• http://diversitown.blogspot.com meg

    And nice of them to have a dedicated restroom for scantily-clad cocktail waitresses! (Or is that a scantily-clad nurse? I swear she’s saying “It’s time for your medication, Mr. McMurphy.”)

    [Artistically it is, admittedly, wretched. "Cuckoo's Nest" pun! -- DA]

  • Bob House

    I never made it to Grinder Haven, but in the late 50s-early 60s I was a regular at DiGangi’s Grinders on W. Holt in Pomona (now closed) and D’Elia’s Grinders in Riverside (still there — although I can’t believe that I ever drove that far even for a great sandwich). In junior high in Claremont, a DiGangi family member was a classmate. We could place an order with him the night before and enjoy a grinder for lunch at school the next day.

    The artist’s conception of the cars of the 1950s on the GH mural is pretty amusing.

  • Jonnie Owens

    I am always amazed that Grinder Haven is still around. When I was 17, I had my first job at Grinder Haven. I didn’t last long, but either did most of the others who worked there. It was the only job that I was ever ‘let go’ from! Apparently I couldn’t make grinders fast enough or I took too much time with the customers. But I hold no grudge and my daughter still goes there for her pastrami grinders.

    [So you were a pioneer in the slow food movement, Jonnie? -- DA]

  • shirley wofford

    I spent my first year in CA, living in Pomona, eating at DiGangis and following that, six years, living in Ontario off San Antonio by the railroad tracks, eating at Grinder Haven. A pastrami grinder cost 65 cents. It is amazing that Grinder Haven has survived to this day — more power to them. Yes, that mural is funny. I know 1958 is ancient, but not that ancient.

  • Linda Frost

    Hey, 1958 is not that old! I have not been to the Grinder Haven in years. They have the best grinders. Maybe I will stop by and reacquaint my taste buds.

  • Larry Dutro

    What happened to this place? What made this place great was the bread, no more!

    I used to go here around 1957 to 1965, now it’s a taco stand.

    The place was sold, and along with the sale went the quality. It’s the “BREAD” stupid. I was there a few months ago, spoke with the owner/mgr, tried to explain why the bread was so important, in one ear-out the other. Hope they do well with the new taco stand.

  • http://www.itsthebread.com Brian Perrone

    BOB… did you know that the Grinder Haven originally WAS a D’Elia’s Grinder Haven? Not too many people know that… but if you look at the old neon sign they have up, you can still see where they removed the D’Elia’s and left the Grinder Haven part…

    The University Ave store in Riverside was my grandmother (D’Elia was her maiden name) and grandfathers… now my sister, cousin and I run it. The Ontario location was my great-aunt’s store. They sold it and moved back to Connecticut well before my time (I am 33).

    We were offered to buy it back a few years ago. Can’t believe the guy that bought it from my great aunt and uncle had been working 7 days a week until it was most recently sold. I do know he was still using all of the original ovens and equipment until at least 10 years ago. I know how labor intensive that was. I remember my dad and uncle working so much harder than we have to with modern machinery. Thankfully… i dont’t have to because of their hard work!

    [Brian, thanks for the new info about Grinder Haven, not to mention D'Elia's. Good to hear D'Elia's is back in the family. We wish you'd take Grinder Haven back too. -- DA]

  • jeff talbott

    I have been thinking about Grinder Haven lately. Just told my wife when we get to Ontario this fall I want to get a pastrami from the Grinder Haven. Have went there since the beginning. We used to have grinder night once a week when growing up. We used to go Mr. Grinder also just up the street. I always liked the Grinder Haven the best. Guess that’s why it lasted. My mouth is watering, can’t wait until October.

    jeff from Phoenix

  • Randy Ross

    Requests for the return of the crispy crust bread to the owner do fall on deaf ears.

    Grinder Haven was my favorite place to eat as a kid. I ate there a couple of years ago; however, the bread was no longer had the crispy crust. I planned to ask the owner why they stoped making the crispy bread while the proprietor was out speaking to the patrons. However, the guests (approximately 55 years old) at the table just before me hit the owner up on the same crust question with my amen.

    The owner indicated that most people prefer soft crust, not crispy crust, and indicated they skip a step in the baking process to leave the bread soft. But then this is the same guy who sells hamburgers, 10 egg breakfast burritos and parks a taco cart in the parking lot. The owner just doesn’t get it.

    Does anybody know what gave the ham and cheese the unique taste? Was it just lots of pepper with the oil and vinegar?

    [You might try again; my understanding is that the ownership changed earlier this year. -- DA]

  • Jackie Larson

    I just ordered a Roma’s Special from the local Italian deli her in Florida. I told my son, Sam, this reminds me of the Italian Grinder from DiGangi’s (I think I have the right spelling?). In the Summer my mother would give me …. I believe one dollar???… and she asked or told me to go to DiGangi’s and bring us home an Italian Grinder…. I was so happy because it was so delicious and it was big enough to share. So I thought I would “Google” DiGangis’s and here I am. I wish it was still there so I could take my mom there when I visit her… just like when we go to “Espiaus.. in Claremont”!

  • Jerry Case

    Absolutely LOVE the Grinder Haven.. and I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only person upset with the new owner and their “bread” (if that’s what you call it). You know, in my mind, if a private local restaurant has been surviving this long, then don’t change something as drastic as the bread on the sandwiches. The pastrami still tastes good, but with this new bread, the sandwich just tastes soggy. Please people, keep on telling the owner to CHANGE THE BREAD BACK! And, I agree.. the owner kind of lost the whole nostalgic feel to this place by adding 10-egg burritos and tacos. Damn it. This is a GRINDER shop- hence the name. There are 2000 other places in Ontario to go for burritos and tacos. As you folks can see, I’m passionate about this place. Been going here for a long time.

    [Did you see my writeup here about the food earlier this year, and more recently, the news in my column that the operator has moved on to open a grinder shop farther east on Holt? In other words, you won't have to worry about him anymore...although I have no idea what the future holds for Grinder Haven's property. -- DA]

  • Beverly Adams

    My husband and I met Roger and Margrate Di Gangi around 1970. We actually went partners with them on another Grinder shop on San Ramon in Chino Calif. We were friends with them for many years. We also at one time ran his brothers Pete’s Grinder shop (his 2nd) one in Lemon Grove Calif. I just learned Pete passed away in 1994, and both Roger/wife have passed. If anyone knows where their daughter Joanie or (Joan) is would love to know. The oil on the Di Gangis grinders was what made them so so good. Plus the home made bread that Roger and Margrate baked every day.