Remembering Stinkey’s Cafe


Photo from the 1958 CMC yearbook, The Ayer


We’ve talked about Stinkey’s here before, a still fondly remembered burger joint on the northwest corner of Foothill and Mountain back in the day. You can read those comments here.

Kelly Zackmann of the Ontario Library reports that, according to city directories, Stinky’s first appeared in 1948, at 1214 W. Foothill Blvd. The later directories spelled it Stinkey’s. There are no listings beyond 1968. It was owned by Jack A. Kermott.

Here’s a fresh comment from Larry Hernandez, who e-mailed in response to my column on RoVal’s to reminisce about Stinky’s/Stinkey’s:

“I loved the story on long-gone eating places that readers remember very fondly. This brings to my mind very vague, almost lost memories of a diner called Stinky’s that used to be on Foothill Boulevard in Upland, west of Euclid.

“I cannot remember very much about the place but I can vividly recall how tasty and wonderfully smelly the hamburgers were when they came right off the grill. Being 51 years of age, I was a mere boy, perhaps 5 or 6, when my dad or mom stopped by to pick up a quick takeout dinner. I think we ate in the parking lot. My dad and mom never ate inside, perhaps a holdover from earlier times when Mexican-Americans hesitated to overstay their welcome in many local establishments, like the Ford Diner that used to sit on the southeast corner of Holt and Euclid.

“The place must have shut down shortly thereafter, because I cannot recall it being there when I passed by the spot in the late ’60s and beyond.

“What I recall is a smallish diner, set back from the road, with lots of empty fields around it, and huge old eucalyptus tree windbreaks still in the vicinity, probably bordered with piles of ‘Upland potatoes.’ The parking lot may have been unpaved. I think it was on the northwest corner of Mountain and Foothill.

“What I cannot forget is the feel and taste of toasted buns off of the grill and the pungent odor and taste of the onions the cook placed over the beef patty. Stinky’s hamburgers set the standard by which all other burgers are still judged in my mind. I don’t know what the cook did with those onions, but I have never encountered the same again.

“Could you give a shout-out to other readers about their memories of Stinky’s? Perhaps the secrets are hidden away in the papers of some family that had a connection to the owner or the cooks.”

Wasn’t that nice? I’ve alerted Larry that he really ought to visit this blog. But if anyone has anything to add about Stinkey’s, feel free to post a comment below.

Update: Here are two photos from the 1960s contributed by Rick Lee. Thanks, Rick. Love the scarred table. He says of the second photo: “The older person…I think was the owner.” Stinkey himself!

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