Hollister, California: Casa de FrutaRoadside stand famous for its signage and wandering "cup flipper" guy (the cup flipper has retired).
- 10021 Pacheco Pass Hwy., Hollister, CA
- 13 miles east of Gilroy on Hwy 152 Pacheco Pass or 28 miles west of Los Banos on Hwy 152 Pacheco Pass.
- Fee for train and carousel ride.
Visitor Tips and News About Casa de Fruta
Casa de Fruta is a popular tourist stop along the Pacheco mountain pass between California's Central Valley and US 101. It features a large fruit and produce stand, a restaurant and cafe, a carousel, miniature train ride (Casa de Choo Choo), and other fun distractions.
For decades the singular human attraction at Casa de Restaurant was the beverage acrobat known as "The Cup Flipper." Co-owner Eugene Zanger would deftly rotate porcelain cups and saucers in one hand, while holding a carafe of hot coffee in his other hand.
The famous Cup Flipper retired a few years ago, and no one at Casa de Fruta has yet stepped up to the task. Visitors can still see a large painted portrait of the Flipper in action next to the entrance doorway.
And you can buy a bag of Cup Flipper-brand coffee.[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 04/09/2014]
Carousel and train are extra. Grew up going here. Free Wine Tasting![Jennifer Kleinkauf, 12/08/2013]
I saw the Famous Cup Flipper years ago when we stopped at Casa De Restaurant for breakfast after passing up the attraction for many years. The Cup Flipper was actually there, walking up and down the cafe aisles, stopping at tables, and flipping cups for the diners. He would start with the cup upside down on the saucer, and in a smooth motion, flip the cup in the air and it would always land bowl up, ready for the coffee. I plan to stop there this summer to see all the additional "Casa de whatevers" that have been added.[Sherry White, 05/19/2006]
Stopped by Casa de Fruta ... many changes since our last stop. This is roadside rest stop that turned into a mini city on Pacheco Pass. Casa de Restaurant has been remodeled (the "Cup Flipper" retired...but there is a painting of him flipping cups on the Dave Letterman show in 1986!), Casa de Fruit Stand is unbelievable, and the Chevron station is the most beautiful station I have ever seen (brick pavers instead of yucky asphalt). We enjoyed the freshest cherries and watermelon in all our California travels. The kids loved the animal area including the 3 generations of American Bison (buffalo). Our friends have an RV and we are considering staying at their RV park with the kids for the weekend. We're sending the kids to the playground and heading over to the Casa de Vino for wine tasting.[anne belden, 07/05/2005]
Drive through Pacheco Pass and you'll see billboards touting Casa de Fruita's "World Famous Cup Flipper." When we visited late one night, we asked about him at the cafe. The waitress replied curtly that he wasn't there. "But what does he do, when he is here?" we asked her. "Nothing special." she replied. "He's just a man." Since then, he's been very dear to our hearts, whoever he is and whatever he does, and we can't think of him without bursting into song (from Jesus Christ Superstar), "He's a man -- he's just a man!"[K. Fatooh, 11/02/2000]