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Harry’s Coffee Shop in La Jolla still all about family

John Rudolph stands outside his family’s restaurant. Photo: Dave Schwab
John Rudolph stands outside his family’s restaurant. Photo: Dave Schwab

Since 1960, consistency has been the hallmark of La Jolla’s family-owned and operated diner, Harry’s Coffee Shop at 7545 Girard Ave.

“It’s a very family-oriented place, a comfortable environment,” said John Rudolph, who runs Harry’s along with sister Elizabeth Gotfredson. “We get newborn babies to 100- year-old customers, all different walks of life. Hopefully they all feel welcome and are treated the same.”

The restaurant, open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily for breakfast and lunch, is a real slice of Americana. Saturday Evening Post Norman Rockwell covers line the eatery’s walls in the main room. In the hallway leading in from the back are photos of local sports teams and longtime customers.

“Most customers do live in La Jolla, but we get people from all over the city and quite a few tourists,” said Rudolph, noting the staff’s personal touch.

“We know details about our customers — so and so just had a grandchild — that a lot of places wouldn’t,” he added. “We spend more time with these people that come in here than our own families.”

There are two new developments at Harry’s.

“We made a few changes in the restaurant layout recently to try to make it a little more efficient and improve the overall flow,” said Rudolph. “And we came out with a new menu in the last month, new lunch and breakfast items, the first time in a few years.”

Harry’s now features fresh fruit and some more health-conscious choices. The menu also includes carne asada and Mediterranean omelettes, which have become very popular.

“There’s a flavor to their food that I was brought up on,” said longtime customer Michael Ebert, who’s been frequenting Harry’s with wife Carmen for 40 years. “It’s reminiscent for me of what it was like when I was kid growing up, and I still like that flavor even in my old age.”

Call Harry’s at (858) 454-7381.