Iconic Roadhouse Newcomb’s Ranch on Angeles Crest Highway Is for Sale
Located along one of the country’s best driving roads, the restaurant has become an iconic gathering place for enthusiasts of all stripes.
Nestled in the San Gabriel Mountains along one of the country's best driving roads, Newcomb's Ranch in Southern California has been a favorite rest stop for motorists on two and four wheels since it was built in 1939. The only piece of private property along the winding Angeles Crest Highway, it's been everything from a gas station, hotel, and brothel since its construction. These days, it's a restaurant and a favorite gathering spot of enthusiasts out for a spirited drive—including Mr. Car Guy himself Jay Leno—and hikers and day-trippers alike looking for a bite to eat. In years past, its curved parking lot doubled as an informal car show every weekend, filling up with dozens and dozens of interesting cars and bikes and crowds stopping by to take in the scene.
Unfortunately, though people still hang out in the lot, the restaurant's been closed for over a year due to the pandemic. And now, Newcomb's Ranch is officially for sale. There's no set price tag on the 10-acre property, which includes the restaurant building and a separate house, but seeing as it's an iconic, impossible-to-replicate location well-loved by tens of thousands of people, it will fetch millions.
There are a lot of things going for Newcomb's Ranch. As we said, it's the only piece of private property in the Angeles National Forest, and literally the only place to get stop for food or a drink along the 55-mile stretch of Angeles Crest that runs between the northern edge of Los Angeles and the mountain town of Wrightwood. There's a built-in customer base of longtime regulars and fans, and Newcomb's is tucked into a beautiful grove of tall pine trees that make it feel like a true escape from everything. Breathing the fresh air, hearing the wind rustle through those needles as you stroll through a parking lot filled with a mix of ratty tuner cars, meticulously restored classics and million-dollar exotics—there may be nothing else like it out there.
But running an isolated business in the middle of a national forest is not an easy task. Direct access has been routinely cut off over the years as portions of Angeles Crest have been closed due to wildfires and landslides. In the winter, much of Angeles Crest is unplowed and impassible for days after a big snowstorm. Supplies must be trucked in regularly, and though the property comes with a freestanding house and more employee lodging on the second floor of the restaurant, owning and/or working Newcomb's either a long commute or a fairly lonely existence. Though traffic is heavy on the weekends, weekdays see far fewer people rolling through (and thus far less money coming in).
More details of the property are shared on the commercial real estate site LoopNet, where the ranch is listed. As well as purchasing the restaurant and bar—which has been closed since the pandemic began in March 2020—the 3-bedroom cabin down the street is also included.
As mentioned, a price is not listed, so any interested buyer will have to inquire with Kennedy Wilson, the brokerage who is managing the sale. It's likely going to be ridiculously expensive, sure, but it's also a change to own a little piece of car culture. Let's hope the new owner continues its legacy.
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