Double A Cafe from “Charmed”May 6th, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: Charmed Filming Locations
Another Charmed location that fellow stalker Chas, from the ItsFilmedThere website, told me about prior to the Grim Cheaper’s and my recent stalking trip to the Heritage Valley two weekends ago was the service station/mini-mart where the Charmed Ones – sisters Prue (aka Shannen Doherty), Piper (aka Holly Marie Combs), and Phoebe Halliwell (aka Alyssa Milano) – stopped for gas in the Season 2 episode of the series titled “How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans”. That property is actually no longer a service station, but is, of all things, a full service restaurant named the Double A Café and it is located on the corner of Santa Clara Street and Central Avenue in the tiny city of Fillmore, just off of Highway 126. Chas found this location thanks to a very helpful Charmed crewmember he had managed to track down and, even though at the time I had yet to watch the “How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans” episode, because my girl Shannen Doherty had once been there, I just had to stalk the place.
In the episode, the Charmed Ones stop for gas at the Double A Café while on their way to visit their evil Aunt Gail (aka Anne Haney) in the fictional Northern-California town of Santa Costa. While Piper fills the car with gas, Phoebe asks a couple of older gentleman for directions to her aunt’s mansion. (Filming of the mansion scenes took place at the Newhall Mansion in Piru which I blogged about last week.)
Later on in the episode, the girls return to the gas station while chasing after Cryto, the Demon of Vanity [aka Cameron Bancroft, who also played Donna Martin’s (aka Tori Spelling’s) All-star-quarterback boyfriend Joe Bradley on Beverly Hills, 90210], whereupon they find that the older gentlemen Phoebe had previously asked for directions have since been transformed into young men.
At the time of the filming, the Double A Café was an actual service station/mini-mart named Gasoline Alley. I could not find much information about the history of the place online, but at some point the property was converted from a gas station into a restaurant, as odd as that may sound. Subsequently, in October of 2011, a professional chef and Fillmore native named Dustin Anderson opened up an upscale eatery in the space which he named the Double A Café. And, amazingly enough, even with the vast transformation, the property still looks very much the same today as it did back when Charmed was filmed!
A few other parts of Fillmore were also featured in the “How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans” episode of Charmed. The establishing shot of the supposed-Santa-Costa-downtown-area which was shown just before the Halliwell sisters pulled into the service station was actually a view of Downtown Fillmore’s Central Avenue. The shot was taken from the intersection of Sespe and Central Avenues and the camera was facing south, looking towards Santa Clara Street.
The spot where the girls hid from Cryto, the Demon of Vanity was the alcove area of the historic Fillmore Town Theatre, which has sadly since closed.
While scanning through the 2002 movie Enough to make screen captures for last week’s post on the Piru Creek Bridge, I spotted the Double A Café space standing in for the supposed-Northern-Michigan-area roadside diner where Slim Hiller (aka Jennifer Lopez) and her daughter, Gracie (aka Tessa Allen), stopped for a bite to eat while on the run from Slim’s ex-husband, Mitch (aka Bill Campbell).
And while not much of the interior of the café was shown in Enough, I immediately recognized Fillmore City Hall, which is located directly across the street from the restaurant, through the window where Slim and Gracie sat in the scene. As you can see in this photograph, the real life view from the window of the Double A Café perfectly matches the view that was shown in the movie.
Big THANK YOU to Chas, from the ItsFilmedThere website, for finding this location! You can check out Chas’ ultra-detailed Charmed filming locations page, which covers Seasons 1 through 6, here.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Double A Café, from the “How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans” episode of Charmed, is located at 501 Santa Clara Street in Fillmore. You can visit the restaurant’s Facebook page here. The Fillmore Town Theatre, where the Charmed Ones hid in the episode, is located at 338 Central Avenue in Fillmore. And the shot of the downtown area that appeared at the beginning of the scene was taken at the intersection of Sespe and Central Avenues in Fillmore.