Shanty Devlin’s

Today’s print column closes with a mentiion of Shanty Devlin’s.

As described to me, Shanty Devlin’s was a bar on the northeast corner of Archibald and Foothill in Cucamonga in the early 1960s. The owner was a San Bernardino man, Dick Devlin.

Perhaps the bar’s best-known feature was a piano player known as Elegant Ethel. She may have been in her 80s. She was blind. And she knew her stuff. She played the old songs, like “Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey?” As Wayne Leavitt told me admiringly: “She would really bang on that piano.”

On whatever the local radio station was in those days, Elegant Ethel would come on daily at noon to play a number. Her appearances were sponsored by First Trust Bank.

We’re missing characters like Elegant Ethel these days. Or if we’re not, and characters like her still exist, we don’t know about them.

Anyone oldtimers want to add or correct details about Shanty Devlin’s or Elegant Ethel?

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  • Isla McDonald

    I found this article of interest because my mother-in-law RUTH HARVOT-(later MAXIE) owned what appears to be the same bar & location in the ’50s. It was then
    called THE OLD CUCAMONGA CAFE. She had pinball machines and the San Bernardino sheriffs came in one day and took them when they passed a law against them. After she sold it in early ’60s, it was changed to what we remember as just “THE SHANTY.” She is now 88. We live in Az. now, but prior in Etiwanda for many years. Enjoyed reading your blog!
    Isla McDonald