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NEIGHBORHOOD EATERY

Regulars Keep Joe's Legacy Alive

October 06, 1994|MICHAEL KRIKORIAN

Joe Filkosky may have willed Joe's, his Redondo Beach restaurant, to his two children, but when he passed away last month at 61, in a way he really left it to his other family: the workers at Joe's, from the cooks and dishwashers to the managers and waitresses.

"I really miss him a lot. We were like his family too," says manager Teri Boyd, who has worked at the popular Pacific Coast Highway roadhouse for 20 years. She isn't the only longtime employee at Joe's--20 employees have been working there for more than five years. And hundreds of customers have been eating at Joe's for as long. Some have come there regularly since the place opened in 1969.

It was just a counter with six stools when Philadelphia-born Filkosky took over a quarter of a century ago. Through the years, he turned it into one of the most popular South Bay beach restaurants, complete with outdoor patio with six long communal tables. Regulars know that to avoid the inevitable wait, especially on weekends, the best bet is an early (say, 5:30 a.m.) start. Others claim that the wait is part of the Joe's Experience.

Many of the breakfast crowd come for the John Wayne special ($4.50): two eggs over medium topped with cheese on a bed of fried potatoes covered with bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes, served with two sausage patties. Others prefer the Joe's special ($4), two biscuits topped with sausage patties drenched with country gravy, served with two eggs and fried potatoes.

A few chalkboard specials are always available, perhaps a guacamole omelet with bacon ($5.50) or the chile verde ranchero ($5.50), chunks of pork in a green chili sauce over eggs and tortillas.

At dinner, the most expensive item is a 16-ounce porterhouse steak ($8.50), served with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and soup or salad. A frequent special is roasted turkey served with stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, a vegetable and a biscuit ($5.50).

Joe's is at 400 N. Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach. (310) 376-9570. Open Monday through Saturday, 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m,., and Sunday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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