About David Allen

A journalist for nearly 30 years, David Allen has been chronicling the Inland Valley for the Daily Bulletin since 1997 and blogging since 2007. His first book, "Pomona A to Z," was published in 2014. E-mail David here. Read recent columns here.

A book talk in Chino

About 20 people showed up for my talk Saturday morning at the Chino Museum, 5493 B St., hosted by the Chino Valley Historical Society. I yakked about my career, read selections from my books “Pomona A to Z” and “Getting Started,” took questions, and sold and signed books. It was my first event in Chino and, one hopes, not my last. The museum is stuffed with objects to look at and merits a return visit.

The sign out on the sidewalk was a flattering touch.

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Dial ‘NAtional’ in Pomona

Reader Robin Young was in Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center in August when she found a sure sign she was in the old wing: a sticker on the restroom’s towel dispenser with a NAtional prefix (62). As phone exchanges were dropped in 1965, that’s one old and well-preserved sticker! “It’s a time capsule,” Young says with fondness.

Carr Paper Co., by the way, was established in 1944 and lasted at least into the 1980s, and possibly beyond. Founder Dick Carr was also a longtime board member at the hospital and the boardroom was named for him. So it’s kind of heartwarming that one of his company’s stickers is still in place in a humbler spot in the hospital.

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Restaurant of the Week: Pomona Valley Mining Company

Pomona Valley Mining Co., 1777 Gillette Road (at Dudley), Pomona; 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday

Perched atop a hillside above the 10 Freeway, Pomona Valley Mining Co. is a destination restaurant with a theme. At the bottom of the hill, a sign on a weathered-looking shack points you in the right direction.

That requires a heart-stopping drive up the hill, one that it might be possible to get used to, but which freaks me out the handful of times I’ve done it. (Too bad I don’t still have that F-150.) Once up there, though, you’re rewarded with views of Pomona, the freeway and Elephant Hill. A seat near the bank of windows is a must.

The exterior is meant to resemble a Gold Rush-era wooden building, and wagons, lanterns and other such items decorate the drive up, the parking lot and the interior. The dining room is down a flight of stairs.

I was there for dinner recently with bloggers Dining in Pomona (and wife Mrs. C) and New Diner 2. It was a blogging summit meeting. As with most summit meetings, progress was incremental and deals were elusive. The only photo ops were of food.

I had had dinner at the Mining Co. precisely once and remember only that my cheapskate friends were irate that they were charged for soda refills, which I believe were taken off the bill. At noontime it’s a rental facility and I’ve been to a couple of service club lunches there.

The menu is largely steaks, prime rib and seafood. Two of our party got the shrimp and scallops ($26), one got the ribeye ($32) and I got the Miner’s Filly filet mignon ($34). Salad and soup bar is free with a meal or $18 on its own; you get a chilled plate that resembles a mining pan, except you’re panning for veggies, not gold. I had a little of the albondigas soup, which had (ugh) peas.

Cheese bread was delivered gratis (and au gratin). What’s not to like?

The seafood crowd was perplexed that their shrimp and scallops came in a cream sauce rather than a garlic sauce. (The menu says they’re “sauteed with garlic butter,” after all.)

The ribeye eater was put out by its preparation; it should be cooked “hot and fast,” leaving a char on the outside, she said. Also, her lemonade ($3.50) was never refilled. But then, maybe they don’t do free refills? Still, they should ask if she wanted another. She said that’s typically the way women are treated when outnumbered by men at a table, but noted ominously, “I have just as much influence on the tip.”

I may have been the only satisfied customer, enjoying my splurge steak with herb butter and mushrooms. Overall, though, the salad and soup were unexciting, the service average to indifferent and the mining theme a little dated. Here are the takes of Dining in Pomona and New Diner 2.

So, as a holdover from the era of theme restaurants — it appears to have opened circa 1977 — Pomona Valley Mining Co. is an interesting curio. The food’s okay. But if you go, it will probably be more for the views.

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WCTU fountain, Chino

In downtown Chino, walking from El Pueblo to Aguiar Square, I noticed this WCTU fountain for the first time. It’s at Sixth and D streets, southeast corner. According to the plaque, it’s a replica of a 1908 fountain erected by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, an organization of anti-alcohol crusaders that built fountains so that men could get a drink of water without entering a saloon.

Now get a load of this, as it’s a rare thing to read an official plaque and laugh out loud: “Records show that not long after the dedication, a runaway ‘horseless’ buggy plowed into the fountain and destroyed it.”

BOOM.

Click on the photo below for a larger view of the plaque, although the lettering is such that it’s tough to read at any size.

This replica was dedicated in October 2010 for Chino’s centennial, recognizing “an important issue that led to Chino’s incorporation.”

The fountain isn’t meant to be operational, but as you can see, a working water fountain is next to it. I got a refreshing drink of water and thought about Chino.

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The Anchor Lounge?

An email query arrived from Carolyn Inhoffer Montes, who asks:

I hope you can help answer a question for me. My dad, a Marine, was chatting with a fellow Marine, who asked him if he knew about the ‘Anchor Lounge’ in Rancho Cucamonga, owned by a Navy guy (thus the name) that was ‘in the middle of a vineyard. My dad and I are assuming it was a ‘seedy’ place…

Nonetheless, he keeps asking if I have learned where it was located. I’ve googled to see if anything would pop up, but nothing does. I saw your blog and thought you might be able to help me, given your historic knowledge of Rancho.

Any thoughts? Or insight?

I’ve never heard of this, but that doesn’t mean much. Have you any of you?

Update: via the Alta Cucawanda Friends Facebook page, Chris H. Boesen says the Anchor Lounge was on Foothill Boulevard, just west of Hermosa Avenue, on the north side, in what is now a patio furniture store. “I know it was there in the mid-’70s. Don’t remember when it closed,” Boesen writes. “It was a dive bar for sure.” And Jane Vath O’Connell says: “I remember it as a place called Capt. Shinks!”

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Column: So it goes: a Vonnegut tour of Dresden

In Sunday’s column, I wrap up my series about my trip to Germany by writing about Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” and my visit to the Dresden slaughterhouse where he was held as a POW.

Above, Donilo Hommel, center, shows us the renovated slaughterhouse at left where Vonnegut appears to have been held, across from the power building at right; below, I stand outside the entrance to Schlachthof 5/Slaughterhouse Five, marked by a sign put up by fans.

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Column: With Angels Flight, the devil is in the details

I take a ride, two in fact, on the newly restored Angels Flight railway in downtown L.A. Of all the weird luck, the next day it closed again due to a faulty part. I’ve been on it on at least a half-dozen occasions over the years, in between closures, some of which have lasted years. It’s nice to have it back.

I write about it in Friday’s column. Have you ever been on it?

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