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O.C. Secret Spot: Aquariums in the Ceiling at Turk's

Learn about one of Dana Point's quirkiest hidden spots.

What is Turk's? You'll have some idea if you mix the elegance of the Dana Point Harbor, a bit of the salty charm of the sailors who once haunted her shores, and a dash of the funkiness found in a still-running 1950s diner.

If you can imagine what that place would look like—aquariums in the ceiling, brass hand railings and studded booths, wooden walls covered in vintage bric-a-brac and photos—you'd have Turk's.

This quirky and warm little bar was named for Harry "Turk" Vartersian, and if you forget, just take a gander at the commemorative photos of the body builder and actor on virtually every wall in the place. 

Along with its unusual atmosphere, Turk's offers a hearty menu including burgers, fries, steak and fried fish—the perfect food for those stumbling off their boats with whale-like appetites. Turk's sits right on the water, too, so you can rest at the bar with your gin and tonic and watch the sunset.

But you wont be alone. Turks is a popular hang-out for a pretty regular crowd of rowdy, friendly 50- to 60-somethings who can be found chatting, having beers and listening to oldies and classic rock.

To find Turks: 

  • Head down to the Dana Point Harbor by exiting PCH from the 5 South
  • Turn left when you see signs for Dana Point Harbor, just after the welcome bridge
  • Turn left on Golden Lantern, and stay left, driving all the way to the parking lot near the Wind and Sea. Turks is on the far side of the cluster of shops, facing out to the southern end of the harbor

Bottoms up, sailors!

Whiskey Bent October 22, 2012 at 07:30 PM
Love Turks! It is not however for the inexperienced drinker. :)

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