So long, John Silver’s

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Mateys, the only Long John Silver’s Seafood Shoppe in the Inland Valley has pulled up the plank. Montclair’s location, 9379 Central Ave., closed Dec. 31.

“The property that includes the restaurant is currently in escrow,” reports Steve Lustro, Montclair’s community development director.


The Montclair location opened in 1978, according to building records. I ate there once, maybe twice, but have been to other Long John Silver’s — named for the pirate in “Treasure Island” — in my time. Founded in Kentucky in 1969, they may have been more common in the Midwest, where I’m from, than out here.

According to Wikipedia: “Earlier restaurants were known for their Cape Cod-style buildings, blue roofs, small steeples, and nautically-themed decorations such as seats made to look like nautical flags. Most early restaurants also featured separate entrance and exit doors, a corridor-like waiting line area, food heaters that were transparent so customers could see the food waiting to be served, and a bell by the exit which customers could ‘ring if we did it well.’ Many of these buildings had dock-like walkways lined with pilings and thick ropes that wrapped around the building exterior.”

According to the chain’s store locator, the only remaining Silver’s in the Inland Empire are San Bernardino, Riverside, Redlands and Victorville. To the west, you’d have to drive to Norwalk.

The pirate craze seems to have passed the pirate eatery by. Someone at headquarters should walk the plank over this.

Anyone have any memories of this location, or others?

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  • Allan

    Yarrr, tis the perfect opportunity to use a Douglas Adams title: “So Long and Thanks For All The Fish”

  • Will Plunkett


    I always loved this place. I figured with all the other restaurants closing but this mainstay, well, staying, that it could survive. The service was polite and the workers always helpful. LJS’s breading was always tasty, and it was a decent deal. Fridays during Lent was often packed (out the door even).

    Boo hoo-hoo and bottle of hum.

    [There, there. — DA]

  • Don J

    I think the sudden loss of all A&W’s across the greater Southern California area was sadder. Isn’t a Tommy’s suppoosed 2 go in LJSilver’s spot?

    [A Tommy’s was but may no longer be now that the property is changing hands. The land includes the former dermatology clinic a bit to the north. As for A&W, there’s still a combo A&W at Mountain and Foothill if that’s any consolation. — DA]

  • Charles Bentley

    I believe this is more of a statement concerning changing tastes and available options than a mark against Long John Silver’s (or pirates in general). There was a time when deep fried was the only way many people would eat fish. H. Salt Esq. Fish & Chips was a mainstay locally, long before LJS sailed into this region. Still, I believe there are a couple of H. Salt outlets around. While I remember hearing of Arthur Treacher’s growing up, I don’t recall if they had any local franchises (does anyone out there recall?).

    Remember, these were the days when any of us attending public schools and eating in the cafeteria knew one certain truth — Friday was always fish sticks day. And believe me when I say that for many of us, the idea of fish & chips (they look like french fries to me) was far more appealing than any fish stick with tartar sauce!

    But many people now turn up their noses at the idea of fish & chips, some for health concerns and some because there are now more fish/seafood options at other dining establishments. How many fish taco options are there now? It doesn’t seem all that long ago that you had to go to San Diego (or across the border) to sample that fare.

    Other once popular eateries are also struggling to survive in the face of such change. Arby’s, Furr’s, and a wide array of fried/broasted chicken establishments have/are disappearing locally. David, the day may soon come when you can’t even find a hot tuna melt on an Inland Valley menu.

    [What?! Someone fan me. And Charles, you’re right about changing tastes, fish tacos and the rest of it. Thanks for the context. — DA]

  • John Hunter

    Look at the bright side, H. Salt is still open in Upland, and the fish and chips @ Red Robin are great.

    [I thought of bringing up H. Salt in that post, so thanks for bringing it up yourself! — DA]

  • Bonnie

    SOB! I’ve always enjoyed LJS’s. I think they changed their cooking oil more often than other places because you never walked in and smelled rancid oil. Have been craving LJS all of December and decided to go after the holidays were over, guess I missed my chance. Anyone know of a place in La Verne that serves good fish & chips? Don’t care for Red Robin but will give it a try since John Hunter likes them, thanks for the recommendation.

    [La Verne had Mr. Fish and Chips on Foothill but Yelp says it’s closed. Upland has a couple of British pubs plus an H. Salt Fish & Chips. Other than that, I don’t know of anything close to La Verne. — DA]

  • Don J

    No Dave the Foothill & Mountain location dropped A&W a good year & a half ago. Closest is Corona, then Berdoo, then the South Bay.

    [Oh. Well, that’s too bad. — DA]

  • Fred Tessensohn

    Like John Hunter, I am grateful that H. Salt is still open, and I do enjoy Red Robin’s fish and chips from time to time, but I will really miss this Long John Silvers location. My mom used to love their hush puppies, until she passed away in 2004. I don’t believe any of the other fish places in the area serve hush puppies, and I found them a guilty pleasure–I’m sure they aren’t good for you, or they wouldn’t taste so great! Maybe H. Salt would be willing to try serving tater tots?

  • Eric


    While Mr. Fish and Chips did close, Connolly’s Kitchen took its place as an Irish eatery. The first thing on their menu is Fish and Chips ( but unfortunately I have not been there so I can’t vouch for the place.

    Located at 1453 Foothill, in the corner of the old Vons center on Wheeler and Foothill.

  • Andy

    I ate the LJS at Victorville and it was dreadful. It was the first visit to LJS since visiting the oil-soaked, perfumed interior of the Rowland Heights location on Stoner Creek and Colima (now a KFC) back in the 90’s.

    [When I lived in Victorville in the mid-’90s I ate at that LJS a few times. It was acceptable then in a pinch. — DA]

  • Star Mendou

    I worked at this location some years ago. They do have a strong following, but I’m glad that this particular building shut down. You see, there was pretty bad rat problem at this location. They were actually shut down by the health department for one day in 2006-ish for the rodent problem, and employees were told to lie and say it was due to a gas leak.

    Don’t get me wrong, we tried our best to work around the rat problem and we never sold contaminated food or anything, but I just think that this location should have been shut down or at least relocated years ago.

  • Karen Kasey

    What type of fish did Long John Silver’s serve back in 1969-1975? Please reply. Gotta know the answer.

  • Tim

    I’m surprised no one mentioned Long John Silvers on Garey Ave. just South of LaVerne Ave. on the West side of Garey Ave. It was just across the street from what used to be Del Taco and Sir Georges Royal Buffet. I have a photograph of my wife and I sitting on the wooded plank wharf like entrance in 1984. The building sat vacant for many years and was more recently demolished. The lot where it stood is still vacant.