Ranch & Coast Magazine

June 2023

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88 JUNE 2023 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE Initially, the restaurant staff was all family, plus one paid employee. Jenny Alexander was a holdover from the Mickey's Burgers and Orange Julius operations that had previously occupied the storefront. While Alexander got a weekly paycheck, the family was working for sweat equity. Rubio recalls working double shifts during the early days. To survive and revive between lunch and dinner shifts, Rubio kept a dark green chaise lounge in the kitchen. e recliner was made of woven plastic. It had a metal ratchet that clicked when the head and the leg portions were unfolded. "Some days I'd open the shop in the morning and close at night," he says. "Between lunch and dinner, I'd put the chaise lounge in the prep area where nobody could see me. I'd catch a few z's if I could." During those hours, Rubio left the front door unlocked and put a bell on the counter with a note that instructed customers to ring it for service. "I'd wake up, splash water on my face, go out there, and take their order," he says. Rubio turns 68 on June 4. He's earned the right to sit by the pool and reflect. Instead, he's heading off after our meeting to the company's Carlsbad office. He goes in a couple days a week. ere's a meeting with the real estate committee on his calendar. And a fish taco contest to judge. His schedule isn't rigorous, but his outlook is reflected in the lyrics of a favorite Jimmy Buffett song: "Oh, yesterday's over my shoulder, so I can't look back for too long…ere's just too much to see waiting in front of me and I know that I just can't go wrong." Rubio is still engaged and involved. And a 40-year anniversary is a big deal. Right? "It is and it isn't," Rubio says. "I'm a forward-looking person. On occasion, I'll sit out here with my son or daughter. We'll have cocktails, I'll smoke a cigar and we'll reflect. But 40 years is just a milestone. Let's move forward. I want the brand to grow, again. So, I'm looking ahead. << The Rubios moved from La Jolla to Olivenhain in 2011 and it quickly felt like home. Dione loves to garden and each season brings new blooms. The vast outdoor spaces, with views of the rolling hills, are perfect for dining and entertaining Dione Rubio grew up riding and is a longtime fan of the friendly, warm Icelandic horse breed, known for their long, flowing manes and tails

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