Former IVDB office now dust

For 30 years the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin had its offices at 2041 E. 4th St. in Ontario, the first home the newspaper had after consolidating the Ontario Daily Report and Pomona Progress-Bulletin into one modern headquarters in 1985.

But as has become the way of things for newspapers, we no longer needed all that space due to staff cuts, consolidation elsewhere and an end to printing the paper in Ontario. (The back half of this 2013 column talks about our printing presses.) So we moved a few blocks east to leased quarters at 9616 Archibald Ave. in late 2015, our printing is now done in Riverside and our old property was put on the market, where it languished — until recently.

KB Homes bought it up, bulldozed the building and ground up the concrete to make way for a housing development to be named The Cottages on 4th. They will replace what we might have called The Bunker on 4th, as it had no windows.

I wonder if KB Homes will give preference to former Bulletin employees? On second thought, nah. We spent more than enough of our lives on that piece of ground. Time to let someone else occupy it.

Photo above and below by Wayne Iverson; bottom two photos by me.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Restaurant of the Week: Stonefire Grill

Stonefire Grill, 10680 E. Foothill Blvd. (at Spruce), Rancho Cucamonga

Stonefire Grill opened in June in the long-closed On the Border restaurant building at Terra Vista Town Center in Rancho Cucamonga. It’s one of nine current locations around Southern California, with the next-nearest one in Pasadena.

A friend and I went in for lunch recently. It was bustling, that’s for sure. You order at what you might have expected to be a greeter station, at one of two registers. So you get a kind of McDonald’s or Panera vibe, except for the higher price points.

They sell sandwiches, salads, barbecue, pizza, pasta and more. (See menu.) I’m a little suspicious of places with such a broad menu.

Despite the lunchtime line, the staffer who took our orders was friendly. On the counter to tempt us were the largest brownies I’ve ever seen, square slabs about the size of a grilled cheese sandwich, but thicker. We demurred.

After ordering, you fetch your drink, as well as plates and silverware, and find a seat in the sprawling dining room. Why take a plate? It turns out your food is delivered on a metal platter, like a pizza pan.

I got a “meal,” which comes with a salad or side, ordering mesquite BBQ tri-tip and baby back ribs, plus a salad ($16.60). My friend got the All American Burger ($7.50) and a bowl of chicken tortilla soup ($3.50), which he asked to be brought out at the same time as my salad.

My salad arrived, and then when my platter arrived, he got his soup and burger at the same time (sigh).

He said the soup had jack cheese, avocado and plenty of chicken, that his burger was better than fast food if not to a gourmet burger level and that the salt and pepper potato chips reminded him of the ones at the Buffalo Inn, “back when there was a Buffalo Inn” (another reason to sigh).

My ribs had a good bark, matching Lucille’s but not Famous Dave’s (or Bigg Dane and Beale’s), and the tri-tip, which I ordered medium rare, was soft and buttery.

Oh, and at least with the meal, you get a free basket of breadsticks, which made me think I was at a higher-class Olive Garden.

I’m a little mixed on the experience and probably would like the place better if there was table service instead of the DIY, cafeteria feel. But the food was a little above average. So, overall, not bad.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Reading Log: November 2017

Books acquired: “The Perfect Horse,” Elizabeth Letts; “Addicted to Americana,” Charles Phoenix

Books read: “Hillbilly Elegy,” J.D. Vance; “It Can’t Happen Here,” Sinclair Lewis

I only managed to finish two books in November, one of them on the 30th. Both were birthday gifts from March.

First up was “Hillbilly Elegy,” a 2016 memoir by a Yalie about his Appalachian upbringing and troubled childhood in particular and the challenges of underclass white America in general. So there’s some welcome sociology mixed in. Vance’s book was published before the election and never mentions it, but it was published at a good time to become part of the post-election conversation on disaffected whites.

Consider it a window into the problems of poor, white America, written by a man who grew up poor and still hasn’t entirely shaken its legacy. I didn’t find the mix of his personal story and the bits of research entirely satisfying. But “Elegy” does give a welcome insight into the hopelessness felt by many in this country.

“It Can’t Happen Here” is about an election, the one in 1936. The novel was written in 1935 and posits a phony man of the people who is actually a strongman with his own private militia. After his election, he starts tossing people into labor camps and his enemies, including the press, into concentration camps. The novel gained currency since its 2005 republication and especially the past couple of years, for reasons that should be obvious, even if the comparisons are overblown.

Not a masterpiece of story construction or dialogue, but maybe a masterpiece of ideas. Lewis seems to have been taking aim primarily at Huey Long, but the fear that a seemingly unpolished cornpone fascist would appeal to enough rubes to become president is probably eternal.

I’m a little sheepish that I only got through two books all month, totaling about 550 pages, but then again, that’s about 20 pages a day (I think I started the first one a few days into the month), so by normal-person standards that’s okay, I guess.

I’ve got three books going on my nightstand, all of which I should be finishing in December, and likely one further book to round out my month and year. My annual list of my year’s reading, with an accompanying column, will appear in late December or early January.

How was your November, readers? We’re anxious to know.

Next month: The Boss.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Restaurant of the Week: El Buen Gusto

El Buen Gusto, 360 N. Park Ave. (at Center), Pomona; open daily, 10:15 a.m. to 7 p.m.; cash only; second location at 990 E. Holt (at Reservoir)

Reader Helen Uceda recommended El Buen Gusto to me possibly three years ago (ulp), seconded by a friend of mine, and the restaurant was dutifully added to my list of places to try around the region. Time passed, as it does, until recently I scanned the list and I made a point of finding the restaurant, which I didn’t believe I had ever noticed despite it being on the fringes of downtown Pomona.

But there it was when I looked for it, in a nondescript building alongside a barber and a botanica with its own tarot reader. I parked around the corner and stepped inside for a late lunch.

Even after 3 p.m., there were a few customers inside the modest restaurant. You order in the lobby at the window, where they also dispense takeout orders. I asked the employee, who might have been an owner, what people ordered, and she listed a few items — pupusas, fajitas and beef soup are the ones I recall — while saying the pork, cheese and bean pupusas were the most popular.

I got two of those — they’re known as revueltas — and a guanabana agua fresca. She said I could pay upon leaving.

There are two small adjoining dining rooms, probably evidence the restaurant has expanded into the next door space. An El Salvador flag is displayed in one window. A Spanish-language program played silently on a TV. After a while my food was delivered: a plate of two thick, pancake-like pupusas, plus a bowl of a vinegary slaw to use as topping.

I’ve had pupusas a handful of times. These might be my favorite, stuffed, delicious and filling. The guanabana drink was sweet but light, a good combination.

The bill: $8. That’s hard to beat.

El Buen Gusto may not be much to look at, but the food is good and the staff polite. I should have tried them three years ago.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email