The history of Harbor Cove Cafe in Ventura Harbor, California, is a tale of transformation and culinary innovation. The cafe had its humble beginnings as the Burger Galley until 2005 when Ronald Willis, a visionary, and lover of good food, acquired it. With a vision to create something exceptional, he rebranded it as Harbor Cove Cafe. Ronald passionately managed the cafe until his health declined, ultimately passing away.
In 2010, the reins of this coastal gem were handed over to Ronald’s son, Randall Willis. What was initially his father’s retirement project soon evolved into a beloved dining destination. Randall, with a knack for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, gave Harbor Cove Cafe a distinctive Polynesian touch, evoking the ambiance of an island paradise by the waterside.
Harbor Cove Cafe is renowned for its delectable offerings, showcasing an array of dishes that have earned it a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Randall focused on enhancing the cafe’s menu, introducing classic favorites that were elevated to perfection. Among the crowd-pleasers are the famous beer-battered Cod and Chips, prepared to a crispy golden brown, accompanied by his grandmother’s coleslaw recipe. The scratch-made Clam Chowder, considered by many as the finest in this fishing port town, is a staple that keeps patrons coming back for more.
The cafe boasts a diverse menu, including breakfast items that range from the sumptuous Seafood Burrito, a delectable mix of crab, lobster, shrimp, eggs, cheese, potatoes, and Chipotle Sauce, to the ever-popular Auntie’s Scramble, where eggs are expertly scrambled with onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach, served with toast.
Adding a touch of sophistication to the cafe’s offerings, in 2018, Dr. Shocker joined the team, taking the lead behind the bar. His expertise in crafting Espresso Drinks and Soju Cocktails has elevated the cafe’s beverage game. Dr. Shocker has created a unique drink program featuring low-ABV soju and similar spirits, crafting tantalizing tiki-style cocktails like the Beachcombers Downfall and Scorpion. He also introduced a touch of the exotic, bringing his acclaimed cocktail, the Kona Kooler, from Tiki Oasis to Harbor Cove Cafe.
Today, Randall and Dr. Shocker, work together seamlessly to offer some of the most mouthwatering food and drinks in Ventura Harbor. Their menu has expanded to include Hawaiian-inspired delicacies such as Musubi and Moco Loco. Among their notable creations is the Hawaiian Burrito, a flavorful blend of Spam, eggs, rice, cheese, and Huli Huli Sauce, and the Hawaiian Burger, topped with bacon, grilled fresh pineapple, and Teriyaki Sauce.
Harbor Cove Cafe, once a hidden treasure at the end of Spinnaker Drive, is no longer concealed. It has become a celebrated culinary establishment, where Polynesian charm meets a diverse menu that delights locals and visitors with every bite and sip.