foreseeable future, Crubaugh said she plans on spending more time with her family, which consists of her husband and three children aged 8, 14 and 16. “The children keep me on my toes,” she said, adding, “Once a week, we have a family game night and, on my days off, we enjoy off-roading on our dirt bikes and quads.”

Crestline Café, noted for its American comfort food, ranging from buttermilk pancakes to patty melts, is located at 23943 Lake Drive and is open seven days a week, Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. For take-out meals, call (909) 338-4128.



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