Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Rent Hikes End Eras

By Justin Conjurski


The smell of bread baking and sandwiches toasting as the line begins to form, getting longer and longer until it reaches the double glass doors.

It was my first day at my first job.

I was 17 years old and a junior at Brea-Olinda High School. That day I took my first bite of “The Original”.

Lean smoked ham with Genoa & cotto salamis, cheddar, mozzarella & Parmesan cheeses, black olives, red onion, lettuce, tomato, mustard and Schlotzsky’s own signature sauce. Served on a toasted house-made sourdough bun the combination of all the spices and different flavors hit my taste buds like a stinging hurricane engulfing my whole being.

Schlotzsky’s wasn’t just a sandwich deli to my friends and I, it was a symbol of our beginning as friends and people.

It was here I created memories that will last a life time. It was here that I met my best friend to this day who also met his wife. I was the best man at their wedding. Their son calls me uncle. A place I luckily got to share with my future wife and enjoy that pleasure of a simple American food put together in a unique, delicious way. An experience we will treasure and reminisce for the rest of our lives.

A staple of Brea, Calif. cuisine and a personal connection to this writer is forced to shut its doors after recent rent hikes.

Growing up in Brea, Schlotzsky’s Deli was a hidden gem for local restaurants. Based in Atlanta and being dominant more in the Midwest, only a few Schlotzsky’s have ever existed on this side of the country.

News of the closure truly hit me hard. This is where my friends and I enjoyed a unique type of sandwich such as “The Original” and spent many nights of our unforgettable high school years. Not only did I enjoy the food but I got to work for the restaurant I loved so much. We all loved and enjoyed this local eatery and shared many memories that helped us live a childhood we can look back on and smile. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t a rare story. Even in the same complex, another restaurant has just shut its doors due to the same reason. Mammalucco’s was a classic New York-style pizzeria enjoyed by Brea residents for many years. Almost every person has a story of a similar establishment they grew up with that has been forced to shut its doors. With more and more of these chain restaurants popping up and being able to afford these insane rate hikes, the local favorites are disappearing.

Although Schlotzsky’s is gone in California, it will forever be a reminder of my amazing childhood and a symbol to future generations of how these local restaurants shaped our hometown and the lives of the people who adored them.