clear sky


Laguna Beach

 Volume 12, Issue 95  |  November 27, 2020

Locals for Laguna Beach steps up to “Save the Bird” with T-shirt fundraiser


The Sandpiper Lounge is a family business that also happens to be a Laguna Beach institution. In 2019, Chuck Harrell, owner of the Sandpiper, told Stu News, “My uncle opened the Sandpiper in 1942, and he had it for about 12 years. Then he sold the business, and it changed hands four times. In ‘69, my brother and I were right out of the military and the place was up for sale. So my mom asked us if we wanted to try the bar business. We said, ‘Sure.’ So we bought the bar, and to clear escrow, we were rolling quarters.”

Chuck, his brother Chip, and their mother Jeana officially took ownership of the bar on December 6, 1969. (Sadly, Chip passed away in 2018.)

Now, almost 51 years later, the Sandpiper – like all businesses – has been hit hard by the pandemic.

To help Chuck and his wife Jeannie, Locals for Laguna Beach is selling “Save the Bird” T-shirts with the proceeds going to Chuck and Jeannie. 

Locals for Laguna Beach Chuck Harrell 1

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Chuck Harrell at Sandpiper Lounge in May of 2019

Jason Garza of Locals for Laguna Beach says, “I called Chuck repeatedly to ask the status of the Sandpiper. He said they had been closed the entire year and unable to open because the new COVID-19 mandates state you must serve food with any alcohol, and they are strictly a bar. He had just spent money on renovations just weeks before the surprise closing was enforced. It was the first in decades so they were out more money than usual to begin with.” 

Chuck and Jeannie attended several Local for Laguna Beach weekly meetings (where locals from town address how we can help the town and what projects are most needed) and Garza, along with Melissa Martinez and Jeff Booth, came up with the idea to create a limited edition shirt from Locals for Laguna Beach, specifically with the intention of raising money for the Harrells. 

The idea for the graphics came from Melissa, who took a picture of the famous door covered in decades of stickers and put it on a shirt. Martinez and Garza designed the front logo, which is a homage to the very first logo the Sandpiper had but with a new vibe. 

Locals for Laguna Beach Chuck Harrell 2

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo 

Fundraiser T-shirt was inspired by the Sandpiper’s famous door covered in decades of stickers

“In the nature of how Locals for Laguna Beach works (involve and support as many from the community as possible per project), we reached out to Summer Meek of Soul Project to make these special shirts, so that it could literally be made in Laguna by locals and for locals,” says Garza. “They are of highest quality and printing possible with no expense spared.”

To purchase a “Save the Bird” T-shirt, click here.

For more information about Locals for Laguna Beach go to

For questions, email Jason at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: [email protected] for questions about advertising


Email: [email protected] with news releases, letters, etc.


© 2020 Stu News Laguna - All Rights Reserved.