Architecture / History

The Santa Susana Cantina, aka "Wallie’s"


The Santa Susana Cantina, now owned by SRM Properties and used as office space, has had a long history in Simi Valley. John Wayne and other movie cowboys hung out here and Jay Leno paid a visit as well. It is even rumored that Charles Manson stopped by to “wet his whistle” once. Although it is mostly remembered as being a bar/saloon or restaurant by long time locals, this building actually started out as a stagecoach stop in the 1800’s, and for a short time in the early 1900’s it was used as a church. The current building was erected in 1930. It was in the year 1932 that the first liquor license was issued for this building to be operated as a drinking establishment. Since then it has been known by many names, such as “Scotty’s,” “Irene’s,” “Jave’s Reef,” “Rod’s,” “Otto’s Oasis,” “Otto’s Beer Bar,” and even, in 1984, “Olde Susana Restaurant.” But most seem to remember it as “Wallie’s Hideout.”

“Wallie” was Lottie W. Matthies, who bought “Otto’s Beer Bar” in 1986 and renamed it “Wallie’s Hideout.” Lottie herself was quite an interesting character, who, at age 14 learned to be a butcher from an uncle. In 1944 she joined the Marines and became a drill sergeant. After leaving the service she headed for California, where she worked for 33 years as a butcher in various grocery stores. She finally retired from the trade and bought the bar, which she dedicated 18 more years of her life to. “Wallie passed away from cancer on January 30th, 2003. But, she saw a lot of life and colorful events at her little bar in “Santa Susana,” including the filming of one of the “Terminator” movies in her parking lot, as well as scenes for the televison shows “The X-Files” and “Twin Peaks.”

Here is “Wallie’s Hideout” in the X-Files, season 9, Episode 10, about 30:35 minutes into the show. As you can see on the photo, this is supposed to be taking place in Canada, LOL! I have my friend Gary Wayne, of the Seeing Stars website to thank for finding this for me. If you want to find out about Simi Valley locations to be found in movies or television shows Gary is the man to contact.

This shot of “Wallie’s Hideout” can be found in the old television series “Twin Peaks.” This is from season 2, episode 18, called “Masked Ball.” Apparently “Wallie’s” also shows up in season 2, episode 22, “Slaves and Masters,” but I haven’t looked yet.

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