Sunnie’s Ocean Beach Cafe: A former Charger is serving up Mexican food, coffee and more
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 10/29/17 - 08:29 AM | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Point Loma High grad and former San Diego Charger, Israel Stanley, owns and operates Sunnie's Ocean Beach Cafe with his family. / PHOTO BY DAVE SCHWAB
Point Loma High grad and former San Diego Charger, Israel Stanley, owns and operates Sunnie's Ocean Beach Cafe with his family. / PHOTO BY DAVE SCHWAB
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One of the newest diners in Ocean Beach is named for the daughter of the owner, who is named for a favorite past time in the beach community.

Sunnie's at 4723 Point Loma Ave., formerly Hippie-style Java Beach, is owned by Israel Stanley, a Point Loma High grad and former San Diego Charger.

Here's the story behind the new name.

“It is my daughter's name,” said Stanley. 'That's her nickname. Her real name is Sunset — named after Sunset Cliffs.”

After he found out a girl was on the way, Stanley and his family decided it was entirely appropriate to name his new eatery after what they like to do.

“We love watching the sunset, and Sunset Cliffs is our favorite spot to watch sunsets,” he added.

And customers at Sunnies are appreciative of the new look and feel of the place.

“I just love it since they changed (formats) here,” said Kimberly from Seattle, who was down visiting friends in OB. “I love this place. I think it's brilliant that you have Mexican breakfast — because we love it. It adds a nice flavor to this area. It needed a fresh little place like this.”

Stanley said Sunnies is more than “just” a breakfast place.

“It's not just Mexican-style breakfast,” he said. “We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. You get to sit down to five-star food, for to-go fast-food prices. That is it in a nutshell.”

Stanley noted you'd spend double or more for the meals he serves at many other places in town.

Sunnies has also just added new vegan options to its menu, the breakfast items on which include Belgian waffles and French toast, as well as a wide assortment of breakfast burritos and tacos. The restaurant has daily specials and its lunch and dinner menus feature traditional Mexican tacos, chimichangas, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, seafood and flautas.

Comfortable furniture inside and out at Sunnies was brought back by Stanley from Ensenada, Mexico.

A Point Loman since age 15, Stanley was a football player who graduated from Point Loma High in 1988. He became a professional in the NFL, though Stanley noted, “I wasn't a superstar, I was a linebacker and a special teamer and was always worried about getting cut.”

Which is why, Stanley said, “I didn't spend any money, because that day could have been my last day.” He added, “I did not buy a new car until I was finished playing. I drove my college car for years. Everybody laughed at me. But hey man I said, 'It runs, oil is changed and it's good.”

The restaurateur is also involved in the real estate business.

“There is a day job,” Stanley said.

Noting both he and his restaurant are “extremely local,” and that he knows a large percentage of the customers who stroll through his doors, Stanley concluded, “We will treat you kindly — and you will love the food.”

Sunnie’s is located at 4723 Point Loma Ave. For more information, call 619-693-5298 or visit www.sunniesoceanbeach.com.
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