Remembering Magic Towers

magictower

Magic Towers opened in Pomona (540 E. Foothill Blvd.) in 1968 and lasted until 1978. As you can see, it was built to be reminiscent of a castle, specifically Sleeping Beauty’s Castle from Disneyland, according to the owner, with four turrets.

I wrote a little about Magic Towers in a column about Friar Tuck’s, the bar that took over the castle in 1990 and changed to Stein Haus after a “Bar Rescue” makeover (and expired in late 2015):

The castle was built in 1968, about the same time as another piece of roadside architecture, a restaurant a half-mile east in Claremont that resembles a fishing boat.

Originally the castle was Magic Towers, a medieval-themed stand that sold knightburgers, castleburgers and the King Arthur burger, touted as a “triple hamburger with dragon sauce.”

Within two years, an addition made room for a diner and ice cream parlor, and the chef, “Monsieur Leonard,” had trained at the Waldorf Astoria, according to a Progress-Bulletin story.

Owner Monte Radlovic had hoped to expand his empire to other cities and nations, but it’s unclear if any other Magic Towers were developed.

I’m giving the restaurant its own blog post because of this photo, turned up by picture maven Darin Kuna and posted recently on Facebook. How could I not share it in all its medieval glory! It shows the castle after the 1970 addition in front.

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  • Paul Ochsner

    Rumor has it that it will re-open as “Tucks” There’s been a lot of work going on , but no license application notice posted yet.

    • davidallen909

      Interesting! I noticed the parking lot was paved, which seemed like a first step toward something.

  • Diego Ramirez

    I had always thought Friar Tucks was the original business since it matched the building’s theme. So the chicken did come before the egg?

    • davidallen909

      Something like that. Friar Tuck’s is definitely the longest tenant there.

  • Richard_Pietrasz

    I lived close by from 1978 to 1984, There was another restaurant between Friar Tuck’s and Stein House, as I remember, but it only lasted a year or two. I took my mother there, but I don’t remember the name or type of food, only that there was a lot of linen and that it didn’t last too long.

    • davidallen909

      Must have been before Friar Tuck’s, which opened in 1990 and was converted to Stein Haus on a TV makeover show.

      • Richard_Pietrasz

        I overlooked the significance of the dates. There may have been a number of restaurants and bars in the building between closing of Magic Towers and opening of Friar Tuck’s.