Cafe Calato*

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The once-popular Cafe Calato Italian restaurant in Rancho Cucamonga evidently has closed for good, at least for now. In a business park on Center Street just above Fourth Street, a stone’s throw from Ontario, and just down the street from our newsroom, Cafe Calato served inexpensive pastas and pizzas.

There was no note on the door Saturday and no activity. Based on Yelp comments, the restaurant closed around the beginning of June.

I don’t know much about Cafe Calato’s history, but it was in business in 1997 when I started at the Bulletin. A friend tells me the restaurant changed hands about three years ago and that the owner is having health problems. He offered his staff the chance to stay employed by running the place themselves, as long as they kept the place up to his standards. He visited a few days later, found the place a mess and, since that reflected on him, fired everyone and shut the doors instead.

Some people say what they mean and mean what they say, it seems.

* Meanwhile, I’ve also been told the new owner ran the place into the ground and cut a lot of corners, resulting in the C grade mentioned in the comments and a loss of business.

** Cafe Calato reopened under a new owner/chef in October.

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  • http://www.sbcounty.gov/dehs/restgrades/Results.aspx?city=Rancho+Cucamonga Barbie Blue

    My hubby & I went there toward the end of May and we noticed they had a “C” rating AFTER we ate there! That really messes with your mind and tummy noticing that afterwards.

    Anyway we looked it up on the county website and sure enough, they had scored a 71! I think they were subject to another inspection within 30 days of May 11, so maybe the employees didn’t clean the place up & maintain it.

    It’s unfortunate that the employees couldn’t keep up the high standards because that place had a lot of potential. Should have called Gordon Ramsey in for help!

    [BB, thanks for the research. -- DA]

  • Dana

    I nightly crave your sauce as does my wife and mother. Ever consider selling the sauce for aficionados like us? No commercial plans, just real fans of the best I have ever tasted.

  • Mike Rambeau

    Dana – Dennis & I discussed this & located a bottling contact thanks to Pat Patterson, does the grt wings @ Industry Hills M-Cycle races on Wed nites. I used to do the sharpening there & enjoyed the food also: Health issues seem to hang on though.

    I worked for him p/t at retail venue for a number of yrs also. Hopefully he improves — as his was his best business venture to date, he really enjoyed it,,,,,,

  • Tobi Cummings

    The restaurant is under new ownership! The old head chef, Travis Graham, who has been there for over fifteen years, has taken over the day to day operations. The restaurant has taken a turn for the great. The wait staff is speedy, the kitchen is organized, they just got their beer and wine license back and things are friendlier than ever. This is what authentic, family-style, Italian food is all about.

    I took a female companion in the other night on Friday. At first glance, the place seemed slow, but as we heard the commotion in the back, we realized it was a bit bigger than it looked. The front has about 8-10 tables and there were about three of them occupied and a party of about thirty-five in the back. We were greeted right as we walked in the door, sat and introduced to our server. The gentleman suggested some appetizers and some wine to complement it and pointed out a couple of specials/favorites.

    We had the garlic knots to start which were fluffy, garlicky and just the right amount of butter… so good. We waited for a good minute after we got our drinks and appetizer, but were told that the party just had their meal served and were given our meals shortly afterwards. Our arms were twisted and we had a bottle of Yellow Tail Chardonnay that just made the meal. I had the chicken piccata and my date had the shrimp scampi, but we both shared. The piccata was delicious and the shrimp scampi was just awesome. I had dessert because I’m a sucker for spumoni and they’re one of the few that still have it and was not disappointed.

    All in all… WHY ISN’T THIS PLACE BUSIER!!!! Great food, better prices and fast-friendly service, get here and find out for yourselves.

    [Tobi, thanks for the report. -- DA]

  • HARPER PARADE

    Nothing like a RANCHO CUCAMONGA for all your CAFE with HETU and PHYTO.
    And nothing like a COPHYBA with COPHE!
    And how about a PHYCRY with PHYCOO ?
    CALATE- COLETSE- CALIT for you.
    Or PHONAT with FONAT.
    DA likes DATIL.
    And so does ROBLESS PARK.
    CALATO – COMSTUL with COMIA got a COCHOUN just waiting for you.
    Call!