Farewell, Jeni Wren’s

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I’d had three or four meals at Jeni Wren’s, a new cafe in what had been the Inka Trails location in Claremont on Foothill Boulevard just east of Towne Avenue, and was stockpiling photos and notes for a Restaurant of the Week. It was a cute place, the food was good and the owner was nice.

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My last meal there was Aug. 21, a breakfast pictured above. Isn’t that lovely?

The next time I pulled in was Sept. 2. The restaurant was closed, the exterior was bare and in the back, a faux shutter from the front (pictured up top) was propped up by the trash. Noooo! A few days later, Yelp, where the cafe had a 4.5-star rating, was reporting the restaurant had closed. It had only opened in February.

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A new cafe opened up the next day (there was no exterior sign, so I don’t know the name), also serving breakfast and lunch. It may be perfectly good or even better, who knows, but I’m sorry Jeni Wren’s is gone. It was becoming my new favorite restaurant before it was nipped in the bud.

In its honor, here’s a link to Paul McCartney’s 2006 song “Jenny Wren,” which came to mind every time I thought of the restaurant.

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Column: Latest dirt on Claremont City Hall is in a mound

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A mound of dirt was fronting Claremont City Hall on Monday. Baseball? No, it’s part of the renovations to the landscaping. Ontario City Hall has also torn out its lawn. That’s the first part of my Wednesday column, followed by five Chino Valley items, three Culture Corner items and one about the royal family that comes from (why not?) a reader in La Verne.

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Claremont, city of bays?

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Reader Erik Griswold drew my attention to a Special Olympics web page for Claremont, one of the host cities for the 2015 Games. Its picture (see above) shows a much wetter college town than we’re used to. “Looks like there’s been some flooding in Claremont since I was last there!” Griswold exclaimed. Anyone want to try identifying this photo? Might be a different Claremont.

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’50s Atomic Age art at Pomona College

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An atomic whirl that adorned a Pomona College science hall since 1958 is back with a new coat of paint after 18 months in storage as the building was torn down and rebuilt. Sculptor Albert Stewart crafted the piece for the opening of Millikan Lab and it’s added a dose of verve to the facade ever since. I write about the sculpture and the symbol, as well as the refurbished building, in Wednesday’s column.

Below is a view of the sculpture and building in 2013 by the college’s Carrie Rosema. Notice the piece is against a blank facade — the window is just one of the improvements.

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Below are Stewart’s two other sculptures across College Avenue, one illustrating mitosis, from the Seaver South biology building, and the second depicting particles, from the Seaver North chemistry building. (I’ll have to take everyone’s word for it.) All three are cited in Charles Phoenix’s “Cruising the Pomona Valley 1930 Thru 1970” guidebook.

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Column: The Huntington is closer than you think

Sunday’s column has a bunch of Claremont items, starting with the odd coincidence (or is it?) that both the outgoing and incoming presidents of the Huntington Library in San Marino are from Claremont. (Will we Claremont residents get a discount? Are we in with the in crowd?) Also, malaprops are discussed after a recent flub of mine. Incidentally, the “editor’s note” in this column is mine. I just thought a reaction was called for.

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