Possible new names for Deja Vu

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The Deja Vu strip club outside Montclair is no more, with a bar slated to occupy the building under the same owners, Tollis Inc. It’s the subject of my Sunday column. To eliminate any hanky-panky, San Bernardino County planners and lawyers set down a list of possible new names for the business. I couldn’t resist sharing them.

From the conditions of approval:

“Tollis shall select the name of the business operated in the Building from the following names, which have been mutually agreed to by the Parties:

a. Ontario Food & Beverage

b. Deja Vu Comedy and Sports Bar

c. The Gay 90’s

d. The Roaring 20’s

e. Deja Vu Bar & Night Club

f. Hammered Harry’s

g. Club Paradise

h. The Iron Rail, or

i. Shooters Sports Bar.”

That’s, um, quite the gamut. So the new business will either have an 1890s theme, or a 1920s theme, or a tropical theme, or maybe a Hooters knockoff theme, or…

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Column: With sandwich, Montclair meeting becomes dinner theater

For a change of pace, and also to hear the discussion about the Gold Line, I attended Tuesday’s Montclair City Council meeting. I decided kind of late to go, and was starving. So I got a sandwich on my way, to go, and took it to eat during the meeting. Despite having attended hundreds, maybe a thousand, public meetings in my career, this was a first. Who says I can’t innovate?

(Although the audience was sparse and I tried to eat discreetly — such as taking bites of my crunchy sandwich when people were applauding — I felt a little guilty about the whole thing. Didn’t want to seem rude. Of course, there’s no sign on the door banning “outside food and drink,” I bought my meal in Montclair and everyone expects newspapermen to be ill-mannered slobs, so maybe I got a pass.

Sunday’s column about the meeting can be read here. And I’ve updated my 2008 blog post about Super Sandwich here, adding photos.

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Column: Montclair Plaza’s birds now roosting at City Hall


Remember the bird sculptures from Montclair Plaza’s JC Penney atrium? You might if you lived here prior to the mid-1980s, when they were removed. Now they’re back, only this time they’re at City Hall, inside and out. Read all about it in my Friday column.

Above, an undated photo from the book “Images of Montclair.” Below, a view of the west lobby of City Hall, showing five of the 12 birds that are back on display.

A city employee talks about the restoration in a short video. There’s also a hyperlink in the column for (heh heh) a scene from “The Birds.”

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Don Jose marks 40 years

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The one in Montclair opened in 1979, but Southern California’s Don Jose Mexican Restaurant chain (its website is here) is marking its 40th anniversary, its Orange location having opened in 1972.

I’ve only eaten there once or twice, but I enjoyed the experience. It was the first time I ever ordered fajitas.

Montclair reader Anna Hernandez alerted me after the fact to the anniversary, which featured a one-day rollback in price one recent weekend.

“I enjoyed dinner for $2, plus margaritas! As did many, probably hundreds, more,” Hernandez, a regular, told me by email. She lauded the professional staff, tasty food, fun atmosphere and an operation that ran smoothly despite the crush of customers.

She said apologetically: “If you missed it, sorry I didn’t alert you sooner.”

That’s OK, Anna. I probably wouldn’t have wanted a delicious meal from a friendly staff for $2 anyway.

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A courthouse memento


There’s a long wooden bench for customer seating at Toyotech, an auto repair business in Montclair. Where did it come from? From the old courthouse that used to stand at Sixth Street and Mountain Avenue in Ontario, now the site of a shopping center.

Toyotech owner Rick Kaplan used to be a deputy in the sheriff’s substation at the courthouse, which closed in the late 1980s. The hard wooden benches were used as seating in courtrooms. The bench, salvaged prior to its demolition, showed up at Toyotech before Kaplan bought the business in 2004, but he recognized it.

“Everyone thinks it’s a pew from a church,” Kaplan said with a chuckle. “That couldn’t be further from the truth!”

The full-length cushion is a recent addition, a gift from a customer — and much appreciated.

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