Vineyard and Holt

The Bulletin on Saturday printed a story about construction in Ontario on Holt Boulevard just west of Vineyard Avenue, said to be the first construction there in decades. Perhaps ever?

What I’m curious about is the location of the former Mural House restaurant, which I’m pretty sure I’ve been told was at Holt and Vineyard. Was it where Spires now stands? Or the gas station? Or…?

Mural House always seems to prompt fond comments rating it as one of the better, and more striking, old-time valley restaurants. Share what you remember below of the location, decor and menu so we can all be edified.

* Update: Everyone (see comments) agrees the Mural House was on the south side of Holt just west of Vineyard, and thank you for that. No one has yet explained, though, why the Mural House was named the Mural House. Anyone want to tackle that?

  • Another factoid: Mural House is said to have opened in 1951. Wally Page also owned Pomona’s Alibi East bar from 1975 to 1994, when he died.
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  • Debbie Irmer

    The Mural House was on the southwest cornor of Holt and Vineyard. I think there is a hotel where the restaurant used to stand.

  • Scott

    I remember the Mural House. Their grenadine of beef was outstanding. They were located on the south side of Holt just west of Vineyard. It was owned by a teacher at Chaffey High School named Wally Page. He has since died. The last time I was there was in 1978. I have a very vague recollection of the decor as dark, kind of like the old Sycamore Inn decor.

  • Scott

    The Mural House restaurant was just west of the NEWLY CONSTRUCTED gas station/Jack in the Box, or just west of the southwest corner.

  • JMac

    David, my recollection of the spot the Mural House resided at was the south side of Holt, just west of Vineyard. I don’t recall ever stepping in the place, but the marquee out front was a neon delight!

  • Jerry Title

    The previous comments re the Mural House location are right on. Had dinner there many times. The fried chicken was great.

  • Chaz B


    Scott has the location right, just west of the SW corner of Holt and Vineyard. And, yes, it was owned by Chaffey High School teacher Wally Page (in fact, it was often referred to as “Wally Page’s Mural House”). The atmosphere was dark and intimate, and the menu was varied (steak, chicken, salads, etc.) and slightly upscale (not quite like the Sycamore Inn, but above a Sizzler).

    I recall a good-sized bar which was used as a popular meeting place. At that time I was too young to drink, but I recall my older friends and acquaintances telling interesting stories about events in the Mural House bar. Part of it was because it was so close to OIA (Ontario International Airport, as it was then known), which made it a very popular stop for airline employees and the local aerospace workers.

    For those of us who grew up in eastern Ontario, it was “the” fancy dining spot south of Foothill Blvd. and east of downtown Ontario.

  • Bob Patterson

    The Mural House was on the south side of Holt, just west of Joe Bertino’s garage, which has since moved to Vineyard and Eighth and is being operated by Joe’s son, Charlie. I remember an afterglow (cast party) there after a barbershop show. The restaurant had numerous rooms, so we had quartets singing in each of the rooms long into the night.

  • John Tee

    There was a gas station at the southwest corner of Holt and Vineyard; the Mural House was the next building west. In addition to previous comments, I recall that the Mural House billed itself as a favorite stop for Hollywood celebrities in former days (halfway to Palm Springs). The food was good, but we used the bar more, it being the closest bar to Lockheed Aircraft Service Company (LAS) on Airport Road just west of Vineyard.

    In addition, behind (south of) the gas station and Mural House was Bertino Auto Service, a real old-time independent garage, which will be remembered fondly by many LAS employees.

    Spires was on the northeast corner of the intersection.

  • Steve Martinez

    The reason it was called Mural House was that the walls of the dining areas had murals painted on them. It was a great place to have dinner.

    [Well, I guessed it was something like that, but it’s nice to have somebody finally say so. Thanks, Steve. — DA]

  • Dave Linck

    The Mural House was also the site of the bi-weekly pre-football home game dinners for Chaffey football players in the early ’70s. I fondly recall owner Wally Page presiding over plates heaving with roast beef, mashed potatoes and peas that we all gobbled down en route to (often, luckily) a Chaffey victory. Funny thing…I cannot recall who paid for these meals, but I imagine it was the proud and well-heeled Chaffey Booster Club. I also had Wally as my high school physiology instructor. He was always genial and wore one of the era’s worst “Beatles style” toupees (sorry, Wally!). We all loved him!

  • Ann Hayden

    Enjoyed dining at the Mural House going with co-workers from Southern California Aircraft on Friday evenings.

  • Jeff Staten

    I worked at the Mural House for 10 years as a waiter, bartender and manager. It was located on the south side of Holt just west of Vineyard at 1866 E. Holt Blvd. Loved the murals in the Dining Room and Jungle Room. The lounge had unique lamps throughout and had a quaint atmosphere. Wally was the best boss a person could have and a good friend. Lots of good memories.

  • Debbie Sabbato-Ingram (formerly Mullette)

    I remember the Mural House well! And yes everyone is correct about its location…but to me it was much more than “the first stop on the way home after work,” as the driveway to the rear entrance (lounge) was just over the railroad tracks and a quick left, and then a right into the rear parking area.

    This was our regular after-work hangout for a group of us that were LAS (Lockheed Air Service) employees. When we worked swing shift, we usually “closed the bar.” But prior to my employment at LAS, The Mural House was where I had my very first “Legal Drink” on my 21st Birthday back in 1980 with “my-then” hubby Ed (who was an LAS employee long before we married in ’78) & the rest of the “Lockheed gang” after they got off work.

    They also had a wonderful menu and dining in the lounge area was a warm and memorable experience. I believe if memory serves me correctly that the decor was a burgundy with a dark wood (most likely mahogany).

    It was not unusual to see Wally (the owner) in the lounge greeting everyone & making sure everything was to our liking. And many times we had lunch there as well. We would call orders in ahead and they would have it ready and waiting for us either “to go” or just ready so we could gobble it down and be back to work in a flash.

    The memories I have are fond and will always remain with me.

    [Those are the best kind. Thanks for the comments, Debbie. — DA]

  • Buddy Bertino

    I grew up eating at the Mural House. My grandparents, Joe and Angie Bertino, bought and developed the property at Holt and Vineyard in 1958.

    They had the Mural house, Bertino Automotive, and the gas station all built. My dad, Joey Bertino, owned the shop and I would sweep the floors as a kid.

    My favorite meal at the Mural House when i was young was the sourdough beef melt, and as I got older I discovered how great the steaks were. My mom and dad, Joey and Barbara Bertino, would go there 1-2 times a week for drinks and dinner. They had a diner on the east side of the building, a family type room in the middle and then the cozy bar with half round booths, all with the painted murals on the walls throughout…i think my mom really loved the lobster too…fond memories.

    [Buddy, thanks for sharing some of Mural House’s history with us. — DA]

  • Judy Scott

    I used to work at the Mural House. It was called the mural house because of the Murals on the walls. They also had the Jungle Room in the back. That was an interesting room, full of plants and Murals on the wall. It was a Great time and had many great friends. That was in 1986. I have been looking for Allen Horn. He was the manager there for years, he was also Wally partner. Those guys were so funny, if anyone knows how to get ahold of Allen, let me know. He was a good friend.

  • janet beltramo jones

    I remember the murel house my father was the chef there as a kid wally would always let me sell my girl scout calender and cookies…….I also had my wedding dinner there

  • Craig Randall {AdventureAries}

    AdventureAries ~ Stand-by ~ I am the Dinner Chef of the Mural House, Ontario California (1969 – 1970). Incidentally, I began my culinary career at Kapu Kai, Cucamonga, California (now ‘Rancho Cucamonga’) just before the flood. I am preparing a serious treatment of the restaurant, The Owners “Mama Page” her son Wally, Staff and finally my role and the role the Mural House played in my life . . . WoW! Though I don’t know you ~ Thank you for this forum, David.

    • davidallen909

      Will be interested to hear more about that when you’re done, Craig.

  • Jewel

    Hi, I’m Julie Bertino. My grandparents bought the sw corner of Holt and Vineyard, way back in the old days. They built the Mural House Restaurant, the Gas Station and the Automotive Shop, Bertino Automotive. The Mural House was my grandparents pride and joy and gramps was still climbing up on the roof at age 80+ to fix things. The murals were beautiful and there was a beautiful upright piano that many musicians and guests would play. That piano sits in my house today. My grandparents leased out the restaurant to Wally Page, who turned it into a fine dining steak house and he drew people in from all over California.
    My Grandfather, old Joe Bertino, and my father, Joey Bertino, were top notch mechanics that ran the automotie shop 6 days a week and always with satisfied customers, friends and family, from all over the Inland Empire.
    But Sadly at one point, several years ago, the whole corner was sold. The Automotive Shop was moved to the NW corner of 8th & Vineyard, Cuc, at which time my brother Charlie Bertino took the reins and brought the Automotive Shop up to a whole new level in skilled technology, top quality workmanship and fine tuning.
    90 years and three generations later Bertino Auto is going strong with friendly, honest serivce, with always the best work and great prices in all of the Inland Empire ..We are looking forward in the years ahead, to the next generation of Bertino men, taking the shop another 50+ years. We already have a couple on deck, warming up in college, and on their way to becoming the next generation of family master auto mechanics at Bertino Auto.
    I loved the food and atmosphere at the Mural House. The day the Mural House was demolished, I cried and watched in horror. So many great big family dinners, party’s and get togethers there, with Wally Page keeping us all entertained, in one way or another. And always a lively musician at the piano playing some, “Fly Me to The Moon” song…..Those were the days…

    • davidallen909

      Jewel, thanks for the details! Would you or other family members have photos you could share of the exterior or interior? I could share them here with this blog post…

  • CKS

    The murals were painted by a local artist named Lola Smith. She was our neighbor in Pomona during the late 50’s early 60’s. My mom has several of her paintings. We were talking about the old neighborhood at my mom’s birthday and she mentioned that Lola had painted the murals at the Mural House. I googled it and found your blog. Sadly, I never ate there, but it sounds like it was a wonderful place.