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Local shop in Pismo closes after nearly half a century in business

Posted at 11:41 PM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 15:34:16-04

The City of Pismo Beach is set to renovate their pier in just a few weeks.

These renovations to the pier mean saying goodbye to a local favorite that has been greeting visitors for almost half a century.

Sheldon's Clam Stand, or as locals know it, the Bait Shack.

Tuesday, October 1, would have marked its 45th year in business for Sheldon's Clam Stand at the pier.

Instead the shop closed down this past Sunday, as the owners and the city weren't able to find a solution.

The Bait Shack has been a mainstay at the Pismo Pier, since 1974.

A place for locals and tourists to get fishing gear, souvenirs, and snacks.

Many in the community are sad to see it go.

"It sucks because one of the main reasons I liked coming here was because of that place,” said Jaden Salutan, Oceano resident.

Salutan says he's been coming to fish on the Pismo Pier for years.

He says without a bait shop just walking distance away, it could effect fishing going forward.

"Once they take that away, it's like half the people here are going to be bait less, they won't have anything because a lot of people here come down here and just swing by there,” said Salutan.

When the owners of the bait shack announced the news on Facebook, hundreds commented on the news.

Some sad, others upset and confused.

The reason for the closure, renovations to the pier.

Jorge Garcia, management services director with the city of Pismo Beach said, “We want to keep the essence of the City of Pismo Beach and what makes us so unique, and I think part of that is adapting to change as it happens."

Garcia says the city has been working with the owners of the bait shop for months to try and find an alternative location.

Regina Sheldon, is an owner of the shack and she said she understands a lease is never guaranteed but says in a statement:
"There's so much history and heritage connected to this shack, it feels like more than just a business. We've been a little disappointed that there isn't more interest with the city in preserving a visitor serving business that promotes the recreational use of the pier."

There was an option for the bait shack to stay on the pier, it involved operating in an airstream trailer that the city will have as a part of the renovations.

The owners would have had to serve more food and include alcohol but Garcia says the owners weren't willing to continue in that role.