Top

blog

Stories

 

An Elegy for Captain Cream's/Captain's Cabaret

closed
Flickr user nathaninsandiego
The Lake Forest Patch reports that Captain's Cabaret, the landmark Lake Forest topless bar formerly known as Captain Cream's, was evicted by its landlord yesterday.

You might be asking why our food blog is breaking this bit of tawdry news. For generations of South County eaters, Captain Cream's was literally a landmark, a handy shortcut referenced when giving directions to some other business in town.

"Peppino's? Yeah, the original location. Same strip mall as Captain Cream's."

"El Toro Meats? Best carne asada anywhere. East of Captain Cream's to El Toro Road and a block north of the post office on your right."

Back in 2004, I called Lake Forest the Black Hole of Food on my personal blog, professorsalt.com. The eating landscape has mercifully improved since, but then as now, the epicenter of Lake Forest casual eating sits squarely on that strip mall of strippers.

The clustertruck at Lake Forest Lanes where the Seabird truck parks every Tuesday night? The Hat?  Both across Rockfield from the Captain. Formosa Chinese Restaurant? Other side of Lake Forest Drive inside the Holiday Inn.

It was as concise as that, and locals knew what you meant.

Local parents might be glad to rid the neighborhood of the naked-girl store, and that's a valid point of view. Taking another perspective are all the now-unemployed single moms and students working their way through college shuffling off to find other work. I will remember the Captain not only as a place of drink and debauchery, but also as a pre-GPS lodestar by which we made our way to eat in the former Black Hole of Food.

Seven years after I wrote that remark, everyone drives with smartphones, a glut of online tools to find restaurants exists, and nobody needs to know how to give good directions anymore. I lament not only the loss of one particular business, but also the knowledge that nothing can take its place as a secret handshake among knowing locals.

The Captain is dead. Long live the Captain.

My Voice Nation Help
20 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
maria levenson
maria levenson

I know of several people (myself included) that went to Captain Cream's when it opened.... thinking it was an ice cream parlor. All the women there had 2 scoops, but none were my flavor!

Joe Pooblix
Joe Pooblix

Alas, I remember it was an oasis on my daily commute from Santa Ana to San Clemente back in the 80's and 90's!! I was worth fighting the traffic halfway and giving up, only to be welcomed by dozens of scantily-clad lovelies (It was just a bikini bar then, not topless) After a beer or two, a couple of tips for the ladies, I was on my way back home, by then much less traffic and a much better frame of mind.

But I struck up a conversation with one of the ladies there, she accepted my invitation to Pepinos for dinner and we ended up together for 5 years before she moved back to Illinois.

Good Times!! I'll be sad to hear it'll be gone.

Excholo
Excholo

Cherish up front and personal with Dita Von Tease when she was a struggling college girl(wink wink), If I had only known where she would have ended up I would have tipped her better, sigh

Keenan Hill
Keenan Hill

Now how am I going to find peppinos? That sucks it was one of the few things that made lake forrest almost not boring

Chownoir
Chownoir

Heh, I lived in Lake Forest for years. I know exactly what you mean. Can't believe the Captain is gone after all these years. That strip mall is slowly changing. I heard Gypsy Lounge might be gone soon too.

Diamond Dog
Diamond Dog

Uoko is there in that center and IMHO one of the best authentic, traditional, non pretentious sushi bars in OC. Did a review of it way back in 2005 and its still the same http://eatoc.blogspot.com/2005...

Shuji Sakai
Shuji Sakai

Gypsy Lounge is already gone. Check our music blog Heard Mentality for the gory details.

Diamond Dog
Diamond Dog

I think the OC Weekly should hire one of those girls, get Rid of the Ask A Comida Critic column, and launch an "Ask A Stripper" column.

Help out a stripper who is down on her luck right now....

Shuji Sakai
Shuji Sakai

Silly Dog. Strippers strip exactly because of low-paying gigs like this one.

Diamond Dog
Diamond Dog

Again we need proof of these so called strippers who have jobs like reporters for the OC weekly and are forced to strip. God Bless camera phones.

Claudia Koerner
Claudia Koerner

The Register's South County bureau is pretty close by. Let's just say we've made a lot of jokes lately :)

Kenke
Kenke

The "Lake Forest Patch" reports? Is that someone being witty or an actual publication? If it is...what an apt name for the story-breaker.

Shuji Sakai
Shuji Sakai

I report the news, I don't make it up.

DanGarion
DanGarion

Sad, sad day. I had my bachelor party there. Best night of my life I can't remember a lick of.

Shuji Sakai
Shuji Sakai

Never happened. No pictures to prove it.

DanGarion
DanGarion

Actually there are pictures. I just need to get them from my friend some day.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...