Noble House

Several of you have lamented the passing of Noble House, a longtime Chinese restaurant in Rancho Cucamonga at Haven and Base Line. This came up when a couple of readers left comments on my post about Pei Wei’s closing. Since then, I got an e-mail asking what happened to them, and heard about it in person from another reader.

The way he heard it, the rent was going to double and the family-run eatery had to pack it in.

Whether that’s true or not, I’m sorry to hear Noble House is gone. A source several years ago had recommended them in the same breath as China Gate in Upland, and I’d say both were operating at about the same level. I ate there only a couple of times but I liked the place.

Las Campanas in Rancho Cucamonga also closed recently. It was an ambitious concept, upscale Mexican, but one that seems to have misjudged the market. Or maybe the food just wasn’t so hot. I ate there on a preview night, not the best time to judge, and wasn’t wowed enough to go back, even though the surroundings were awfully nice.

This didn’t trouble me, but I noticed Monday that Togo’s in Upland has a “for lease” sign. I ate there once a few weeks ago with two colleagues who, for inexplicable reasons, really liked it. Besides making very average sandwiches, it seemed like a dark, dank hole to me. Well, every place is somebody’s favorite.

Anyone have any Noble House stories, or have a favorite eatery close recently?

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  • Ann

    David,

    There are so many restaurants on the verge of going under. One of our favorites, Las Cazuelitas, in downtown Upland is really going through some tough times. It’s family-run and has been around many, many years.

    Mamacita (Theresa) is getting on in age but still cooks some of the best Mexican anywhere around (she’s from Mexico City area, so it is a bit different than your “normal” Mexican fare). Esther, her daughter, knows everyone’s favorites and usually doesn’t use an order pad, she just remembers. It is really terrible that so many of our wonderful family-run restaurants are having such a difficult time.

    Ann

  • kes

    I remember the day we moved into our “fixer upper” in Alta Loma, and were compltely exhausted from moving. We were famished but couldn’t even begin to think about cooking. We pulled some paper menus out of a box marked “kitchen” and one of them was Noble House.

    We ordered take-out, popped a bottle of wine and had one of the best dinners that I still think of to this day! Needless to say we frequented Noble House after that! So sorry to see them close.

    [Kes, thanks for the moving (in more ways than one) story. -- DA]

  • Scott in R.C.

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the update on Noble House. Just last night, my wife and I were going through our “to go” menus looking for some sort of inspirational place to get some food and noticed the dreary green Noble House menu, which will be missed.

    I have a hard time imagining someone attempting to “double” the rent in these current economic times. But I do recall hearing about this happening to a store in the Thomas Winery Center at Foothill and Vineyard. Don’t recall the name, but I understand they relocated to Upland because of the increased rent at that center.

    My only experience at Las Campanas was getting to the table and getting the water, chips and salsa. I didn’t see another server at our table for over a half an hour, which meant the chip bowl was empty and no order for food or drinks had been placed. I left a few bucks on the table and went up to Salsitas, in the same center as Noble House. Not nearly as fancy (or pricey), but we ordered and received our food in a timely manner, like always! The waitress at Salsitas did mention recently that they have been slow and cut back on the help there.

    I guess I need to give my half-sister a call. She worked at that Upland Togo’s location for a number of years. I had heard the owners were trying to sell it but evidently that didn’t happen. Never ate there myself.

  • Charles Bentley

    GREETINGS:

    One sad fact of the current economic downturn is so many restaurants that have been popular for so long won’t be able to survive. I had not heard Las Cazuelitas was struggling, but there are others that now feature empty tables where for years there were waiting lists.

    I know times are tough, but instead of stopping at that grab-n-run chain, try and find time to have a quick lunch or dinner at one of the longtime local establishments. They are to be treasured because of their quality and because they make you feel at home every time you walk through their doors.

    I only ate at Las Campanas once and liked my meal and the setting. However, I’ve heard many who had different tales of woe and understand that, if anything, there was a lack of consistency in the kitchen and the service. I’m not so sure they misjudged the market, but rather mistimed the venture.

    And I must say, David, the Togo’s on Mountain Ave. in Upland was a favorite of many IVDB reporters through the years. I never found their sandwiches average and I appreciated their friendly, personal service. On a hot summer day that “dark, dank hole” was a great place to cool down and chill out for lunch.

    Does anyone know if is this a single instance of a Togo’s going out or is the entire chain doomed to disappear?

    [Yes, people should find a way to continue patronizing the restaurants they love, even if on a reduced basis, despite curtailing spending. Otherwise, when times turn around for you, those favorite places may not be around. -- DA]

  • Heather

    Hi,

    I also worked at the Upland Togo’s while I was in high school and college. I am sad to see that it has closed. The owner, Dave, was a wonderful boss too and I have some fond memories of my first job at Togo’s. Now all I want is a #24 with provolone cheese on onion bread, hold the tomato. (I still remember the mantra of “lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and peppers…”) Bummer.

    I agree with the comment that we need to continue to frequent our favorite local eateries. It’s one little thing we can do to, hopefully, help out in these tough times.

    [Thanks for the comments, Heather. -- DA]

  • Todd Dice

    David,

    I didn’t know the Noble House was closing, ’tis sad. When we moved here to RC in 1997 our whole family would frequent the place and my girls liked the aquarium in the waiting area. I must admit that lately when we eat Chinese it’s usually from Magic Wok that’s at Baseline and Cherry as it’s close to my home.

    Maybe you could do a column of fast food eateries that I remember as a child that are not here anymore. Burger Chef, Pioneer Chicken, Naugles, Pup ‘N Taco are some I remember.

    And your column about visiting the Midwest reminds me that one fast food place I make a point to visit is Steak N’ Shake. I really like having baked beans with my steak burger, yum yum.

    [I made a stop at Steak N' Shake. We've covered some of your "greatest hits" in the Things That Aren't Here Anymore thread but we'll come back to the others sometime. -- DA]

  • http://blogs.dailybulletin.com/rcnow Wendy Leung

    Dave, some of my sources have lamented the fall of Noble House, too. One resident was flabbergasted. “But it’s been there forever!” she said. Of course, in RC, opening in 1995 means forever. … I must agree with you on Togo’s. The Deli on Archibald and Foothill can beat Togo’s to a pulp if the two got into a fight.

    Scott, that store in the Thomas Winery building that moved to Upland is What A Deal, a knickknack/gift shop. The landlords used the excuse (not sure if it’s fair or not) to up the rent with Fresh and Easy going in. They also hawk the center as having the state’s first winery and promise to preserve the winery theme. I can’t say changes like those are on the way for the Baseline and Haven plaza.

    [Now I want to see The Deli and Togo's brawl. A steel cage sandwich match. -- DA]

  • Scott in R.C.

    From what I’ve seen from the gals at The Deli and my half-sister who used to work at the Togo’s in Upland, The Deli gals would take them out, no problem! Awesome sandwiches at The Deli.

    [Agreed. -- DA]

  • Wendy H

    We, too, cleaned out our takeout menu collection recently. We’re still in denial…the Noble House menu is still in the ‘Chinese’ pocket.

    Anyone for some Hot and Sour soup?

  • Ben

    Spoke the to the owner of Noble House one sad afternoon as he was packing one of the last boxes from the bar. I was rather surprised that he even opened the front door — maybe he saw the tear in my eye. He did say that the rent was going up more than they could afford. Anyway, I put my email address on a list that he offered to use if Noble House opens elsewhere — haven’t seen an email yet. :(

    [Thanks, Ben. -- DA]

  • Fusionjazz

    Rent in Rancho Cucamonga is kinda high (duh). Why couldn’t they find another location with lesser rent and re-open? Their large following would go there. Wouldn’t you?

    If anyone from Noble House reads this: Please re-open somewhere else nearby Rancho.