Inside Maverick’s Favourite Dive Bar
The Old Princeton Landing, where big wave surfers come to drink.
Alcohol is just the loveliest social lubricant. Don’t it keep our twisted world rotating? Well, here’s a thing: Up above Maverick’s lies the Old Princeton Landing. Five years ago, Brian Overfelt and his brother Pete bought the place and turned it from a neighbourhood eyesore and derelict hangout, into a joint for music and Half Moon Bay roots to blossom. If Mavs is breaking, the big boys calm their nerves at this local watering hole. “At any given time I’ve got about 20 to 40 guns in my rafters,” Brian tells Stab. “A lot of the boys use my place to stash their Mavs boards. I got Mark Healey’s, Kohl Christensen’s, Jeff Clark’s, Shawn Dollar’s, Josh Redman’s – those are just the ones I’m looking at right now.”
Brian plays an integral role in the big wave community of California’s premiere big wave spot; he’s even employed a few of the clan. South Africa’s Frank Solomon worked behind the bar for a few winter seasons, and Jeff Clark, although not officially employed, insists on working on the food. Other than being the friendly cat serving up burgers, beers and cocktails, Brian’s part of Cartel and on the board for Titans of Mavericks with Jeff and his wife (“We’re the last of the locals,” he claims). The drinks are poured in a historic Californian building, and the food’s all local and organic. “Before we took it over it was a crack house,” says Brian. “A black hole in the community. We came in, cleaned it up and created something better. My mother runs the kitchen and my brother and I run the bar and entertainment. We’ve had Tom Curren play here a few times, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and Donavon Frankenreiter’s played a few shows.”
Cocktail bars are great and all, but certain occasions call for a dimly lit dive bar. Can you imagine The Condor, Flea, Barney and the rest of the Santa Cruz hoodlums slurping down mango daiquiris after a day of paddling the scariest looking brown water mutant on the planet? No, the boys are at the front bar of the Old Princeton, drinking cheap beers outta thick glasses and hammering shots of Jack.
If Maverick’s is breaking, The Old Princetown always hosts the debrief. “During that swell where G-Mac (Garret McNamara) dislocated his shoulder (in one of the heaviest wipeouts ever seen at Mavs, the man catapulted and skipped down a 50-foot face that could’ve easily killed him), the boys were out charging. I was at the bar, waiting for them to come in, when all the sudden I get tackled by Kenny Collins who was with Derek Dunfee. Kenny goes, ‘You hear what happened to Dunfee? Clark ran him over with his Zodiac!’ Derek was all bummed, asking, ‘Did I do something wrong? I pulled out of this wave into the channel and Jeff ran me over and broke my board in half.’”
“Basically Jeff was in there, super close, like he always is,” explains Brian. “He was trying to get out and ran Derek over, it was an accident. So we’re all in here drinking beers and having a good time when Clark runs in. Collins yells ‘Hey Clark, you ran Derek over on your Zodiac!’ Clark shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘Well, he is from So Cal.’”
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