Pegasus Cafe, Long Beach CA

by Nancy Ellison
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pegasus2.jpg“Named for the mythical winged horse that carried thunderbolts for the Greek God Zeus, Pegasus Café has a classic pristine feeling.

Well, not the Pegasus Café I knew and loved. It’s probably closed now… too bad.  You had to be there to understand it’s unique charm.

My first visit to the uber fabulous Pegasus was for lunch one day with my Canon Eos rep, but I soon found breakfast was the meal of choice! As one of the photographers selected to do "A Day in the Life of California", I gleefully chose Pegasus as my first stop in the 24-hour cycle of reportage. 

To get to the docks in Long Beach from Malibu meant I awoke around 3 a.m. to leave by 4 a.m. somewhat alert in order to arrive in time for the café’s morning rush hour when the truckers started their day and the off shore oil rig guys got off their night shift.

I guess it was around 5 a.m.  The smell of cigarettes and beer was the first aroma that greeted me as I entered the plate glass windowed 1950’s style roadside café in the heart of the docks.  The neon lights and lit beer signs offered an odd, alien contrast against the warm glow of the rising sun which rose behind the oil pumps on the road coming in. 

Waitresses, some of whom were in their forties and fifties, were all wearing the Pegasus uniform: short baby doll see-through negligees, merry widow corsets, or little things with garter belts, and support hose. (Oh, those varicose veins!)

I didn’t see Espresso, Brioche French Toast or Eggs Florentine on their menu, but I did have the best fried egg sandwich on fresh white bread with mayo I ever had! Better than the old Cora’s and just as greasy!

I passed on the beer.

 

Comments   

0 #4 Pauline Hager 2016-08-20 18:16
I worked for the Army Outport near the Pegasus Restaurant. When I first started working there it was just a regular restaurant with good food. I ate there justabout every day. When the restaurant was sold the new owner (a man) did have waitresses in flimsy nighties working there. That was because most of the customers in that area were men. I remember that very well because that was the only place close enough to go to at lunch time. I worked at the Outport for seven years.
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0 #3 Portia Lee Wiggins 2015-04-09 14:12
I'm not sure where you ended up but the Pegasus Restaurant on the Long Beach Pier was opened in 1962 by my Grandmother, Dorothy Duppman. At the time, my mom who was pregnant with me, helped by working at the counter. The restaurant opened at 6 am and served many people of all ages. My sister and I went there for several years after my parents divorce and would sit at the counter with our ice cream and then go feed the seals. I never saw my mother or grandmother in any sort of lingerie and the pic above doesn't look familiar or like any part of the restaurant I have ever seen. Sounds like you had a blast but I think it was another Pegasus.
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+1 #2 Lu Olkowski 2013-05-16 12:26
Hey Pat O'Brien.

I'm a radio producer doing some research about the Pegasus Cafe. If you read this, would you mind dropping me a line? Same goes for anyone with memories about the Pegasus.

pegasuscafelb AT gmail DOT com

Thanks!

Lu
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+1 #1 Pat OBrien 2013-02-04 10:21
Oh the Pegasus was a welcome respite from the dirty and hot banana docks. I remember it had the best cheeseburgers and the coldest beers, and all at a very reasonable price. I was working for a Utah trucking company, but that still stop the sober drivers from ogling the efficient waitresses, even if they thought twenty-five cents was a good tip for those scantily clad working-girls.
I recall onetime, a couple of motorcycle enthusiasts rolled up and on of the gals ran out and gave one of the guys all of her tips, and the lace kinda lost a lot of its charm. It was nothing more than a strip-joint with a nice gimmick.
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