Vintage, Antiques, and Collectibles

Living in the past.  Funny when you think about it, today may not be the best yet in 50 years or more we will revisit it.  Considering it’s wonders of a new age, the value of it’s collectibles, and the horrors it holds.

Vintage as defined by as a noun, used to describe wine, or a class of an object with the year listed.  As an adjective, old fashioned, obsolete, and used in relation to the good of the past, example used is: They praised the play as vintage O’Neill.  As a verb it is used in relation to wine gathering.

Investopedia defines collectible as “An item that is worth far more than it appears because of its rarity and/or demand. “

Finally we come to antique.  When does an item become an antique?  Mirriam-Webster defines antique as “belonging to an earlier period, style, or fashion : old and often valuable.”

And we go to Antique’s Roadshow for further clarification regarding antiques.   The Roadshow’s glossary offers insight into classifications of antiques by one of it’s own, Michael Flanigan.  The short of the long story is this, an item becomes an antique when it reaches its 100th birthday.  To read more visit Antique Roadshow’s glossary.

antique dentist chair
1895 Dentist Chair, complete with headrest

Few items at the cafe make the category of antique, but this one made it with more than a 100 year birthday.  This 1895 dentist chair, looks more like a torture chair, but it is complete with the head pads.  The head pads could use an update, since they are worn, but the patina in this chair provides much character.

I have found a replica of this chair that is priced at well over a grand ($1,350 at They attempted to duplicate the patina.  Now you could pay $1,350 or $300.  We won’t ship, because this is a cast iron chair.  Not sure who would want to ship it or how much.  If possible, come out to the cafe and pick it up.  You will need help.

The cafe is now closed on Mondays.  Except when a holiday falls on Monday.  Call ahead to reserve your table of 13 or more.  We want to make sure we have plenty of fish and barbecue.

Enjoy the drive out Highway 94.

History of Dulzura and it’s Neighbors

Did you know that San Diego County has a rich history dating back to the early 1800’s with homesteaders? We all know about the Gold Rush but what do you know about the homesteaders? Few families are left in the back country of San Diego County. Few books are published to tell of these families and their lives.

Recently I was gifted a loan of one such book, Pioneering in Dulzura by Dorothy Clark Shmed. The San Diego County Library has a copy if you wish to read it in detail. This book offers a view point of the area called San Diego County, from the ocean to the hills, the families who claimed their space and how they lived.

Pioneering in DulzuraPioneering in Dulzura begins with the first homesteaders in the 1880’s. Many came here by way of ship, others by land across the rough country to claim their homes and hopes of wealth. As mentioned earlier, few homesteads are left. Many have sold their land and moved on. Those who remain continue their lives. Few farms remain. Horses and wineries are most common.

The first train running from coast to coast brought homesteaders to claim land for cattle, farming, bee keeping, horse ranching and fruit groves. There were no big cities at that time. Dirt roads ran across the back country.

history highway 94Another book that explores Highway 94 back country is “History of Highway 94,” written by Shirley Bowman Reider. The history covers the changes to the highway as well as the growth from early homesteading to the more recent years of 2000’s. This book offers stories and pics from some of the families that began their lives in the 1800’s here in San Diego County. This book is for sale at the cafe or you may find it at the San Diego County Library.

Potrero Roots“Potrero Roots,” has seen a second volume, offering stories of it’s homesteading families and the growth of this small town located on Highway 94, past Barrett Junction and Tecate. There are many landmarks still available to visit and rich stories to read.

Taking a tour of the history of San Diego County can be very intriguing. Just imagine what it was like to live by candle light or kerosene lanterns, fire places and wood burning stoves to warm and cook, and no television. No computers, smart phones, or video games. What would you do?

I cannot imagine it, can you?


The Forgotten, but Not Lost.

How long has it been since you took a drive in the country?  The country drive on the weekends seems to be forgotten.

The weekend trips to grandma and grandpa were a ritual.  We would travel Highway 94 more than Highway 8, before the new interstate was put in.  I remember the twists and turns, with a scary view over the edge into the ravine.  It was our family time together.

The roads have changed.  Many of the scary turns are now gone from both I-8 and Highway 94.  Many improvements to make the road safer.  Yet there are those who push the boundaries, sadly LifeFlight has used the field next to the cafe more than a few times.

Saturday and Sunday breakfast is served from 8 a.m to 1 p.m.  It is a beautiful drive from town, twists and turns, plenty of trees and fields of brown.  You can see where the water way runs because the trees and shrubs are plentiful.

The evening drive out is spectacular, but then it is going back to town.  The beauty of the sky is captivating, so keep your eye on the road or pull over to enjoy the view.

While the weather is warm is a good time to host a large party of up to 300 in our patio.  The stage provides room for a DJ or a band.  The floor has enough room to dance.  Hold your raffles.  The vendor booths are ready for those of you who wish to sell your wares.  Plenty of parking on the side and in front.

View our gallery to see what type of items are for sale at the cafe.  Don’t forget your saltwater taffy.  Delicious bite size pieces to take with you.

Bring your camera because there is plenty to take pictures of coming and going, and while you are here.

We are looking forward to serving you.  Directions are easy, but here is the Map.

TGIF, What are your plans for the weekend?


First the updates:

Barrett Junction Cafe is closed on Monday’s.  To view hours and directions, click here.

The patio is open for business.  Reserve your space for parties of 13 or more.  When you bring 13 or more guests, ask about your discount at check out.

The weather is lovely, the breeze is perfect, a great weekend ahead.  Take a cruise out old Highway 94, on the way stop in for breakfast Saturday & Sunday beginning at 8 a.m.  One other view would be to check out all the parts of the Highway that have changed.  There are places along the highway that are nearly covered by dirt, but if you look you can see where 94 use to wind around.

As a child I remember riding in the back seat, looking out over the cliffs and holding my breath as another car came around the curve, sometimes very fast.  The road was not that wide, so caution was of great importance when driving the highway.  It still is. This last month Life Flight has visited the field next to the cafe to take a motorcyclist off to the closest hospital.  Taking the corners at top speeds is insane, they over estimated their skill.  Never think it cannot happen to you, because you just don’t know.  BE safe.

The Highway 94 club has some great reading about the history of the back country of San Diego County, along the highway.  From homesteading to the history of the highway and its many improvements.  The books at the cafe are for sale if you would like to pick up a copy and take a read.

As always be safe, enjoy the weather and the ride out Highway 94. See you for breakfast.


Fire Season is Upon Us

The fire season began early this year across the country due to drought conditions, but more so, perhaps, in California.  For those of us who live in Southern California the two most recent fires have been Palomar and Lake Morena.  You can find updates on these fires and more at East County Magazine.  And I suggest you subscribe to the emergency updates, these are sent via email, text, and phone call.  A valuable resource provided by East County Magazine Emergency Alerts.

We are in our fourth worst year of drought.  The lakes are drying up, the picture provided by Earth Justice shows house boats at the bottom of the lake with very little water left. There are arguments about who has water rights, petitions to stop Nestle’s from bottling our most precious resource.  And around the state there are those in some places who still water indiscriminately, do not conserve water, nor do they seem to believe it is a problem.  The changes we need to make are drastic.  Where you can recycle, reuse, cut back on your water usage.   And if you do not believe, do it anyway, please.

Now for the happier news.  With the weather near perfect, especially in the shade, it is time to consider camping, hiking, and travel of the back country.  Just remember to be careful of your fire gear, we do not need another fire storm out here.  The back country out Highway 94 offers several places to park and hike.  Honey Springs drive is one popular place.  The shooting ranges and pheasant hunting is on hold for now due to fire season.  So it should be safe enough to take a nice hike in these areas.  Just remember to respect Mother Nature and her family.  Rattle snakes will be out early and later in the day to sun and hunt, so be careful and aware.

On your drive out Highway 94, don’t forget we open at 11 a.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. weekends.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  If you are part of a large party, especially 13 or more, please let us know ahead of time so we can be sure to have plenty of hands on deck and food.  The ribs are barbecued fresh on site, the coleslaw and salads are made fresh, our sauces are homemade as is our hush puppies.  All recipes have been around since the 40’s.

There is another concern, motorcyclists, please be smart.  Highway 94 has claimed two motorcyclists in the last three weeks.  We had life flight in the field next to us to fly the riders to the nearest hospital.  Both riders over estimated the road and under estimated their skill.  Please be safe.

As an added resource here is a site called the Drought Monitor, the map will show you where the drought has hit with minimal to severe.

Looking forward to seeing  you at the cafe, perhaps for our all you can eat breakfast buffet.  Get a discount when you bring 13 or more people to feast.  Don’t forget to request it when you schedule your table.  But be sure there is 13 or more in attendance, not just scheduled.  :)  Sorry, but it makes a difference.

Call ahead: 619-468-3416.  Please no business solicitation.  Reservations and questions about the items for sale only.  Thank you for understanding.


Happy 4th of July, Independence Day

I did not know this, did you?

John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826–the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

I did some research on this federal holiday, and found an informative article at  Including the above quote.

The origin of Independence Day dates back to the 1700’s and is the day the Declaration of Independence was signed by the delegates of the Continental Congress.  Freedom from the British rule.  July 2, 1776 is the day the vote for independence was cast, passing unanimously.

Through the years celebrations included barbecues, family and community gatherings, and a night display of fireworks.  During the early celebrations colonists held mock funerals for King George III as a way to mark their independence from his rule.  A turn on the celebrations the British use to hold for the the king’s birthday as a way of honoring their king.

The 4th of July is a day to gather with family, eat, laugh and find peace in your day.  May your weekend be filled with plenty to eat and drink.  Celebrate our independence and freedom.  Be safe.

Don’t forget we are open, barbecue, fish fry, and plenty of beer on tap or in the bottle.  Fountain drinks and ice tea served with or without your meal.  Saturday and Sunday morning the breakfast buffet is hot and ready at 8 a.m.

Bring your family, club or other gatherings, be sure to call ahead if there will be 13 or more of you.  We do have a special events menu available as well.

Father’s Day & the Summer Equinox

Well, we have moved into summer. The Summer Equinox happened yesterday with it being the longest day of the year. A great gift for Father’s Day, don’t you think?

How did you celebrate the entry of Summer?

The Cafe was busy through out the day, great breakfast crowd and a few riders and drivers came through. The BBQ ribs were fresh and hot. The Fish Fry, as always, was delicious.

The bar is open serving draft, canned and bottled beer, mixed drinks, and conversation. Leon enjoys sharing the history of Barrett Junction Cafe and the community it is located in.

The drive out Highway 94 is beautiful all year round. Though I must warn we are heading into the Fire Season, so if you smoke keep your butts in your ash tray. PLEASE. It only takes on small spark to start a wild fire. And the county has seen its fair share of fire storms over the years. Take care when traveling the back country, whether it is Highway 94 or Interstate 8. These two do meet at Jucumba. The drive out to the other side of Jucumba is about two hours, depending on whether you make any stops.

The air is clear, getting a bit warm, dry air. The shade is wonderful. There is plenty to see. The Dulzura Cafe is now a mini-mart and they are clearing a space for a coffee bar. The post office is right there with a bulletin board filled with flyers, notes, and information.

The Barrett Junction Cafe’s bulletin board offers information, business cards, services, and events. Post yours, or schedule a time at the cafe, let us host your next event.

The next stop is Potrero, the cafe is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The little market is also open. In need of propane, drive round the back and fill it up. Potrero park is not far from there, the signs show you where to go.

Stop at Barrett Junction Cafe for breakfast, Potrero Cafe for Lunch, in Campo at the Subway, perhaps for dinner. They did put in that nice station, stores, and more.

Before you get into Campo’s heart, the Railroad Museum is a must stop. Enjoy the Gaskill Store Museum, it is still open to visitors.

There is plenty to do out Highway 94. You may get your kicks on Highway 66, but there is more to explore on Highway 94. Bring your camera.

Don’t forget we have FREE WIFI at Barret Junction Cafe. Plenty of T-Shirts with a variety of logos and the Barrett Junction Cafe Logo. Jewelry, videos, vintage, antique, collectibles, all available.

Map of Highway 94 Back Country
Explore Highway 94

What are your Plans for Memorial Day Weekend?

What are your plans for Memorial Day? The weekend?

Here is a bit of history information concerning Memorial Day USA. The website dedicated to this holiday is Memorial Day and offers history, resources and observation information.

A bit about the name, the original title for this day of memory was Decoration Day. The intent of the day is to honor those who have fallen in service to the United States. There are disputes as to which city is the birthplace of this holiday.

General James Garfield made the first speech at Arlington National Cemetery. At that time there were over 20,000 buried there from the Union and Confederation armies.

The red poppy is the traditional flower worn on Memorial Day. This tradition was began by Moina Michael after she wrote her own poem commemorating Memorial Day.

In December 2000 the National Monument of Remembrance resolution was passed.

The website History offers more information with a shopping page to purchase your memorabilia.

Another source of information is Wikipedia, this is a condensed version of the other sites and a few other resources regarding Memorial Day History.

Come out the cafe and enjoy a hot breakfast, all you can eat on Saturday & Sunday. Starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m.

The drive out to the cafe is beautiful and peaceful. Just remember if you smoke keep the butts in the ashtray. Because of the drought the grass is flammable.

Traveling the Back Country of San Diego County

How long has it been since you took a drive out Highway 94/Campo Rd through San Diego County’s Back Country?

When I tell people about the cafe I get two types of reactions.  The first and rare one, “Where is that?”  The most popular one is “I have not been out there in a long time.”  Well, what is keeping you?

The cafe is open for breakfast at 8 a.m and Saturday dinner is served until closing at 7 p.m. with Sunday ending at 6 p.m. Tuesday to Friday lunch and breakfast is served starting at 11 a.m when the coffee is fresh and hot.

The menu is on line here, there are some new additions.  Those are a Dinner Special prepared when you order and the Biker Special, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4 to 6 p.m.

Biker Special Fish Tacos & Beer



BBQ Ribs & Cod Fish

Come out and enjoy a hot meal, fresh air and a beautiful drive.

We have plenty to see, buy and eat.

Explore Highway 94 through the back country.


A New Menu awaits & More News

Recently the menu for the cafe has been revamped.  Now in great and glorious color, food pics, and folded into three.  It is a clean and easy to read menu.

More changes to come, with the warmer weather, the patio is open for business.  Call to host your party of 13 or more.  Bring 20 guests and ask Leon about a discount for your party.

Enter the monthly draw contest by writing your name and email on a small piece of paper, drop it in the fish bowl near the front door and we will notify you if you won.  The other reason to get your email is to keep you posted on upcoming events and changes.  I promise you won’t receive daily emails, maybe once a month, sometimes twice a month.

You can subscribe or follow us through the social media links at the top right corner of the blog.  Events are posted and so are the updates.

Don’t forget to browse the gallery of collectibles and vintage items for sale at the cafe.  Know any dentists?  There is a dentist chair from the 1800’s sitting there just waiting to be added to someone’s collection.  You will need a hand it is pretty heavy.

Stay tuned, I will be updating the menu on line and preparing the to go menu for you to download.  Once Leon approves the print, it is ready for you to download.  Stay tuned.

The weather is warming a bit, the grass is dried, so please be careful when traveling Highway 94 out the back country way.  We don’t need to start any fires.

Don’t forget we are in the 11th year of the worst drought California has seen, so water wisely.  Conserve as much as you can.  The scare is we have barely enough water to get us through another year and then desperation.  Recycling is in order, but if you use chemicals to wash your clothes, dishes or personal care, you cannot reuse that water on your garden or in your yard.  It will kill your plants and grass.  One way to weed and perhaps clear out the gophers.  But toxic to our water ways.

Until next time. See you at the Cafe.