Visit the card room ‘where visitors feel like locals and locals feel like guests’
—Spend a few minutes inside Central Coast Casino and you’ll discover what the locals already know – it’s one of the friendliest places around. Celebrating 25 years of success in Grover Beach, owner Dave Stearns and his team invite everyone to stop by and see what the buzz is all about.
“We are known for our friendly atmosphere and we invite visitors and locals alike to come enjoy a game of poker in a special, unique setting,” Owner Dave Stearns says. “Our goal is always to create a special experience where professionalism and small-town charm meet. It’s an opportunity for locals and visitors to mix and for everybody to have a good time.”
With the motto of, “Where visitors feel like locals and locals feel like guests,” Central Coast Casino is home to friendly, professional dealers and a slew of regular players that Stearns refers to as, “a big cast of characters” united by a love for poker. On any given day, folks in the card room include everyone from ditch diggers to doctors, professional athletes, firefighters, and professors.
Upgrades include shared space with Rib Line by the Beach
Sharing a 7000-square foot building with Rib Line by the Beach, a family-friendly restaurant run by Brian and Krystal Appiano has elevated the overall experience at Central Coast Casino, according to Stearns. The entire premises have been completely remodeled, resulting in a stunning ambiance.
“I can’t say enough about the Appiano Family and what they have done to improve the overall quality, safety, security, and friendly atmosphere of this facility,” Stearns says. “They are doing a great job, and they have been a welcome addition to the area.”
The card room features new gaming equipment and tables, comfy leather chairs, and additional seating. Regulars can be found gathering around the card tables on a near-nightly basis engaging in three of the card room’s most popular games – Big O Hi-Lo Split, Texas Hold ‘Em, and Omaha.
Poker lessons and a lifetime of experience
Stearns offers complimentary lessons daily with an emphasis on responsible card playing. He starts every lesson with: “Poker is for two kinds of people, kings and fools – which one are you?” His point is simple – don’t play with money you can’t afford to lose.
“Poker is one of America’s favorite pastimes,” he says. “We want people to appreciate the excitement of a good, competitive game but we also want to educate them on the dangers of losing control.”
Stearns holds a Bachelor’s Degree in marketing and entrepreneurship. He spent many years in Los Angeles-based casinos, working his way up from dealer to house player to casino manager. He opened Central Coast Casino in 1998.
As a player, he once placed fifth in the World Series of Poker, recognized as the biggest poker tournament in the world. He also won the “Rags to Riches” tournament at the Commerce Casino, earning the state’s biggest payout at the time. Most recently, Stearns made it to the Final Table for the Seniors Event at the World Series of Poker 2023.
25 years of success and community support
Stearns credits the success of Central Coast Casino not only to his background but also to the loyalty of his employees and customers.
“We have the best dealers floor people anywhere right here in this little hometown card room,” says Stearns. “As for our customers, I can’t say enough, without their support, we’d have nothing.”
Doing their part to help others, Stearns and his team at Central Coast Casino support local, state, and worldwide charities.
“We believe in supporting the community that supports us,” he says, “and we have a social responsibility to contribute at several different levels.”
Central Coast Casino specials
Complimentary VIP chip for first-time visitors include free poker tournament buy-in for first-time visitors and twice-weekly Poker Tournaments with low buy-ins and big jackpots:
- Monday Tournament, 4 p.m. with $5 buy-in and $500 guaranteed prize pool
- Friday Tournament, 10 a.m. with $10 buy-in and $1,000 guaranteed prize pool
Food, fun, and friendly card room atmosphere
As if the dealers, the games, and the clean, welcoming atmosphere weren’t enough, Central Coast Casino offers a choice of delicious meal options prepared with an Asian or Hawaiian flare by Stearns’ wife, Theresa. Steak, roast beef, chicken, lasagna, salads, and sandwiches are featured menu items, as well as pastries, cake, ice cream, and other desserts.
In addition, $6 dinner specials are available from Rib Line by the Beach. Delicious and convenient, the meals prepared by the friendly staff next door may be enjoyed right at your gaming table.
With a crowd of all different ages and backgrounds, from beginners to the more experienced players, everyone is welcome at Central Coast Casino. It’s sort of a social club, according to the regulars – stop by today and be welcomed into the mix.
Central Coast Casino Is located at 4th and Grand Ave. in Grover Beach, next to Rib Line by the Beach. Open Mon 10 a.m. to close, Tue-Thu 4 p.m. to close, Fri-Sat 10 a.m. to close. Closed Sun. For more information visit slo-poker.com, call (805) 474-8500, or follow Central Coast Casino on Facebook.
– Meagan Friberg