Wednesday column preview

The Virgin Megastore at Ontario Mills is closing in January, along with the Virgin at the Block at Orange. On the plus side, a huge closeout sale starts Friday. I’m not keen on hitting the Mills the day after Thanksgiving, but this music fan plans to circle the CD bins like a vulture in the coming weeks, just as I did at Tower Records.

Read about Virgin’s pending demise Wednesday, as well as PFF Bank’s fate — the economy appears to have made me a business-humor columnist — and other matters.
But first, a few more thoughts about Virgin Megastore.

Virgin is a mall anchor and was one of the hip stores when the mall opened in November 1996. I don’t know if Richard Branson came out — chime in if you know — but I recall the mall hosting Wolfgang Puck when his cafe opened, and Steven Spielberg when GameWorks debuted. Off Rodeo Drive was a walkway with designer clothes. In the pre-Victoria Gardens era, having outposts of L.A. out here in the boonies was exciting.

With the later addition of a Vans skate park, which hosted Tony Hawk (I got to meet him), and the Ontario Improv, the Mills had an aura of youth and trendiness.

GameWorks and the Improv hang on, but Vans, Wolfgang Puck and Off Rodeo are long gone and Virgin is leaving. Besides the Improv, about as cool as the Mills will be at that point is, what, Fuddruckers?

Speaking of cool, this is my 500th blog post!

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  • Ms. Lois


    Congrats on your 500th post! I enjoy reading them every day.

    [Thank you! — DA]

  • Bob House

    Off topic, sorry; but have you been following the Claremont Thanksgiving brouhaha today? It’s on every news outlet in the country that I’ve checked — it was being discussed on one of the conservative talk radio shows here in Phoenix this morning (“those *&%^$## liberal elite university types . . .”). Not exactly the best PR moment for my hometown.

    Hopefully, Pilgrim Place residents won’t take to the streets in defense of their Pageant.

    [Yes, I’ve been following that story with interest! — DA]

  • Bob House

    Forgot to add heartiest congratulations for 500th post!

  • Scott in R.C.

    I guess this means I’ve read 500 of your posts!

    Have a good turkey.

  • Bob Terry

    As I travel around the area, things just come to me. BC Cafe, aka Kick Back Jacks, say they have been in business for 50 years. Then the BC must be related to the old Breakfast at Carl’s restaurant on Holt & East End which is now a pho place. So, how many of your readers remember the following…Seapy’s, Hull House, Big E Nuff Cafe and Taco Lita? Just some good items for conversation.

  • DAve

    Black Market Minerals is/was cool.

    (Haven’t been out there in a long time…)

    [I think it’s now a “was” but like you, I’m not certain. — DA]

  • Jim L

    I remember all the places you mentioned. I remember the Hull House at both the Palomares and Holt location as well as the location at White and Mission (across from Taco Lita). What I hadn’t realized until recently though was that the Hull House was originally on the NE corner of Garey and Commercial before the underpass was built there.

    I may be mistaken but is the building that housed the Big E Nuff Cafe still standing and operating as a Birria restaurant?

    Loved Seapy’s. How about Jan’s Seafood, Pail O Chicken, Bit O Sweden, Betsy Ross, Crystal Cafeteria, Saritas, Apex Cafe, Badens, Greenes Deli, St Charles Grille, and…. okay, I’ll stop here.

    [Clearly I’ll have to return to the “vanished restaurants” idea. Bob will have to tell us the location of the Big E Nuff, as that’s a new one on me. — DA]

  • Jim L


    The birreria that I thought might be the old Big E Nuff is at 940 E Mission, Pomona.

    [Oh, OK. Nice to hear the building is still there. — DA]