You’ve Been Served!

Posted by on Feb 17th, 2011 and filed under Viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Statistics indicate that most new restaurants fail within two years. While restaurants come and go, years back there were quite a few local eateries that seemed like they’d been here forever and would never go out of business. What do you remember about these former restaurants?

If you wanted barbecued chicken and ribs and great beans there was only one place in town to go. Do you remember Love’s restaurant? Love’s, with its trademark heart-shaped sign, was located on Foothill Boulevard in Tujunga, just between where Lucky’s and Lumber City used to be but now are Albertsons and the Do-It Center.

Chinese food was served up in a tiny shack of a building painted bright yellow and red. Do you remember the Hong Kong Café? Located on the south side of Foothill near Pennsylvania Avenue, the Hong Kong Café was most likely an old roadside diner from the 1930s.

Tocanita, Saramura, or Zama – staples of Romanian cuisine – could be found at a small restaurant at the west end of the Montrose Shopping Park. Do you remember Bucaresti? This little restaurant was located just to the west of the lot on Honolulu Avenue where the new Trader Joe’s will be built.

How about some Swedish meatballs or Swedish pancakes? Do you remember The Swedish Table? Located in the storefronts on Honolulu Avenue now occupied by Julian Michaels Salon and The Wine Cave, the Swedish Table was an all-you-can-eat Swedish Smorgasbord where a family could dine on the cheap. Do you remember the steamer drawer full of warm, soft bread?

For sandwiches, only one local shop would do. Do you remember Pickle Barrel? Located in Montrose where The Star Café now resides, Pickle Barrel had sandwiches named after TV and movie stars.

While the City Hall Café in Montrose is still around, other longstanding area coffee shops have met their demise over the years. Do you remember The Golden Pheasant Coffee Shop or Delrod’s Coffee Shop? Both were located on Foothill Boulevard west of Pennsylvania Avenue. The Crescenta Valley Veterinary Hospital now resides in the building at Foothill and Maryland that formerly housed Delrod’s.

One local coffee shop – part of nationwide chain that got its start in Glendale – was best known for its double-decker hamburgers. Do you remember Bob’s Big Boy? Bob’s had several locations in Glendale, with one just south of Montrose at the corner of La Crescenta and Downing avenues. The former restaurant, built in the “Googie” style of architecture, is now home to the Bright Start Child Development Center.

Another spot that served great burgers and more had a revolving “police light” on top of its sign. Do you remember Oodle’s Burgers? Oodles, originally located at the northwest corner of Verdugo Road and Broadway later took over an old laundromat one block to the west at the corner of Broadway and Market Street.

Rumor has it that actor Sam Elliot once tended bar at a former local restaurant. Do you remember Stoner’s Steaks? Stoner’s, a stereotypical, dimly-lit steakhouse, was located in half of the space where the recently expanded La Cabanita Mexican restaurant now resides.

For special occasions, a short drive south past Glendale College took you to the “fanciest” restaurant in town. Do you remember Pikes Verdugo Oaks? Pikes, which was located on the spot where Glendale Avenue and Verdugo Road split – now occupied by a shopping center – was quite large compared to most restaurants in the area, having several elegantly decorated banquet rooms including “The Versailles Room.”

Further south on Glendale Avenue was another one of the more pricey restaurants in the area. Do you remember Churchill’s restaurant? Churchill’s was located near the corner of Glendale and Wilson avenues in the Glendale Fashion Center. Churchill’s dark brick exterior and colored leaded glass windows always lent an air of exclusivity and mystery to the place.

Do you remember all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes that greeted you when visiting these former dining establishments?

Something to make the stomach grumble.

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33 Responses for “You’ve Been Served!”

  1. Elle Williams says:

    Pikes Verdugo Oaks was so elegant – we only got to go there for special occasions, but I remember the red velvet drapes and the dramatic entryway. We did visit Pikes Glenoaks quite often; my dad worked for the city and we’d meet motor officer friends there. Growing up in La Crescenta my best friend and I practically lived at Pizza Pete’s at Lauderdale and Foothill … I had a crush on ‘Baby Bill’, the guy behind the counter who served us our Cokes. And I bet we played “Brown Sugar” so many times on the jukebox we probably wore it out.

  2. Nick says:

    Churchill’s was good – same spot prior was Longfellows – which I recall was a similar menu but more informal atmosphere

  3. Doug Philbrook says:

    I remember Oodles, I worked for a restaurant supply store in Pasadena that delivered supplies there. This had to 1976-77. Great burgers, great staff. I also remember another burger place famous for their chile burgers called Matt’s Garage. But, I, do not recall the location.

  4. Terry Clarke says:

    I find it interesting you mentioned the Pickle Barrel. I worked there for a number of years. from the original owner to the second to last. I still remember many of the sandwiches. Jackie Gleason, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball etc …

  5. Gary Idama says:

    Thanks for the run down on the past restaurant scene in La Crescenta-Montrose-Northern Glendale. Wonder if you remember Kona Kai, a Tiki style restaurant on Foothill Blvd. in the 1960′s near where Staples is now.

  6. dan says:

    I actually worked at Pike’s during it’s last gasp when it offered a buffet ans still hosted one of the Rose Bowl events.
    just a short while tho before it closed.
    I remember the manager Dave and a greek waiter that i seem to recall as Stavros.
    Short but pleasantly time.

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