Davey's Locker has been sending big fishing boats out into Newport
Harbor and beyond from the same office in the Balboa Pavilion since
And for almost that long, Tom Gray, owner and operator of T's
Tackle, has been watching them go. T's is the tackle shop where
expert and novice anglers alike shop before a trip on a Davey's
"They moved from that old place by that Blue Water Grill over here
in '69 and have been here ever since," he said.
Gray, who was a wine salesman and taught fishing classes on the
weekends for beginning fisherman, was always "hanging around" and
figures that's why he was chosen to run the tackle shop.
"They gave me the opportunity and I accepted," Gray said.
The "they" he speaks of is the group of businessmen who owned the
Balboa Pavilion, the building where Davey's operates from, at 400
Main St. on Balboa Peninsula.
"Davey's Locker is now separate from the Pavilion Company. It all
used to be one company. It actually used to be called Davey's Locker
Inc., and that was way back," said Bob Black, owner and vice
president of the Balboa Pavilion Company.
The Balboa Pavilion itself has been a long-standing bit of
peninsula history and has had its fair share of different tenants
through the years. . Built in 1905 by the Newport Bay Investment
Company, the Pavilion was originally a bath house, a place for those
without bathing facilities.
It was converted to a sort of arcade in the 1940s, complete with
bowling lanes and pool tables upstairs. After that, The Tale of the
Whale and Davey's moved in.
The Pavilion has offered a daily trip to Catalina Island since the
mid-1960s -- now that trip is aboard the "Catalina Flyer."
More recently, Harborside Restaurant has replaced The Tale of the
Whale, whose original owner, Bill Caouette, retired in 2001 and moved
But Black has seen little change in the way Davey's operates over
the last 30 years.
"It's still pretty much the same as far as going out fishing on
the various boats -- the three-quarter-day, the half-day, all-day
boats," he said.
Regardless of the changes, Davey's Locker continues to send its
boats into the harbor at a rate of more than five a day -- that's if
you count the whale-watching expeditions, Bongos six-pack boats for
smaller groups, and the Newport Harbor Boat Parade trips every
"Almost 2,000 trips a year," said Davey's manager Capt. Norris