THE CRYSTAL COVE STORE AND SODA FOUNTAIN FROM THE 1950s NOW SERVES AS AN EXHIBITION SPACE THAT ALLOWS VISITORS TO EXPLORE THE PARK.
The blue-green structure right on the beach in Crystal Cove’s Historic District once served as a store and soda fountain back in the 1950s. Run by residents Merle and Pearl Van Pelt and their son Lee, the store kept pantries stocked with groceries and supplies, in addition to offering some just-for-fun items like punch cards (lottery tickets), penny candy, ice cream and firecrackers. A soda fountain, complete with a counter and stools, also offered a popular “suicide soda”—a mix of all five flavors that was a favorite with the kids.
Over the years, it transitioned from a store to a residence, surfboard-building shop, storage facility and artist Vivian Falzetti’s studio space in the 1970s. Today, it’s a dedicated space for CCA to showcase the best of Crystal Cove. Marine life, educational programs and more are on display on a rotating basis in Cottage #46, located just across the sand from The Beachcomber Café.
In memory of Vivian Falzetti and her legacy at Crystal Cove.