Thursday, January 3, 2019
Address: 2262 Main Street, Cambria
Status: On the market
I’ve had a particular fantasy over the years that has changed shape and faded in and out of possibility over time. The vision involves owning a restaurant that operates as a breakfast spot from morning until early afternoon, then reopens after a mid-day siesta as a saloon. My diner-turned-saloon would be hopping in the daytime and then rocking from the evening into the wee hours. In true saloon fashion, it would sport sawdust on the floor and icy-cold beer, with the sound of pool balls crashing against each other over the din of the jukebox.
Although I’ve never pursued this dream beyond the far-flung fantasy stage, I’ve had fun musing about it, and I’ve used it as an excuse to research saloons far and wide. One such road trip a few years ago took my friend Juli and me up the coast of California with a stop in Cambria, where we discovered Mozzi’s Saloon.
When a listing came across my desk this week stating that the building that houses Mozzi’s Saloon is for sale, it sure gave me reason to pause.
It’s hard to drive through Cambria without noticing the iconic two-story building that’s home to Mozzi’s. It sits on Main Street, at one entrance of town, near the post office, the chamber of commerce, and the old graveyard in the East Village. I’m told that this area of Cambria was at one time home to five or six saloons, all within a several-block radius. These days, Mozzi’s is the only one that still exists, and it’s a classic.
Mozzi’s was originally called Camozzi’s, after the family who owned it for many years both before and after Prohibition. The face of the building bears the Camozzi name right up top, along with 1922, the year that it was built.
When you’re strolling down Main Street, the building stands out because of its size and character. Its two stories tower over most of its surrounding single-story neighbors, in a style right out of the stereotypical Wild West. Arched windows and doorways are framed in rough patterned stonework set into a stucco facade. The roofline sports red tiles and a decorative arch front and center. Woodwork reminiscent of wagon wheel spokes lends even more western flair.
When you walk through the front doorway, stained glass vies with typical neon bar signs in a colorful grab for patrons’ attention. Once inside the saloon, there is so much decor and memorabilia that I wasn’t sure where to look first. Ranch tools hang from the ceiling, and cows’ skulls grace the walls. Vintage photos, framed articles, and old local signs all clamor for attention along with more characteristic bar mirrors and ephemera. There’s a patio out back and a small stage area. A long bar along one wall gets plenty of use, while rough wooden tables invite patrons to sit a spell and watch a game of pool.
But the first floor is only part of what’s for sale. The “Old Camozzi’s Saloon” building consists of the saloon on the first floor, which is currently leased to Mozzi’s, plus six one-bedroom apartments on the second floor. A side entrance next to the main saloon door leads upstairs to the apartments, all of which were completely renovated in 2008.
The door to each apartment opens from a houseplant-lined hallway. The units all feature bright kitchens with white cabinets and appliances, and double sinks with big windows above. The bathrooms have glass-enclosed showers and vanities. The utilitarian configuration and neutral palette give residents a blank canvas to make their own. The units also enjoy a back stairway with an outdoor patio on the landing.
This configuration is one of the only mixed-use commercial buildings on Cambria’s Main Street. The apartments were once used as hotel rooms and are still permitted as such. While they are currently leased as residential rentals, zoning also allows them to be treated as vacation rentals, giving a potential new owner many options.
This Cambria saloon building for sale gives me plenty to think about. But for now, I’m happy with life as it is. I’ll just keep planning road trips for research and dreaming about “Sarah’s Sunnyside Up Saloon,” or whatever name I come up with next, as a half-baked scheme for the future.
2262 Main Street is currently for sale in Cambria, listed by Kellie Williams of Coldwell Banker Kellie and Associates. Reach Kellie 927-2269 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cambriarealestate.com.