Meet Ron Schur, best known as Captain Ron and owner of The Galley since 1989. Originally from New York City, Ron arrived in Los Angeles with big dreams of becoming a standup comedian. Lacking courage to get up on stage, Schur switched gears and opened a handful of fast food spots named Snacks 5th Avenue.
With success on the horizon, one of Ron's favorite places to hang out was The Galley in Santa Monica. In 1971, he would come in for boy's night out to smoke cigars and play pool. His love for the restaurant's salad dressing became an obsession, so he had to find out how it was made. Millie, The Galley's long time waitress of 30 years, would not budge with giving the recipe. A few nights later, after nagging Millie once again, she became upset and said "If you want to know so badly, why don't you buy the @#* place!" Ron stayed away for a while.
I can't bartend and I can't cook but if I say something funny to a table, they can laugh and I walk away
A couple of years later, after hearing that The Galley was struggling, Ron decided to make an offer and buy it. After the first couple of weeks, a customer called him Captain Ron and it just caught on. Meanwhile, it still took Millie a year and a half to give Ron the secret salad dressing recipe.
So what keeps Captain Ron coming back to his restaurant every night? It's simple: He needs the attention. "I lack courage and talent, but at the Galley, I feel like I can walk up to people and talk to them. I can't bartend and I can't cook but if I say something funny to a table, they can laugh and I walk away." There are nights where he knows everybody there.
Captain Ron's standard lines:
"The waitress will be here in a couple of days."
"Would you like chicken? Well grab a wing and let me take you to your table. "
"I get a chance to be who I am. A frustrated comic from New York."
Captain Ron has been doing something really special for the last 25 years at The Galley and it has been the best-kept secret. Since The Galley opened in 1934, Captain Ron does a 1934 night and it's by invitation-only for the regulars. He rolls back the prices to that time period, so a steak dinner costs an amazing 85 cents, a chicken dinner costs 75 cents and a salad for 10 cents. It's his way of saying thank you for keeping the ship afloat.
When asked what the future holds for Captain Ron, his answer is simply "I'll be here for the rest of my life." With dim lighting and colorful decorations, the iconic restaurant is a blast from the past. Come see the Captain work the room and try one of his favorite dishes: A Steak, the Seafood Diablo or his wife's favorite, the Pork Chop.
2442 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405