The location: Old Tony's.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A seaside restaurant.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. On one of the two piers in Newport Beach.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 13 (of season three), "The Pot Stirrer", when Dr. Roberts meets Julie Cooper at a seaside restaurant to talk about their dating for the first time.

    We see him walk in the front door, and cross the restaurant to a table (next to a large window with an ocean view) where Julie is waiting for him. They discuss dating, and how it would affect their kids (Marissa & Summer). She admits she "felt something", and they arrange a first real date at an obscure burger joint.

    The exterior of this restaurant on the pier has also been shown many times on the show, almost accidentally, as part of the pier - for instance, we see it in the background in Episode 12. But Episode 13 was the first time it was featured on the show - and the first time they showed the actual interior of the restaurant.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. Old Tony's, a real restaurant on a pier.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. Like many of "The O.C." locations, this one is on the Redondo Beach Pier, in Redondo Beach. It was originally just called "Tony's", but when they opened a newer restaurant ("Tony's Fish Market") just across the pier from the old one, the original (which remained open) became known as "Old Tony's" (or "Tony's on the Pier").

    The pier is at the west end of Torrance Blvd. Once you get to the Redondo pier, you can't miss it. It sits in the middle of the old middle section of the pier, towering above most of the other buildings with its round, upstairs lounge, a crow’s nest lookout called The Top of Tony's. And if that's not enough, it's right next to another building shaped like a boat, complete with masts... (The exact address is 210 Fisherman's Wharf.)

    (I shot the above photo in late 2006.)

    An old-fashioned, Italian seafood restaurant, Tony's opened back in 1952, the creation of a San Pedro fisherman who thought running a fish restaurant would be easier than fishing for a living. They added the Top of Tony's in 1963. Tony's was one of the few businesses on the Pier to survive a devastating storm and fire that destroyed much of the old Redondo Pier back in 1988. Fortunately, the Pier was rebuilt (using concrete instead of wood for the new sections) - otherwise, the producers of The O.C. would have had to find a new spot to do most of their filming.

    If you want to eat at Tony's, in 2006, most luncheon entrees would set you back about $19, while most dinner entrees cost around $22. You can read their menu here.

    Here is a map link with the exact location. And here is an aerial photo from Live Local. The restaurant even has its own website, at:

    (In the photo above, through the restaurant windows behind Julie, you can see another large restaurant across the pier. That is Kincaid's Bay House, a much more recent arrival at the pier, albeit a more upscale one...)

    (Other O.C. locations on the pier include the real Pier Diner, the Bait Shop, the (fake) Hangin' Tacos cafe, Sandy's law office, and the family planning clinic. Just north at the Redondo Marina is the Balboa Lighthouse restaurant and the Yacht Club.)

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. I've been going to the Redondo Pier for decades - and if you know the Pier, you'll recognize Old Tony's.

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