Upland’s Buffalo Inn is a restaurant and watering hole at 1814 W. Foothill Blvd., located in a sort of compound of old buildings and thick trees around an expansive patio. It’s hard to get more than a sense of it from the exterior, as even enlarging the thumbnail photo below should make obvious. Their staple item (besides beer) is a burger made from buffalo meat and their housemade potato chips.
The signs say “Established 1929,” and based on the evident age of the structures, it’s quite possible there have been businesses on the property since the Depression, although they weren’t the Buffalo Inn, which opened circa 1976.
Previous businesses known to have been on the site, based on phone directory listings: the Green Frog (1974-75), Hazel’s Tavern (1971-73), Ellis Tavern (1967-69), Ray’s Place (1964), Roy and Kitty’s Cafe (1954) and El Montecito Cafe (1945-51). Notice the many gaps when there was no phone listing. Either the place felt no need to be in the phone book or the property was used only as a residence then.
Kelly Zackmann of Ontario’s Ovitt Library found the above for me but said she “pretty much lost the trail in 1945,” unable to find anything definitive before that date. Could be the restaurant’s owner or employees know more. No newspaper seems to have produced a written history of the site, at least nothing that’s on file at the Ontario or Upland libraries.
If you know anything about the site’s history, or just want to comment on the Buffalo Inn, please do so.