JJ"s Cantina to Change Owners, Remodel in January

Mexico Joe

Cholla Bay 4 Life
Yep, 4-5 years ago, Joe me $4.5 mil, but flexible and negotiable, LOL

JJ's property includes the old gas station, and 3 big lot's, the Santa Claus Bldg. and all the parking near JJ's.
There are some lots with rentals up (where you probably stayed ) on the hill to the south and a rental house near Pelican Pt.

There could be more I'm not aware of. They own a fair amount of land around JJ's.
I know he want to sell the whole package but now might be ready to break it up into pieces to lease/sell.

In March the last time I spoke with Joe, he told me, he hadn't taken a draw from JJ's in 6 months
because business was that slow. Also, Joe is at least 75 now.
Aren't they both from New Mexico? AC business? The gas station wow! I forgot that thing even sits there. There's a vendor that sets up there nowadays. I forget his name but he always comes and talks to Claudia and I when we're breaking down the jet ski, now boat.

Any chance Pemex would lease that?! That would be epic to have gas in Cholla Bay. Driving the boat all the way back out to the windmill is a major pain but I guess if I was smart enough we'd fill her up on the way in lol... but regardless multiple day use you would have to go back out to WM at least once for gas.
 

Mexico Joe

Cholla Bay 4 Life
My wife remembers her first time at JJs in 1979 or 1980. Her ex in-laws (who are still our friends) have owned a place in Choya forever. We still go maybe once a year for the memories but that’s about it. Randy has a definite history of success in Penasco and I am hoping he finds a way to upgrade JJs while still maintaining some of the old school feeling. I’m betting he will succeed.
I hope so too. I was bitching to my gf last night and she's like why do you even care?! All upset like. I'm like, I don't know... I guess I've always felt like Cholla Bay was my second home even though I've never been an owner. I felt like a regular. The best part is that over the last 3 or 4 years we don't spend more than 5 minutes a trip in there but I guess that's how it goes when you lose something. Makes you think you should have spent a little more time taking it in. Hopefully it gets renovated and improved while still keeping the old school Cholla Bay theme. I mean, all restaurants have themes... That's what differentiates them. Why not make it authentic but cool. Pay homage to the founding. None of us would be in CB if it wasn't for the Kenny's and Lucky Chuckys of the world and their parents I should say. The 50's in CB must have been SANDLOT epic!
 

Idyllwild

Well Known Member
A strategy that might work to draw in people who otherwise wouldn’t come to Cholla would be a fish house featuring local catches of the day straight off the boat. Since the new owner might be getting some adjacent properties there could be a larger footprint to work with. Keep some form of the original JJs with improvements to restrooms, kitchen and menu, and have an adjacent new structure serving fresh fish platters with a choice from 5 or 6 sides. With 6 Oz filets and two sides plus bread pricing could be in the $20 to $25 per plate range. Have an open kitchen and a view of the dock. Craft beers, a wine list featuring some Vale de Guadalupe wines in the $20 to $35 range, and decent bar with tequila, rum, rye whiskey, and gin cocktails. Wait staff would be key. Not at the level of Garufa, but well above Oyster House. I’ve been in several restaurants in Puerto Peñasco where I’ve had to show the bartender how to shake a gin martini and serve it with a twist. Once at Bryan’s Sports bar I watched in horror as the bartender got everything right up to the last step and instead of shaving a twist of lime peel into the glass, squeezed the juice of an entire lime in, creating a cloudy and unpalatable waste of $10.

So, leverage the location and history to create a destination fish house with casual dining ambiance and service and amenities meeting US dining expectations. Smoking and bottle beer would still be the rule at the next door renewed JJs with plates from next door available.
 

Bob Oso

Well Known Member
Man Idyllwild...sure have put a lot of thought into a place you don't live and a bar you don't own. I get it though, that's your interpretation of what would be an ideal dining experience. "Amenities meeting US dining expectations", is not why I've been going to Mexico all these years. And particularly why I've enjoyed our place in Cholla. Shit, if I wanted all what you posted in Cholla I'd save the gas and stay in the states.
 

brokenwave

Well Known Member
The great thing about Cholla is the mix of people who stay there, there's people struggling to get by who
can't afford to live in the US and then there are millionaires and lot's of people in between.

Way too many Cholla locals with modest incomes and the richer are just as happy eating a few taco's with a beer
as people eating at Garufa's downing a $30 steak and $10 drinks.

The Oyster House was a great idea and much needed addition for Cholla (minus the 2nd story), but the owner screwed
that up by being way too cheap with help, food portions/quality, quality control and other items.

They had a pretty smooth running operation (mostly smooth) with the crew he had before Covid hit.
Edgar was the manager, Sergio from JJ's and a really good chef.
The Service was OK - Good, the same with the food. Then he tried to screw his contract workers from pre-Covid closing,
they staged protest's in front of the Oyster House in Oct 2020 and it went downhill pretty fast after that.
He did have to pay them off to stop protesting and go away.

We stopped going because the new/current manager is terrible, the service is terrible, the food barely OK and they won't
turn on the A/C, if it's under 85 inside. Then they moved the mini-split's upstairs to the sports bar,
because the kitchen heated up the down stairs dining room forcing him to turn them on when customers complained.
So no A/C unit's, no problema.
 

Idyllwild

Well Known Member
Man Idyllwild...sure have put a lot of thought into a place you don't live and a bar you don't own. I get it though, that's your interpretation of what would be an ideal dining experience. "Amenities meeting US dining expectations", is not why I've been going to Mexico all these years. And particularly why I've enjoyed our place in Cholla. Shit, if I wanted all what you posted in Cholla I'd save the gas and stay in the states.
Two minutes of my time, and not at all what I consider an ideal dining experience, and I kayak there whenever the tide is in. If they wanted people to drive in a casual dining fish house is the natural strategy, what Oyster House aspired to and failed at.
 

Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
I really find it hard to believe any of you other than Mexico Joe ever really frequent JJ's dumpy beer joint. Just take a look at the vehicles parked in front on any week end. 99% off-roaders in for a cold brew and some yakity bullshit. We hit the joint every time we go down to swig a few TKT's after some clam digging or lure pitching.

We always get a few of their delicious fish tacos with melted queso blanco, a plate of drippy greasy free-jollies refritos and slather them up with some of their filthy fly infested condiments just to ensure that our immune system is up to snuff! Stiff necked wine and rye wisky??? Who da fuck do you think your kidding? You can even smoke some mota there and no one even bats an eye!

You can always count on cheap entertainment with idiots driving their high end 4x4's out on the mud flats at low tide, getting swamped in the "quick sand" above the doors and trecking out and leaving it to mother nature and the tides. Last summer whilst sitting on a bar stool with a two foot puddle of sweat around the stool legs we saw a solitary Vaquita playing with a group of local kids who didn't even notice the porpoise as anything unusual.

Plenty of good drunkin boob and leg action for those with the eye. Always some good shitty music and drunk old timers like me to add to the ambiance.

You can always get a little bolsa of the worst dog shit ganga on earth from the curio vendor at the old Pemex station accross the dirt road for a real steal.

It's always entertaining feeding the Hermann Gulls, English Sparrows and Great Tailed Grackles your left over "food" whilst swatting those dirty black moscas that just had a meal on some juicy fresh drunk's poop in the open trough banos.

Most of you probably don't know that those huge gnarly Tamarisk trees are hundreds of years old dating back to the times of the first Spanish explorers. They brought cuttings and planted them everywhere they found fresh water. The group of ancient Tamarisks farther up the beach sit on an artesian well with sweet fresh water that originates up in the Pinacates. The Indians especially the Papagos depended on that spring when they made their trips to gather sea shells for their fabulous bead work and salt needs.

There is a lot more of history to that place than most would ever know.

Later,

JJ
 

Jungle Jim

Well Known Member
So does anyone recall what was in the building before it was JJ's?

I can remember when the gas station was open and mostly serviced boats.

JJ
 

mexicoruss

Lovin it in RP!
So does anyone recall what was in the building before it was JJ's?

I can remember when the gas station was open and mostly serviced boats.

JJ
It was called the "dirty bar" Joe told me the name of the lady that owned it, I forgot it of course. Story is the owners never went to the dump but they used an inside warehouse to dispose of their garbage, Joe told me it took weeks to clean it out after he bought it.
 

VegasDude

Active Member
According to the article I posted it was called ........................ El Club de Pesca La Cholla. Probably had multiple different names before JJ's.
 
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