Avila Beach Custom House

Real Estate Agent with Sand Shell Realty

Avila Beach Tennis Courts, Pier, and OceanAvila Beach is one of my favorite towns on the Central Coast of California in San Luis Obispo County. Located just off the beaten path of Highway 101 between San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach is a country beach town with sandy beaches, orchards, resorts, sulfur springs, and a charming little town you don't want to miss.

Avila Beach is right next to Port San Luis Obispo and the Avila Beach Pier. The area suffered an oil leak in 1998 but since the massive cleanup that removed tons of soil, sand and oil this beach front town has been totally renovated and become one of the most popular beach towns on the Central Coast. 

My family and I frequent this area to go to the Avila barn which provides apple, and peach picking in their seasons, animals for the kids to pet and look at, and then to go to the Avila beach. One of the newest discoveries for us was a great restaurant that somehow we had missed, "The Custom House".

The Custom House is a nice restaurant in Avila Beach for casual dining before, after, or during your experience at Avila Beach. Located right across the street from the sand you can enjoy the sound and views of the ocean as you enjoy good service and food at reasonable prices.


Below is a Little History of the Custom House and Avila Beach that was on their menu:


Oceanic shipping became common in the first half of the 19th Century using Port San Luis. There were stage lines and small gauge railroads created to run supplies to and from Port San Luis and San Luis Obispo. Oil companies built pipelines to the port to ship out to all points in the Pacific. In 1906, San Luis Bay was designated an official United States Port of Entry for California. A $500,000 breakwater was built using rock blasted from Morro Rock in Morro Bay, CA., still seen today out the front windows. Since then Morro Rock has become a protected national landmark and no more rock removal is permitted.

The port was originally under the jurisdiction of San Francisco. Deputy collectors required offices to work, so David Muzio of Avila Beach built what was The "Old" Custom House. The building was dedicated on March 19, 1927, creating the largest celebration the county had ever seen.

The Old Custom House opened as a restaurant in 1971. Over the next 25 years, The Old Custom House Restaurant served up many freshly made meals, famous Bloody Marys, and provided a good time for locals and tourists alike.

A large oil leak was discovered in 1998 under the beach front property of Avila Beach, CA.. The ensuing cleanup forced the closure of many shops, restaurants and other businesses in "downtown" Avila Beach. After two years, and the removal of 6,750 truckloads of soil, the cleanup was completed and construction of the "new" Old Custom House and Mr. Rick's was started. The Old Custom House and Mr. Rick's were completed in 2002 and were among the first businesses to reopen along the redesigned Front Street Promenade in Avila Beach.


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Comments (3)

Rita Taylor
None - Sanford, NC
Sanford NC Real Estate - Homes for Sale in Sanford North Carolina


Beautiful picture - reminds me of driving down the California Coast while my husband was stationed in Monterey many years ago.  The coast is spectacular along the stretch between LA and San Francisco. 

Sep 23, 2007 01:26 PM
Elaine Stewart
Elaine Stewart is the #1 Individual RE/MAX Agent for 13 years straight in the Coachella Valley. (760) 668-2399 - Palm Desert, CA
RE/MAX All-Pro
Incredible view, thanks for sharing this beautiful spot, I have driven the 101, its a wonderful road.
Dec 30, 2007 11:40 AM
Suzi Chaffin
Re/Max North Orange County - Fullerton, CA

Hey neighbor ! Great house and I love this beach too !!! When I was a kid my family went every year to Morro Bay and camped. We'd go clam diggin' and my older brother went diving for abalone's. We'd go out on one of the farmer's properties on the coast and ride our dirtbikes too.  Those were the days !!!

Jun 06, 2008 11:46 AM