For those of you who come to Cook's Corner for the first time you will find Cook's is more than a place. It's a DESTINATION !

Cooks Corner was named after Andrew Jackson Cook who acquired about 190 acres of Aliso Canyon in a land trade in 1884.  His son, Earl Jack "E.J." Cook, converted a cabin into a restaurant for miners and local ranchers.  Soon after the ending of Prohibition in 1933, alcohol was added to the menu and Cook's Corner became a full-fledged bar.  In 1946, Cook bought an old mess hall from the Santa Ana Army Air Base and the tavern was born.  In 1970 a Santa Ana motorcycle accessories owner purchased it and Cook's Corner was molded into what it represents today - an old fashioned roadhouse as rugged-looking as a World War II-era mess-hall turned biker bar should look. This is a great place just to hang. These days, the oldest "leathers" are just off the rack, but there are hundreds of bikes, bikers, and biker chicks roaming around trying to look nasty. The grill puts out some terrific stuff, and a pitcher of beer is always cold.

Two regional parks draw people to the area - O'Neill and Whiting Ranch Wilderness.  Roads out of the canyon lead to interesting trailheads for such scenic wonders as Holy Jim Falls and Vulture Crags.  To many, Cook's Corner is the spiritual center of Trabuco Canyon, though St. Michael's Abbey and the Ramakrishna Monastery share that honor.

 

 

Cook's Corner circa 1973 in a photo by Lloyd Denny. Parking lots appear to be dirt. The windows are original GI issue and there is no overhang on the roof. The Cook's sign is centered over the main doorway.
 

 

Cook's Corner about 1997.
Note tall Cedar trees growing through holes in the roof and the hanging flower boxes. Even then, efforts were being made to beautify the old building. The Cook's sign has been moved forward and a new roof with an overhang has been added.

Every year on the first Sunday in May, Cook's hosts a spring Blessing of the Bikes.  Since 2000 this event has raised thousands of dollars for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.  Many hundreds of bikes converge on the Corner to be blessed by Fr. James Smith from the neighboring St. Michael's Abbey.  The connection between Cook's and St. Michael's goes back over 40 years to 1960, when the Norbertine Fathers, exiled from Hungary, purchased 34 acres of land from Jack Cook and proceeded to build St. Michael's Abbey and seminary. 

 

Cook's Corner about 2000. The cedars are now gone, but the holes in the roof remain. and now it's the Ivy look.

The tents in the photo center belong to Biker Wear House. Biker Wear House has been serving visitors to Cook's Corner for over 15 years.

Cook's is a main stopping point for many of the motorcycle tour groups that visit Southern California each year. Visitors represent almost every country in the world brought together by a common language, motorcycle.

Trabuco Canyon received its name when members of the 1769 Portola Expedition trekked through the canyon and lost a blunderbuss (Spanish: trabuco).  The weapon was never found.