Carmel Magazine

Spring-Summer 2019

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Page 231 of 267

The Donut Gang Nearly Seven Centuries of Wisdom and Knowledge B Y M I C H A E L C H AT F I E L D A nyone interested in learning the history of Carmel and the Monterey Peninsula area would do well to stop by From Scratch Restaurant in the Barnyard just about any weekday morning. That's where a group of friends gathers to sip coffee, enjoy each other's company, and discuss just about any other topic that might arise, including the latest goings-on in President Donald J. Trump's Washington. And they've been doing so since Lyndon Baines Johnson occupied the White House. "That's a hell of a lot of coffee," says longtime attendee John Odello. He and his brother Mike have been part of the "Donut Gang" since its early days, when the group of mostly World War II veterans began the tradition at a gas station at the corner of 6th and Mission in downtown Carmel-by- the-Sea (current location of Grasing's restaurant). The group has gathered at a succession of spots since landing at From Scratch. From the gas station, the gang relocated to the former Butcher Shop restaurant on Ocean Avenue; to Peyton's Place in Carmel Valley (now the site of Baja Cantina); to the late, great Thunderbird Bookshop in the Barnyard and to their current table at From Scratch when that eatery opened its doors in 1977. These gentlemen range in age from 75 to a full century and boast a 230 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 9

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