The best little general store in San Gregorio

Okay, so it’s the only general store in San Gregorio. In fact, it is San Gregorio, unless you want to count a nearby farmhouse, an old barn and a rusted out VW bug. And this general store is not your grandpappy’s general store, with old-timers sitting on creaky chairs under a rickety front overhang. Located less than a mile off Hwy 1 in San Gregorio (pop. 287), the setting is appropriately country, with the closest town being Pescadero eight miles to the south and Half Moon Bay 12 miles north. But the big difference at this general store is the old-timers ride Harleys.

The place is an odd mix of a little bit of everything. According to their website, it includes:

Saloon, lanterns, seeds, no television, U.S. Post Office, cast iron cookware, aspirin, advice, wines fine to rot gut, western and work clothing, groceries, hardware, bullshit, toys, cowtechnician hats, international beers, beeswax, cheesecloth, piano in-tune, books (literature, poetry, gender and environmental politics), homemade sandwiches, diapers, crockery, weather analysis, coal hods, raccoon traps, tequila (18 flavors), posters, cards, tee shirts, buttons, candles, rain gear, organic garlic, apples and butternut squash in season, live music (Irish R&B, bluegrass, original everything else).

I’ve never visited the General Store during the week, but it’s something of a destination for bikers and cyclists on the weekend. And for good reason. It’s a challenging but beautiful ride along Hwy 1 or 84. And once here, you can enjoy a beer or cocktail at the old wood bar (Bloody Mary is their specialty), and listen to live acoustic music throughout the day (11am to 5pm). Or check out all the unusual wares, some of it practical for camping or beach-going, other kitschy stuff like funny hats and aprons with jokes like ‘caution, men cooking’.

The place is definitely unique, and probably uniquely Bay Arean as well, and seems to attract a type of aging not-exactly-hippies-but-definitely-not-yuppies from Santa Cruz or the surrounding villages like La Honda or Pescadero. Walking through the front door of the General Store always brings on an ‘ahh cool!’ moment for first time visitors. And with the excellent San Gregorio State Beach just down the road, it’s easily worth the hour drive.

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