Neighborhood Tales: Timberrrr! in Lafayette; Sinkhole Specialist for Moraga

Memories -- and trees -- fall at the site of the old Hungry Hunter in Lafayette. And Moraga gets the guy who beat back a car-swallowing sinkhole as its new Town Engineer.


My memory of the Hungry Hunter site at Mount Diablo and Pleasant Hill Road -- currently under the wrecking ball to make way for townhomes?

None. But I do remember a Mark Spitz lookalike and waiter at the preceding Mountain Jack's restaurant hitting on my girlfriend there waaaay back in the 70s. Of course, she was rocking the Bo Derek-style dreds girls around town adopted after "10" premiered in 1979, and I couldn't stay huffy long -- I would have done the same had the situation been reversed.

Mountain Jack's morphed into Hungry Hunter and its low-slung, redwood shrouded building served as a meeting spot for locals and passersby looking for a place to pull off Highway 24 and rendezvous in its Tahoe-style, woodsy environs.

It appears that several Patchers were around back in those days as the email drums started beating when crews took down one of the massive redwood trees which gave Mountain Jack's its mountain feel -- and then set to work on the building itself. If you remember either of the old restaurants or had a girlfriend who teased the waiters there with her Bo Derek style, drop us a note.

From falling timber to sinkholes -- a bit of a stretch since we've never really had the latter in Lamorinda, but if we do Moraga will be prepared. Turns out the town has lured a star city engineer from Richmond to Moraga, and Edric Kwan knows what to do if we're ever attacked by a BMW-eating sinkhole.

Kwan found himself in the national limelight when the City of Richmond found a sinkhole 30-feet deep and large enough to swallow two cars chewing on city streets not long ago. Kwan led a cooperative effort by an array of civic agencies to build a bypass road around the monster, restore access to frustrated residents cut off by the soggy crater, and eventually managed to overcome Ma Nature and fill in the hole.

Edric will start work in Moraga on July 23. If you see him out there -- hopefully not staring down the lip of a growing sinkhole -- give him a Moraga howdy-do.

Susan S. July 09, 2012 at 05:25 PM
The restaurant which preceded Hungry Hunter was Mountain Jacks. We went there in the mid-70's for special occasions with our young children. They didn't have to wait for the soup or salad to arrive at the table.
J.D. O'Connor (Editor) July 09, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Hey, Susan, thanks... caught that one. Must want a pizza or something subliminal. They didn't have a particularly hairy and good looking waiter there when you were there, by any chance, did they?
Michael Taylor July 09, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Spent a few hours a.... a..... *reading* at the bar there in the eighties. Time flies.
Steve Kelly July 09, 2012 at 11:54 PM
it was a round-drive inn and a signal gas station. the owner drank a big bottle of vodka while working on cars. I was there


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