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Laguna Beach is Southern California's premier seaside destination, midway between Los Angeles and San Diego. A year-round retreat for art lovers, nature enthusiasts and beach goers, Laguna Beach features seven miles of soft sand and surf.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Greeter!

When you are driving into Laguna Beach on PCH you may notice a statue of a man where Park Avenue and Forest Avenue intersect with PCH.  Another statue welcomes you at The Old Pottery Place on PCH. Locals know him as ‘The Greeter’ and you may be surprised to learn that there is a real man and a story behind the statue.

The man is Eiler Larsen born March 27, 1890, in Denmark. In the mid thirties Eiler migrated from the East coast to San Francisco. It was there that he heard about Laguna Beach’s Pageant of the Masters. His friends thought he would be a perfect fit for the production, and he was. He was cast for ‘The Last Supper’ scene, by Leonardo da Vinci. After, Larsen made Laguna Beach his permanent home.

Although, Larsen didn’t make much money, he found pleasure in buying gifts for his friends and candy for children. He also took to welcoming weary travelers into the city with a wave and a big shout, “h-e-l-l-o!” It was in 1963, the City of Laguna Beach made Larsen’s gratitude a manner of public record and he was ceremoniously proclaimed the Official Greeter of Laguna Beach. 

When you are downtown in Laguna Beach be sure to take a minute and grab a picture with The Greeter, Eiler Larsen. Then pop over to C’est La Vie Restaurant  for French cuisine.  Laguna Beach has nearly every cuisine from around the world, and who can pass up crepes, quiche or champagne? Not me!

If it’s a warm summer day, be sure to ask to be seated on their patio and you’ll be able to take in views of Main Beach. What C’est La Vie is known for, aretheir baked goods and desserts. You can choose from what seems like an endless array of delicate and scrumptious creations…Layer cake, tiramisu, cheesecake, fruit tarts, cream Brule, and √©clairs.  On your way out stop by the bakery counter and take some cookies to-go to enjoy while you stroll through the downtown shops. 

By Anne-Marie S.


  1. Have wondered about who he was, thank you for posting his background. Have eaten at C'est La Vie and the place right next to it several times.

  2. My family started vacationing in Laguna Beach in the early 60's. Laguna Beach was a very big community for artists, and that was what my parents, and their parents, and siblings all were. We always saw Eiler greeting people for hours on end. He was a really nice man, and I was sad when he could no longer greet people in person. Great article, thanks for keeping his memory alive!

  3. we stopped once there and i talked to him when i was 8 years old. and i thought oh man this guys a kook lol

  4. Remember living in Laguna Beach as a child and loving it when Mr. Larsen would point at my parents car and with a booming voice yell " How are you ". My siblings and I would frantically wave back in greeting.

  5. Hello zi have an original oil painting done by helen beck back when they played together in the peagant. I was wanting to sell the paiting any one have any ideas?

  6. I to have a original oil painting