THEN AND NOW: 223/225 Main St — Peppermint Playhouse & Nicks

223 and 225 Main Street has been a happening place in Seal Beach for decades. In the 1960s it was best known to local kids and parents as the site of the Peppermint Playhouse and Nursery School, operated by Kay Carroll, who had a long entertainment background. Before she married pilot Wes Carroll (who once managed the Seal Beach Airport and set a record for a 30 day continuous flight in 1939), Kay had been a professional dancer and a singer with the Stan Kenton Band.

The Playhouse began in Long Beach in the late 1940s, and Carroll, a mother of seven of her own, was soon teaching over 500 children interested in dancing and dramatics. She moved her operation to Seal Beach in 1962, setting up shop and a 60-seat theater at 124 Main Street. In addition to children’s plays, the theater was soon also used by local adults in the Seal Beach Actors Company which produced many plays for years.

In late 1964 Carroll opened a second location at 225 Main where she operated a nursery school for children 2 to 8 years old. Adjacent to the school was a playground. Carroll retired from the nursery school business in late 1980 and the 225 Main location was sold. The adjacent playground became the Old Town Nursery (now Brita’s Gardens) and the Playhouse building soon became Nick’s — home of some of the world’s best burritos, a fact not only recognized by us but the viewers of KTLA Channel 5. Who are we to argue?

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