The circle in Old Town Orange is a throwback, a nostalgic reminder to some of how things used to be, and one place that really brings back memories is Watson’s Cafe and Soda Fountain.
Watson’s first opened in 1899 as a drug store on Glassell Street before moving to its current location on Chapman Avenue.
In 1915, Watson’s opened a soda fountain and for generations it’s been a place to come satisfy your sweet tooth.
But not for much longer. Employees say Watson’s is set to close down Saturday.
“My heart just dropped,” said Hector Aguilar, a longtime patron of the cafe. “It was like, you know, you hate to see traditions like this go away.”
Kristy Finks said she loves the store for the decor, which brings back memories of a forgotten time.
“We like all the memorabilia that’s all over the shelves and it reminds you of Andy of Mayberry,” Finks said.
The owner told the Orange County Register that the closure was due to financial issues with the business.
Some customers, like Dave Drogos, who heard about the closure went out of their way to visit Watson’s one last time.
“I was shocked. You know, I know that everything runs its time, but at the end of the day, there needs to be — these are sacred places and a little piece of our history dies any time a place like this closes,” Drogos said. “So very, very sad to hear it.”
Employees say Saturday will be the last day for Watson’s at its current location. The owner told the O.C. Register he is trying to find a new location to reopen it.
The current location will be replaced by Hector’s On The Circle, which is a family-owned Mexican and seafood restaurant with three locations in Santa Ana.