The Downtown Report: Mid March Edition

Wow, it has been some time since there was this much energy in our Downtown. Walking around, it was palpable. Maybe it’s the approach of Spring, but more likely, it’s a sense that we have turned the corner and our Central Business District is slowly but surely recovering from what is now a year of uncertainty.

Signs posted on the building where Branagan’s held court for many years reveal that a new restaurant called Alumni Bar & Grill is in the works for that space. Live entertainment is also planned. Wow, remember live music? We even had to cancel Day of Music last year. Never expected that.

A few doors to the north on Harbor will be ‘edible’ fruit arrangements and treats. Smoking Tiger Coffee & Bread at 106 W Wilshire seems to be thriving since opening in late 2020. Being in the ‘Wilshire Walk’ area sure helps.


A friend of mine lives in Arcadia, and for many years he has lived with an abundance of peafowl in his neighborhood near the Arboretum. They are descendants of the ones Arcadia founder Elias “Lucky” Baldwin brought to the area way back in the late 1800s. Like our parrots, often identified as green-cheeked Amazons or Mexican red heads, they have thrived and become part of the area’s wildlife, and as such, are not going anywhere soon.

Visitors are amazed and of course, if one of the males decides to show off, they are downright dazzled. The high pitched ‘meows,’ scratches on car hoods, trunks and tops, their desire to perch on rooftops and in trees, their fondness for residents’ plants, plus raids on birdseed or pet dishes left outside are not the endearing elements of their presence.

By now you’re wondering what this has to do with Downtown Fullerton. Well, wonder no more and thanks for reading this far. Spotted near Union and Harbor, our own peacock, who goes by the name of Steve, has been seen as far away as Panorama Trail.

Steve the Peacock spotted on Panorama trail. Photo by Kellee Dow Wightman.

Since we now have our own resident peacock, it stands to reason we must have our own Lucky Baldwin since peafowl are not likely to fly that far to get here. My own numerous attempts to find said fowl have not been successful, but I have seen photos and even a video, so a few residents have confirmed his existence.  We will continue to keep an eye out and maybe you can let us know if you see Steve. Coyotes beware, Steve can fly and won’t stand for any harassment so just leave him alone. We did run into Duffy, the Hillcrest Park great egret, who posed for us. So, he is pictured below, waiting for a meal to drift downstream after our nice rain shower last Wednesday.

Duffy, the Hillcrest Park egret.

Greenbacks and Ham

With Dr. Seuss in the news, it seemed logical to see if there was a buying frenzy going on at Half Off Books on West Wilshire. No rush on any of those books here—a few phone calls but in fact, not much demand even though in checking out what’s happening on Ebay, those out-of-print Dr. Seuss books have taken off in value. The good news here is the store has weathered the pandemic storm nicely. That makes sense with so much time on our hands; reading is a great way to use that time wisely.

Amerige Ave. Parking Lot

You may have noticed various sections of this parking lot are being removed. The project is being done to improve accessibility in compliance with current codes, so the improvements will facilitate access to nearby structures for those with disabilities. The work is slated for completion in the spring.

New in Town

Along with the other businesses mentioned here that are on the way, Semilla house plants, succulents, home fragrances, and more held their Grand Opening on March 6. Semilla is Spanish for seed, and the shop was named in honor of the family’s heritage in agriculture. Good to find out the owners, siblings Carla, Cesar, and Juan (not pictured) are Fullerton High School graduates and long-time Fullerton residents. Stop by 109 S. Harbor soon.

Carla and Cesar Duran, Analicia Acosta, and Socorro Duran.

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2 replies »

  1. Steve was in my yard today 5/3. Orangethorpe/Kramer in North Anaheim. I have photos and video. Didn’t know he lived around this area until I posted on FB.

  2. Saw Steve yesterday on N. Yale and Glenwood on top a house. He flies like a dragon from GOT!