Some Upland firefighters sprouted mustaches in November as part of the call to draw attention to “the face of men’s health issues.” The results were variable, so variable that almost everyone became cleanshaven again Dec. 1. Friday’s column is about their effort.
O’Donovan’s Pub, 101 E. Third St. (at Garey), Pomona
Located in the renovated Mayfair Hotel, cater-corner from the Fox Theater, O’Donovan’s has a great setting, a five-story brick hotel, with fire escapes yet, that dates to 1915. It’s now apartments for students at the nearby medical school. The Irish restaurant occupies the first floor, with the pub portion in the basement.
O’Donovan’s opened in September and the pub is said to be a big hit. Besides the bar, there’s pool tables and darts, a couple of cozy nooks to sit in and neat vintage-style beer signs.
The restaurant portion is quieter, but it’s received strong ratings on Yelp, where it currently has 4 1/2 stars. A friend and I met up for a late lunch/early dinner last month; at 4 p.m., it wasn’t a surprise we were the only diners. (By the time we left, another table was occupied.) The interior has a lot of brick, exposed pipes and hipster Edison bulbs. Our server was friendly and assured.
The menu has sandwiches and salads; entrees range from $12 to $32 and include fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage, bangers, salmon and a ribeye steak. They have 26 beers on tap and 30 in bottles.
I had fish and chips ($14), he had shepherds pie ($15, pictured below), and we shared beer-battered onion rings ($4). He had a pint of Black Butte ale ($6).
The rings were excellent. The shepherds pie, besides mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, has the traditional lamb. I’m not sure how a shepherd would feel about that, but my friend was impressed. My fish was okay but the batter tasted over-fried. I’ve had worse, but I’ve had better at the Heights in Upland.
Four friends dined there recently and had shrimp pasta, fish and chips, a quesadilla (!) and mac and cheese. None of them were dissatisfied, but none was enthusiastic either.
Well, it’s another option downtown, better than some, and it’s open until 2 a.m. daily, although food service stops earlier than that. They also have brunch on weekends. I expect I’ll go back when I’m downtown. It’s well-situated and pleasant, and they’re trying.
Wednesday’s column explains, if it needed explaining, what’s under construction by the 210 onramp at Carnelian in Rancho Cucamonga, then presents some news from Upland, from the cultural scene and from the Pomona Christmas Parade. Read it here.
Originally this was the Brasilia Bradyo Hotel, opened in 1962, named after Brazil’s capital city and nodding toward Oscar Niemeyer’s designs for same, according to Charles Phoenix’s “Cruising the Pomona Valley.” Dig the glass entry, which looks two stories high, and wavy roof treatment.
The Brasilia’s original motto: “The most spacious and complete luxury hotel in the valley.”
After 1965 the Brasilia became the Pomona Valley Inn. Now it’s a drug rehab center. (The most spacious and complete?) The address is 2180 W. Valley Blvd., just west of the 71 Freeway. The building also rated a mention in Alan Hess’ “Googie Redux.”
The promotional sketch in Phoenix’s book shows a large courtyard with a pool and patio surrounded on four sides by buildings. No doubt it’s all been altered quite a bit. Still, someday I’d love to see the interior — as a visitor, not as a client.
Googie’s Coffee Shop, Sunset and Crescent Heights, LA, 1952, via Getty Research Institute; photograph by Julius Shulman.
My recent reading of the book “Googie Redux: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture” by Alan Hess has prompted a new category for this blog, with this its first entry: Mod!
First off, what’s Googie? It’s the name for a type of midcentury commercial architecture with a futuristic touch, generally employed for coffee shops, fast-food stands, car washes, bowling alleys, hotels and the like, concentrated in Southern California and popular from about 1949 (when a Sunset Boulevard coffee shop named Googie’s opened; see above) until the 1960s. These days it’s become more respected and revered.
As the Wikipedia entry describes Googie:
“Features of Googie include upswept roofs, curvaceous, geometric shapes, and bold use of glass, steel and neon. Googie was also characterized by Space Age designs symbolic of motion, such as boomerangs, flying saucers, atoms and parabolas, and free-form designs such as ‘soft’ parallelograms and an artist’s palette motif. These stylistic conventions represented American society’s fascination with Space Age themes and marketing emphasis on futuristic designs.”
Hess’ 2004 chronicle of the form takes an expansive, popular view of what qualifies as Googie, much in the way that almost any building from the 1930s is called Art Deco even if it’s Streamline Moderne or something else. And in the back, he lists Googie examples throughout SoCal — including 10 in Pomona and environs (some of which have since been demolished).
I’m going to use the category name Mod! to allow even more flexibility. Now and then I’ll present photos here of the local survivors from Hess’ roll cal of greatness, as well as other swingin’ examples. Feel free to nominate a favorite. The first in this irregular series will pop up here Tuesday.
The Fiscal Response Task Force (such a name!), the budget panel appointed by the City Council, had its first meeting Thursday, and I was there. Sunday’s column has the story. It also has suggestions for better acronyms and some action-movie jokes.
Remember the bird sculptures from Montclair Plaza’s JC Penney atrium? You might if you lived here prior to the mid-1980s, when they were removed. Now they’re back, only this time they’re at City Hall, inside and out. Read all about it in my Friday column.
Above, an undated photo from the book “Images of Montclair.” Below, a view of the west lobby of City Hall, showing five of the 12 birds that are back on display.
A city employee talks about the restoration in a short video. There’s also a hyperlink in the column for (heh heh) a scene from “The Birds.”
Sal’s Pizza, 6773 Carnelian St. (at 19th), Rancho Cucamonga; open daily at 4 p.m.
Someone mentioned the takeout-only Sal’s in Rancho Cucamonga here when I wrote about the unrelated Sal’s in La Verne. I’d never been, and still hadn’t until recently, when the New Diner blogger brought the place up to me. We arranged to meet for dinner.
Sal’s is in the Island Pacific center just below the 210. It’s been in business at various addresses since 1979, not long after Rancho Cucamonga incorporated as a city. We ordered a medium Sal’s Special ($16.25), which has pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, mushrooms, green peppers and onions. Wait time was 15 minutes. But what to do next, as neither of us lives nearby?
If it was warmer, I’d have suggested Beryl Park just above the 210, but it wasn’t. The New Diner said we should walk a few paces across the parking lot to eat inside a fast-food restaurant. Daringly, we did, ordering drinks and then keeping a low profile. Nobody said anything about the two guys sharing pizza inside a place known to make a swell taco. (I say that only as a rhyme with its name.)
We were impressed by the pizza. Toppings were plentiful, tasty and fresh. Cheese was generous, the sauce a good complement. The crust was crunchy and didn’t wilt under the load of toppings. It was a solid, well-made pizza, among the best in town.
Other than pizza, all they have is spaghetti, ravioli, garlic bread, salad and wings. On Yelp, where Sal’s currently has 4 1/2 stars, one commenter says they have a secret pizza menu that includes one called “The Roadkill” that is all meat. Anyone know of others?
The New Diner’s review is here.
The Pomona Center News, published twice a week, was written by and for internees at the Pomona fairgrounds during the summer of 1942. Archived at the Public Library, its news, community notices, sports and gossip offer a window into the day-to-day life in the camp: births, weddings, talent shows and softball scores.
Wednesday’s column tells the story.
Above, a farewell page of staff portraits from the final issue. In this version, in the bound copy at the library, the names are signed in ink.
Stinky’s, a self-deprecatingly named burger stand in Upland popular from 1948 to 1968 (and sometimes spelled Stinkey’s), has been the subject of previous blog posts, which drew many comments here, here and here. Visually, though, all I’d been able to find was an interior photo and a not particularly helpful aerial view.
But then I was invited to join the new-ish Facebook group Growing Up in the Inland Empire by administrator Joe Mannella, and back in April, two cool photos were posted, an interior and, at last, an exterior. Rather than add them to the long-ago posts, I’ve given them their due here. Dig the box fan. And the FB page has even identified the fellow in the back as George Kunde.
* Darin Kuna says the photos were originally on his Growing Up in Pomona FB page.