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the Castaway, San Mateo, CA (restaurant)

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Name:the Castaway
City:San Mateo

On a recent trip back to the Bay Area I finally found myself with some time to re-explore my old stomping grounds. A few places topped the list for this intrepid urban archaeologist but the outstanding first choice was the Castaway. the Castaway featured tons of nautical decor (not too much tiki) and was the gorgeous backdrop of many Easter brunches and prom night dinners.

Courtesy of Mike at tikiroom.net

I logged on to the gophers and the Usenets and found very little information only that the Castaway closed in 1997 probably because of beach erosion. We piled in the car at about 10:30pm and made our way to Coyote Point. the park closes at 8:00pm but that is for the regular folk not the pros on a mission. Pulling up in the parking lot I immediately noticed "the Castaway" sign with a "closed for major renovations" backer board sign screwed into it. I was not really able to see anything in the dark and I was scared of bears (and coyotes) so I left the exploring for the morning. After a sleepless night obsessing over the potential of a newly re-discovered discovery I awoke at 5:45am and made my way north on the 101. I arrived about a half hour later and was surprised to see all the early morning golfers (6:15am) in the rain. I made my way over to the parking area. I stood at the back door; the smell of adventure, treasures and varmint pee filled the air; I started in...

Here is the sign. Only one bolt holds it in;) 7ft wide


Exterior Entry Doors

Entrance Towards Parking Lot

Ocean View

East End

Entrance Door Across ?Train/Boat? Room

Interior Entry Doors

Fireplace 1

Fireplace 2 with Outstanding Copper Hood

Neat-o ?Train/Boat? Room - Notice the monkey pod tables - They are still there;)

Real Big Kitchen

Death of the Castaway

Well... these may be the last pics taken of this place. I'm sure glad I was able to see it one last time.

[ Edited by: Primo Kimo 2006-04-25 15:39 ]


Primo, thanks for those images. How interesting, how sad....


Thanks Primo! I always wondered what happened to the building after it closed.

WOW, I remember The Castaway, we used to run in front of the big windows and make faces at the folks having dinner. Damn Kids!
Thanks for the pics Primo.


Stumbled across a Castaway matchbook in a pile of our stuff, so I thought I'd post it here.

Reflecting on this thread, I've gotta ask Primo Kimo to bring me along on his next unauthorized expedition! Whether it's this one or the amazing virtual tour of the derelict Coco Palms, he's got moxie!

Anyway, as far as the Castaway, sad to think of yet another San Mateo poly-pop landmark in the ash heap. Dunno if they actually had any tikis, but they had that nice nautical style and a great spot. I thought I'd post a couple more images. First, some closeups from the Castaway postcard above.

Backside of the postcard, showing where it was located on Coyote Point. You can kind of get a sense from this how it was oriented on the beach. But that doesn't totally convey what a nice spot that can be. The main windows faced kinda west-northwest, which is oriented up the peninsula toward SFO airport. So on a nice evening at Coyote Point you can watch the airplanes come in on a sunset backdrop, like this one...

This is a twilight photo from Coyote Point at low tide. Not the exact same spot as the Castaway, but you get the idea!


Found this menu yesterday...

Dinner menu and Easter Sunday Special menu from The Castaway at Coyote Point in San Mateo CA. Menus are slightly larger than my scanner.



A rare treasure, nice!

Here is the blue on green version of the menu.

I think I have found 7 or 8 of these Castaway restaurants opened by the Tallichet Specialty Restaurant group.


Here are a few newspaper clippings from Castaway at Coyote Point.

This one promises some Tikis on-site!

Amongst the trees, overlooking the bay... I like the sound of that.


kkocka posted on Fri, May 1, 2015 2:43 PM

What great photos in the original post! So sad and interesting to see the structure is still in tact. To think that there used to be so many polynesian restaurants at every town in the US.

Pages: 1 9 replies