Bagel store’s closing leaves a hole

Reader Gail Sundberg writes:

Dear David,

I read your column all the time and really enjoy it. Even though I am not a native Ontarian I grew up there and love reading your pathways back in time to The Hot Dog Show, Burger Lane and Wags (have you heard about the Oasis?). When Mi Taco closed it was like a part of my past was gone. When my friends and I got our driver license next door at the old DMV, we would cruise their drive-thru as a rite of passage. Yes I remember it all — when it was cool to cruise the Ontario Plaza or getting a hot caramel sundae at Henry’s in Pomona. Yeah, those were the days.

Well, why am I writing to you? You have heard all of that before.

For the past 10 years, just about every Sunday my cousin Shelley and would meet at 42nd Street Bagel in Rancho Cucamonga. The girls knew our order by heart: “two onion bagels, one lightly toasted, one just sliced, a small cream cheese, two coffees and a glass of water.”

We even had a favorite table. When the weather was nice, we would sit outside and talk to the other customers who brought their dogs. My cousin and would talk about our week, plan vacations or just discuss family. We would get the ads from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and see what we needed to get at Target — so convenient.

We found out today [Sunday, 7/13] that 42nd St. is closing.

As Shelley and I were leaving the manager came running out to my car to tell us it was their last day of business. We were in shock. We looked at each other…what were we to do? The manager came back out and she could tell we were shocked because we just sat there staring at each other.

We asked about the other 42nd Streets, Upland and Claremont. Granted we live in Rancho and it was so convenient for us to meet there. She didn’t know about the Upland store on Foothill but said the one in Claremont would just be changing its name.

In our usual Sunday routine we ended up going to Target. Seeing Panera Bread we thought we would check it out as a possible substitute. Can you imagine, no onion bagels? We drove the various shopping centers looking for something close, casual and friendly…nothing! If it’s not a restaurant chain, fast food or a mega-breakfast place for the after-church crowd, there is nothing.

Once again life as I know it is changed. Thanks for reading.

Hey, thank YOU for sharing, Gail. I suppose Claremont is a long way to go for an onion bagel if you live in Rancho Cucamonga. The only bagel alternative that comes to mind is Bruegger’s Bagels in the Ontario Mills food court.

If you can break the onion bagel habit, Panera is certainly Target-adjacent. You might become a fan of Dolce Cafe in Montclair, which has pastries and is a block or so from that city’s Target. Or enjoy another pastry shop, the homey Local Baker in downtown Upland.

Anyone have any better ideas for Gail?

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  • Scott in R.C.

    I have been going to Panera for quite awhile and their bagels and variety of pastries never cease to amaze. I am surprised they don’t have the onion bagels available but we have been pleasantly surprised by the different flavors of bagels we’ve tried there. Just make sure to get there early before the church crowd has the line going out the door.

    Also thumbs up for Panera’s generosity. They are great about donating pastry items left from the day to charitable events in the area. My wife was fortunate enough to hear about this and was able to procure pastries for a fund raiser at the school where she teaches. They may be day old pastries, but they were very well received at the function.

    Sorry to hear about 42nd Street going under. I especially liked going there to get our St. Patrick’s Day green bagels for the kids. They loved them!

    [Scott, thanks for the note. -- DA]

  • Bob

    I loved 42nd St Bagel. I use to go there in the morning every once in awhile. The manager was great and always took time to talk to me..It’s too bad as it’s not easy finding good bagels…But I like Panera too….

  • Dawn

    The Upland 42nd Street Bagel closed as well on the 14th. I’m going to miss the pumpkin bagels and pumkin cream cheese during the holidays!

    [Thanks for the field report from Upland, Dawn. -- DA]

  • Don J

    Stuffed Bagel is better than Einstein Bros, their hours are short because they make everybody else’s bagels:

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/stuffed-bagel-rancho-cucamonga

    I like The Bagelry, even after one of their employees, some surfer clown in puka shells, short-changed me big on a $20 bill.

    [And is Einstein still at Haven and Base Line (I think)? That's another spot. -- DA]

  • http://www.myspace.com/the_ron Ronald Scott

    Yahoo Yellow Pages lists a Malibu Bagel Cafe in Upland at 1601 N. Mountain. Also aren’t most donut places also selling bagels now as well?

    [Like Miss Donuts and Bagel in La Verne? Yes. -- DA]

  • Pat

    There may be other bagel shops, however, 42nd Street in Upland has been my personal favorite from the day it opened (under another name, which had to change due to complaint of another bagel outlet with a similar name) till the day before it closed. It has become our own “Cheers” right here in Upland.

    Richard, Lou, Barbara Jo, Bob, Betsy, Bernice,Tim and Jill, Dana, Rhonda … well, you get the idea. The “gang” has a new spot now and I will head up there and join them after mass early Sunday. Oh, yes, it is not about a bagel, per se, but about all the conversations entered into and the friendships developed along the way!

    [I hear you. Thanks for the note, Pat. -- DA]

  • Scott in R.C.

    Einstein WAS a great bagel place to go. The location on Haven and Baseline is now a Starbucks.