Old World Village
An amazing experience nestled in California
Image Source: www.surfcityusa.com
On the corner of Center Avenue, just off Beach Boulevard, lies the snug and idyllic Old World Village. A center of European culture was established in 1978 that hosts an annual Oktoberfest. And yet there is so much more to the cobblestone streets and brightly painted buildings of this beautiful village. With an area of over 8 acres and an approximate population of 150, Old World Village is full of small businesses. These range from beauty salons to fitness centers, art galleries, restaurants and bars, music and record stores.
The founding of Old World Village is credited to one Josef Bishof, a German immigrant that helped found the Alpine Village in Torrance in 1965. Later he split with his business partners to form Old World Village. Josef built almost 50 homes and shops. Most are inspired by Bavarian architecture. He created almost 70 murals depicting scenes from almost 18 European countries. Presently, a total of 40 families live in the village. The original settlers and business owners were mainly of German or Austrian origin. Today the village has become very ethnically diverse. Since its conception, the village has been known for its Oktoberfest. It is an approximately two-week festival celebrating German culture and beer.
The main attraction in the village is its annual Oktoberfest. An authentic experience is replicated. This happens with music from authentic Oom-pah-pah bands that visit from Germany and Austria. Along with cold German beer, Jagermeister, and authentic German food. Included in these celebrations is the ancient 400-year-old tradition of the Kinderfest. Kinderfest is a family activity aimed at young children that happens on Sundays.
Oktoberfest is not the only festival the village is known for! Each month on Sundays and weekly during Oktoberfest, the village organizes Daschund/Weiner Dog races. where everyone from amateurs to veterans race their dogs in friendly competition. All this while enjoying amazing German food and drink. The tradition was started by what is now known as the weiner dog store. It was originally called the “coffee mill and espresso bar”. The bar started off holding small Weiner races on the side. It eventually evolved into a complete dachshund-focused business. The store itself mainly sells Weiner dog-focused items and is quite well visited by tourists.
A newer festival, being held for the first time in Old World Village in 2021, is the new age festival ‘BABETOPIA’. It offers live music, performance art, interactive experiences, product demos, and a live fashion show.
Old World Village has also become a center for weddings for people who flock to the village because of its beauty and uniqueness.
The village hosts a variety of family-owned businesses. These range from art galleries like Mystic Waters Kava Bar and Artistic Studios Art Galleries, to multiple beauty salons. Salons like ‘The Upstairs Salon’, Agnes Beauty and Wellness, and Beauty Skin Bar being part of the list. The main industry in the village is its food, drink, and entertainment industry. It’s also home to multiple restaurants and bars. To name a few – The Coffee Tale, Biergarten HB Restaurant & Bar, Eschenburg Delicatessen, and Gourmet Strudel, Café and Chocolate!