Red letter day for cheap businessman


Dollars to doughnuts this used to be a Winchell’s. In this economy, better to recycle an old sign than buy a fresh one, I guess. Spotted in Victorville by John Evans.

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  • Allan

    It’s one thing to be ‘cheap’ but another to be completely lazy. If the lights are individually set, you can actually use some of the letters to spell ‘neil’ and if he still had that s where the word donuts now hangs, he could’ve had neils.

    It could’ve also been a faux fur-coat store called Minc Hell purposefully misspelled since it’s fake fur. 🙂 Or if we’re going to continue turning letters upside down, Minc Yell works too.

    [Or, W. Hell Inc. — DA]

  • shirley wofford

    If only, this letter reversal, were just a cheap way, to cut the overhead. The vandalism problems really started to implode, around 2006-2007, in Victorville. The vandals made it impossible, then, for builders to get and keep new houses ready for market. The increase, in population, along with the respective, lower, financial demographics, that occurred, with the population shift, from LA and other suburban areas, to the high desert, probably deposited the little devils, who flipped this sign-letter, and left their little logo, on the stucco.

    (Back in the 70’s and 80’s, Winchells was the brand, when it came to donuts, and I never gave a thought, to the fact, that they would fade away, in the future. I wonder, if Krispy kreme will still be around, in 20 years–we never did get the one, that was planned, for Montclair.)

    [Don’t blame the kids, Shirley. The new business owner changed the sign himself to save money on a new sign and name. It’s like the Sizzler in Upland that became Sizzlin once it was no longer affiliated with the chain. — DA]

  • shirley wofford

    Are you kidding–that blows my mind! I stand corrected. (At least, I trust the owner didn’t do the graffitti.) I never even knew about, “Sizzlin”, in Upland.

    I think there have been lawsuits all over the country, when new businesses have traded on an established brand-name. I had wondered about the new, “Paradise Buffet”, in Montclair. It is not connected with “Paradise Restaurant Montclair”, and they have had people walk in, looking for the new buffet restaurant. I can’t imagine how, and why, that got by the planners, in Montclair. The new Buffet could have used any name, except, “Paradise”, IMO.

  • My favorite is “Lamp Pot” (formerly Lamppost) Pizza; I think that one went away. (I doubt any of these “change a letter” businesses survive long.)

    “Paradise” is probably generic enough to allow multiple businesses – even multiple restaurants – to use the name in the same city.

    [Lamp Pot — that’s funny. By the same token, in Claremont, Straw Hat Pizza became Raw Hat. Your change-a-letter theory certainly held true in that case. — DA]

  • shirley wofford

    Now that you’ve brought up the subject: I went to the beauty supply store yesterday to purchase, “nailtiques, formula 2”. The sales clerk handed me a box, that looked just like the one I usually purchase, but something seemed different, to me. I glanced at the label on the box, and saw that I was just about to purchase, “nail-tec, formula 2”.

    John E, our city is only five square miles, in total land-area. The two restaurants are only a mile apart. If I were the owner of the original, I would have complained to the powers-that-be.

  • Dennis

    Hi David,

    I don’t remember exactly where, but somewhere in this valley there was a “Jenny’s” which took over the building and sign of a “Denny’s”. Also, in a slightly different category, how about the Ponderosa Dental Group on Haven just north of Arrow? They moved into a former restaurant building, kept the sign, and named their group after it.

    [Oh, yeah, the Ponderosa steakhouse. That’s a good one. Jenny’s/Denny’s (a new one to me) reminds me that Millie’s on Mountain in Ontario became Miltie’s, before eventually becoming a King Taco. — DA]