On a recent weekday morning, Michael Minutoli rolled up to the Main Beach boardwalk on his bike, Starbucks cup in hand, and said "hello" to people sitting on the benches.
Those who didn't know Minutoli, wearing an "I Love LB" sweatshirt and pink bandanna, simply responded politely. But those who recognized the familiar face were ready to jump into conversation.
Minutoli, 51, said he decided back in May that he would become the new "greeter" of Laguna Beach.
"I had the greatest summer in Laguna Beach, and I've been hanging out here for 30 years," he said.
Minutoli said friends had suggested he become the greeter, but he knew some locals didn't want him stepping on Eiler Larsen's sacred ground.
He offered up alternatives. They can call me the host of the city, he said.
Minutoli said although there are some critics, he's had a mostly positive reaction while standing in his usual greeter position at the corner of Forest Avenue and Coast Highway.