March 11, 1982 – A Fictitious Business Name notice appeared in the Mendocino Beacon for the Blue Heron Inn and The Chocolate Moosse. Robert Heron and Linda Friedman operated these businesses in the Old Bank House, located on the southwest corner of Albion and Kasten Streets.

The Chocolate Moosse, located downstairs, offered an attractive community coffee shop. Specialties of the house included espresso, cafe latte or cappuccino served with croissants, gingerbread, or Haagen-Dazs ice cream. In 1989 Mendocino Magazine noted, “Notorious for its killer Chocolate Blackout Cake as well as for other outrageous sweets, The Moosse serves homemade soups, a variety of salads and sandwiches. The dining room’s many windows provide a pleasant atmosphere in which to enjoy an extra cup of coffee and take in the Kasten Street scene. Late evening hours make it the ideal place for an after-show dessert or late-night rendezvous.” Overnight accommodations were available in the Blue Heron Inn upstairs.

People wander around a two-story building where a fire has burned through the roof

Fire damage at the Blue Heron Inn, 1994. (Gift of Bill Wagner)

On August 12, 1994, the Old Bank House caught fire, and the upstairs of the building was completely destroyed. Although a transient was suspected of setting fire to a dumpster near the fence, he was not prosecuted due to insufficient evidence. In 1995, owner Allan Cone had a new building constructed in the same architectural style as the original building. Following completion, the Chocolate Mousse Cafe and The Blue Heron Inn reopened.

New Exhibit! Doin’ a Little Doodlin’: Napkin Art from the Sea Gull Cellar Bar. During the 1970s-1980s, the Sea Gull Bar & Restaurant was a community hub and the birthplace of Sunday afternoon Napkin Art gatherings. These sessions brought together local illustrators and sketchers, creating a true artists’ colony and producing wonderfully unique pieces centered on different themes. View over 100 different creations by a dozen artists who utilized pen, ink, paint, collage, quilting, and even rusty nails! Thursday-Monday, 11-3, now thru May 29.