09 November 2010

Mike’s Projects: Original Mike’s Restaurant

Posted in Big Mike

Each week, I’d like to feature one of the properties I’ve had the chance to work on in my career as a builder and real estate developer.  orginal-mikes-mike-harrah-blogTo start, I thought you might like to learn a little bit about a restaurant I like so much, I gave it my name- Original Mike’s.  There have been quite a few articles about this restaurant, and you can find some of them here http://mikeharrah.com/news/articles/20-original-mikes-, here http://mikeharrah.com/news/articles/18-wonderland-original-mikes-is-a-feast-for-the-senses and here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/340607.

Original Mike’s was originally built in 1919—it was the United Automotive building and sold cars for many years.  When I bought it, the handsome structure had been vacant for 18 years and a lot of the historic character had been buried under years of vandalism and disuse.  Our crew stripped it back to the bare bones and then painstakingly restored all of the original fixtures. We currently have photos hanging inside the restaurant that were taken back when Santa Ana was a young city and the building was brand new.


One of my favorite things about Original Mike’s is that it combines my love of good food with my passion for great cars. Since the building once held classic autos, I felt it was important for the restaurant floor to be a show place of some of the really interesting vehicles I’ve collected.  On display, there’s the first fire truck from the Santa Ana Fire Department, a 1936 Packard, and there’s even a Triumph Motorcycle hanging from the ceiling.


The slogan for Original Mike’s is “Good Cookin’, Good Eatin’, Good Livin’” and we don’t mess around. I’m a big guy—any mention of “Mike Harrah” always seems to emphasize that I’m 6’6. So when we put together a menu for Original Mike’s, I made sure the food lived up to my standards. The burgers are big. The onion rings are crisp. The ribs are juicy.

I hope I’ll see you around.  Original Mike’s has live music, a serious outdoor dining patio and private rooms available for parties.



Mike Harrah

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