More on the St. Charles Grill

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The old St. Charles Grill restaurant in Pomona is the subject of Sunday’s column (read it here). An earlier blog post prompted a few reader comments.

During my recent tour of the building, my eye was caught by vintage photos taped to the mirror behind the bar. (The blue at the corners is tape.)

One, reproduced above, was a fuller version of an exterior photo that appeared cropped and with less detail on my blog. I love the St. Charles sign. The smaller window sign at the right reads “Chicken Dinners” and I believe the one at the left says “Steak Dinners.”

Below that is a fresh photo. Although the signs are gone, naturally, the exterior looks swankier today than it did whenever the photo was shot, perhaps after a remodeling somewhere along the line obscured some of the details.

The other piece on the mirror was a postcard, dated 1938, of the “annex,” as the bar was apparently known. It would be the area under the “Cocktails” sign in the top photo. Both sides of the postcard are reproduced below. Note how the word “patronage” was mistakenly substituted for “patrons.” But nobody’s perfect.

The bar is largely intact, but there was too much clutter for a decent photo.

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Restaurant of the Week: Fattoush

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Fattoush Mediterranean Cuisine, 428 Auto Center Drive (at Indian Hill), Claremont

Debuting in December 2011, Fattoush is next to the new Super King market. The two of them add a welcome touch of the Mediterranean to the neighborhood.

My friend had the mezza platter ($14, pictured above), a sampling of appetizers, which has, clockwise from left, tabbouli, falafel, spinach pie, grape leaves, hummus and baba ganouj. I sampled them myself and we agreed they were all good to very good. The tabbouli, which appeared to have been made moments before, was especially fresh and tasty.

I had the shawarma combo ($12.50, pictured below), which had beef and chicken with tahini sauce, garlic dip and a house salad. Pita bread for both of us was also delivered in a basket. The beef and chicken were both marinated and flavorful. The salad, which can be ordered separately, was okay but nothing special.

My friend, who’s Turkish and knows the food, really liked Fattoush and wants to go back. I would eat there again too.

The interior is modern and minimalist, with parquet floors, two-tone walls and subtle pink lighting near the ceiling, evidently a hipster touch. They have table service and you get actual silverware and plates. The menu is more ambitious than the restaurant appears to have originally planned; a copy handed out to my friend before the opening had more sandwiches and fewer entrees, and everything was $1 or $2 cheaper.

Now you can get shrimp kabobs ($18) and lamb chops ($20). But you can also get a rotisserie chicken sandwich for $5.59.

The restaurant’s website can be viewed here and the menu here.

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Column: Budget blight means end of redevelopment

Friday’s column (read it here) expresses some thoughts on the demise of redevelopment, particularly in Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, offering a splash of reality for some pro-redevelopment local officials. Also, I reflect on the passing of Claremont’s Judy Wright.

If you have a long MLK holiday weekend, enjoy it. I’ll be taking Friday off — and Metrolinking it to L.A. — but back at my desk Monday.

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Tintin, a journalist?

An amusing piece in Mother Jones is about the journalistic chops of Tintin, the boy reporter in Belgian comic books who is now immortalized in a movie.

Writes Dave Gilson: “If Tintin’s supposed to be a reporter, why don’t we see him writing up his big story at the end of the movie? For that matter, why don’t we see him ever doing anything vaguely resembling journalism?”

The full piece can be read here.

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Mystery mortgage messages

Spam comments occasionally show up on this blog, but only for a few hours until I see them and delete ’em. The only readers who see them are the ones who haunt the “Recent Comments” area for the latest comments.

Why should those readers have all the fun? I’ve collected most the spams of the past few weeks that relate to loans and compiled them below for your reading pleasure. I love the English-as-a-second-language phrasing, especially the way they put “the” in front of “loan.”

* All people deserve wealthy life and personal loans or just sba loan can make it better. Just because people’s freedom is grounded on money state.

* It is well known that money makes people disembarrass. But how to act if one has no cash? The one way is to try to get the mortgage loans and collateral loan.

* If you are willing to buy real estate, you would have to receive the mortgage loans. Moreover, my brother usually utilizes a financial loan, which supposes to be the most rapid.

* That is perfect that we are able to get the business loans and it opens completely new opportunities.

* Various people in every country receive the home loans in different banks, because this is fast and easy.

* I took my first mortgage loans when I was very young and this helped my family very much. Nevertheless, I need the short term loan over again.

* I took 1 st personal loans when I was a teenager and it aided my business very much. But, I need the credit loan also.

* If you are in the corner and have got no money to get out from that point, you will have to receive the personal loans. Because it should aid you unquestionably. I get student loan every year and feel myself OK because of it.

* One acknowledges that today’s life is very expensive, but we require money for various things and not every person earns big sums money. Therefore to receive fast loans or consolidation loans should be a right solution.

* When you are in a not good position and have got no cash to move out from that, you would require to take the business loans. Because that will help you for sure. I take commercial loan every year and feel myself OK just because of it.

* Cars and houses are not cheap and not everybody can buy it. However, credit loans are invented to aid different people in such situations.

* Cars and houses are expensive and not every person is able to buy it. Nevertheless, business loans are created to support people in such kind of situations.

* This is well known that money can make us independent. But what to do when one does not have money? The one way only is to try to get the mortgage loans or student loan.

* That’s good that people are able to receive the loan moreover, this opens up new opportunities.

* I opine that to receive the personal loans from banks you should have a great reason. However, once I’ve got a term loan, just because I wanted to buy a house.

* That is known that cash can make us autonomous. But how to act if someone doesn’t have money? The one way is to get the personal loans and commercial loan.

* Do you acknowledge that it is correct time to receive the credit loans, which can help you.

* I strictly recommend not to hold back until you earn enough money to buy all you need! You can take the home loans or short term loan and feel yourself comfortable.

* The loans are useful for people, which want to ground their own business. As a fact, this is very comfortable to get a financial loan.

I don’t know if compiling these comments was the right solution, but I feel myself OK just because of it, and feel myself comfortable too. Please, do not take the personal loan, even if it is fast and easy and you are very young. Thank you.

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In Chino Hills, the Council Chambers has an alcove with a press table reserved for us and the Chino Champion, with three swanky ergonomic chairs, two nameplates and, best of all, a “Quiet Please, Reporters at Work” sign. Ha ha! Boy, I’d love to have one of those for my desk.

Hey, pipe down, Chino Hillsians! We’re workin’ here! (At the Dec. 13 meeting, mostly I was reading “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov, but a respectful silence was still called for.)

Incidentally, at the same meeting, the press table afforded an excellent view of two women wearing hats.

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Judy Wright

Claremont historian Judy Wright died early Saturday. A former mayor, Wright had been ill for six months but went into cardiac arrest Jan. 1 and was in a coma this past week before being removed from the respirator, according to Karen Rosenthal, a friend and another past mayor.

“It is a huge loss for the community,” Rosenthal told me via email. “The flags at city facilities will be flown at half-staff until further notice.”

Wright published “Claremont: A Pictorial History” and “Claremont Women: 1887-1950” and was the go-to person for facts and context about local history — enough so that in my Sunday column I publicly (and innocently) asked for her help regarding the golf carts that used to ply the city’s streets. She read this blog and my column and was always there if I needed her. I’m sorry she won’t be there any longer.

The Courier’s announcement of her death can be read here.

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