Back in 1972, Jim and Vera Eubank began visiting North San Diego County, which at the time was a very quaint and rural farming area filled with fruit groves and chicken ranches. Jim was a real estate developer and had just completed construction on two commercial buildings in the Hollywood Hills area and was ready for a new challenge. So, after months of exploring the North County region, Jim and Vera sold their home in Newport Beach and moved to San Marcos.
After settling into the new community and to occupy some of their free time, Jim and Vera began selling oranges, lemons and grapefruit from the back of their truck. In a very short time, the community embraced Jim’s entrepreneurial charm and legendary stories and the Eubanks felt they had made the best choice for their new home. Jim and Vera loved the rural setting and with Jim’s business background recognized what potential the area had to offer for the future. They were confident San Marcos would become a busy commerce center and decided to purchase the 20 acre parcel on what is now San Marcos Blvd. and Via Vera Cruz.
Located halfway between Escondido and the coast, San Marcos provided the best opportunity for travelers and locals to stop and enjoy the tranquil valley. Jim constructed a small building on the property and started the first ‘Farmers Market’ utilizing both the local and the Los Angeles produce market to supply what became a brisk business venture. As they saw their business grow Jim soon realized another opportunity that was lacking in the area-restaurants.
In the mid 70’s, he began construction on an open food court with outside seating and a small garden area. As popularity for the stop became the ‘talk of the town’, he recognized that a small food court just wasn’t enough, and in 1978 Jim personally built his first full service restaurant, Gentlemen’s Choice.
Soon other restaurants followed with the construction of a seafood house and an Italian pizzeria. And over the next 25 years, Jim Eubank’s vision transformed San Marcos into a premier entertainment destination with 15 restaurants and the completion of the Edward’s Cineplex in 1998.
Jim’s influence in the community with his exceptional creation and success was recognized in 1995 when the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce named him Business Person of the Year.
Today, Old California Restaurant Row stands as testament to what one man’s dream can accomplish.