Photo by Liset Marquez
The former Romano’s Macaroni Grill in the Montclair Entertainment Center adjacent to Montclair Plaza, closed since 2014, is being rebuilt as a Buffalo Wild Wings. While I can’t say I’m interested in this chain, it’s still nice to see some activity. The adjacent restaurant, Elephant Bar, closed last November and remains empty.
This 28-by-14-foot mural went up over the weekend in Montclair Place mall on the upper level near the east end escalators, the work of the anonymous artist Punk Me Tender. It features, according to the mall, “a fashionable woman wearing a dress inspired by an Alexander McQueen design, who is posed among dripping chandeliers while walking her pooches.” The dress was made from 10 yards of silk, taffeta and mixed media.
The mural joins the one completed last month on the parking structure exterior. A third mural is promised later this month.
In a (roughly) annual tradition, I attended a Montclair City Council meeting, this time observing the approval of the city’s third dense housing project near the Transcenter and the mall. This one will have the city’s tallest building. I explain, and crack wise, in Friday’s column.
While we await, patiently or not, long-promised upgrades to Montclair Place, the former Montclair Plaza, a colorful mural has gone up on a 145-foot blank concrete wall of the parking deck ramp, visible from the Macy’s lot off Moreno Street.
Claremont artist Chris Trueman led some of his former Chaffey College students, including Peyton Warrick, Jarmaine Pascua and Andrea Hernandez, in painting the mural, which depicts the San Gabriel Mountains.
“We chose to represent one of Montclair’s most distinguishing aspects; the mountain range, which serves as a backdrop and ever present landmark visible from most vantage points in the city, reminding the community of the beautiful place in which we live,” Trueman said in a written statement.
The mural was painted in four days, ending Saturday, and is said to be the start of a year-long series of interior and exterior art installations. It’s off to a strong start.
The above photos were provided by Killackey Media for Montclair Place; I shot the one below on Monday. The bright colors are a welcome sight.
The website for Burgerim, a new hamburger emporium in Montclair, lists the driving distance from various local cities, including Narod. Narod? That’s a vanished community around Mission and Central, essentially the land between Montclair and Chino. Google lists Narod — I scrolled down the map to show it before doing the screen shot — as well as some other long-gone communities like Rochester and Grapeland. Click on the photo for a larger view.
Anyway, I find it hilarious that Narod is listed on the Burgerim site, at least for now, alongside Ontario, Pomona and more. It’s six minutes away from the restaurant, by the way.
Speaking of Burgerim, if you’re reading this Sept. 21, the place is giving away free food today in its grand opening, from 11 a.m. until they run out, at 9359 Central Ave.
Remember the promised expansion of Montclair Plaza (now Montclair Place)? It’s been a year, but nothing has happened. I take another look at it and provide an update in Sunday’s column. There does seem to be some movement, but as a veteran of these things, I’ll believe it when I see it.
Wednesday’s column has some Montclair news, first about a retail center that’s partly opened, then about some other businesses and housing going up. Five Culture Corner items and four Chino items round out an item-packed column.
Food Truck Tuesdays in the parking lot of Montclair Plaza is proving a strong lure. I write about the event in Friday’s column, while also offering up three Culture Corner items, a plug for this blog and word of Record Store Day, which makes its annual appearance Saturday. Above, a photo from Tuesday’s event.
Sunday’s column revisits the corner of Central and Mission, where the bar that replaced a long-fought strip club opened last summer. It’s open limited hours and now there are signs saying “For Sale or Lease.”
A new building is going up in Montclair around where Long John Silver’s used to stand, on the east side of Central Avenue across from Costco. It will have two tenants, one of which will be a Starbucks with a drive-thru, which as it’s only yards from the 10 Freeway onramp should become popular quickly. The other tenant is slated to be a Sleep Number mattress store.
Caffeine and bedtime? One suspects customers at the two businesses are going to be mutually exclusive.
Two more buildings are planned on the same site, with the entire complex to be known as the Montclair Shoppes. I don’t think anyone’s going to confuse it with the Shoppes at Chino Hills, which is a full-fledged mall, but hey, the developers have to call it something.
As a note to motorists, the northbound lane of Central is closed in that area while the contractor completes utility work and curb and gutter replacement and won’t reopen until late in August.
* Since people are asking, here’s what I wrote in April: “A small development to be called Montclair Shoppes is expected to break ground soon on Central Avenue across from Costco. Committed tenants include a long-awaited Original Tommy’s, only its second Inland Valley location. (The other is in Chino.) Also slated: Jersey Mike’s, Dickey’s BBQ, Robek’s Juice, a Starbucks drive-through and an AT&T store.”