Reader Gail Sundberg writes:
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?