Denny’s in San Juan Capistrano has served its last grand slam, but there is still many more to be served up in Dana Point.
However, the SJC 24-hour roadside diner is the latest in businesses to be boarded up in preparation for the expansion of the I-5 Freeway interchange at Ortega Highway.
The new design of the interchange features a cloverleaf onramp for northbound traffic that requires quite a bit of real estate on the eastern side of the freeway.
Already, Caltrans has acquired the Chevron station and Jack in the Box on the west side of the freeway and the Chevron and Union 76 stations on the east side.
Caltrans expects to begin construction on the intersection in March. Caltrans will set up detours to direct traffic to interchanges north and south when Ortega is shut down at night.
Right now, all the properties are fenced. But according to an email from the city, “[S]hortly after the start of this new year, demolition will begin on the building on the west side of Ortega Highway at Del Obispo (previously Jack in the Box).”
A Denny’s in some form may return one day. Ed Franks, who owns the Union 76 property, has said Caltrans only needed a sliver of it. That made the property useless for a gas station but may work for something called a “mini Denny’s.”
In the meantime get your grand slams at the Dana Point location.