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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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23 Responses for “You’ve Been Served!”

  1. Taco Truck Fan says:

    I remember the best place on the hill to get a great order of taquitos. It was located on south side of Foothill just west of Rosemont in what’s now a dirt lot west of Reality Executives. It was called Taco Siesta. Man am I craving their guacamole and hot sauce!

    They had taken over the Taco Bell when Taco Bell moved to where Yaki’s is now on Foothill and Boston across the street from the original McDonald’s location in La Crescenta which isn’t there anymore either.

    • Bonedigger says:

      I loved Taco Siesta. I helped to restyle it and update their logo. They had THE best chicken burritos and fries. I wish someone else had their recipes…

  2. AUNTY M says:

    I do not remember Oodles, but I do remember El Charro on the corner of
    Verdugo Rd and Honolulu. (I think) I haven’t lived in La Crescenta in many years. I left there in 1974.

    • Betty King says:

      I do remember El Charro. We left in 1973. Haven’t been back for a visit since the 80s. Miss Bob’s Big Boy. In Colorado it was Azar’s Big Boy. We still remember John Henry’s Ice Cream Parlor, Pizza Roma, Delrod’s, IHOP in La Canada. I worked at Delrod’s at their first location. Later, one of my brothers worked at their bigger restaurant on the south side of Foothill.

  3. Robert Pike says:

    Thanks for mentioned my Uncle Jacks resturant. It dominated my life growing up in Montrose.

    Bob

  4. Elaine Wade Tavizon says:

    This article made me cry from the memories of where I grew up. My friends and I used to run home from Clark Junior High to Jon’s Burgers on Foothill Blvd and New York to grab some french fries and beat it home to watch Dark Shadows at 4:00 pm. Although this was not the culinary experience of Damons, Stoners, or El Charros, it was part of my memories. Do you remember Dominicks Italian Restaurant on Foothill Blvd? I spent many a date night there. Wasn’t Oodle’s on Foothill Blvd too? Boy, what great memories!

  5. Hope Vaiarelli says:

    Thanks so much for the memories! I loved the Pickle Barrel. My favorite sandwich was the Lucille Ball. Al’s Deli was also a favorite. We spent alot of time at the Montrose theater, the bowling alley, and Aqua Oaks public pool. Great memories!

  6. Rich Richie says:

    Ah, I remember the Swedish Table. My family used to go there when we visited my grandparents who lived up at 1021 Fairview Drive in La Canada (now Las Colinas Drive). Nice food. Miss that and Descanso Gardens…it has been quite some years since I have been in this part of Southern California.

  7. Teresa says:

    I fondly remember Oodles, since it was owned by my dad Harold. I started working with him on weekends at the age of 10 and continued to do so through high school. The first location was on Foothill, then he moved down on Pennsylvania, finally settling on Broadview and Verdugo. Shortly, after moving down to the old Laundermat, sadly he sold it and moved to Vegas. Several years later he returned to La Crescenta and opened The Burger Garden. He later sold that as well and ended up with a great little hot dog stand in Bend, Oregon. A few years later he finally retired. We lost him last year to cancer and when I think of him, I remember Oodles.

    • Mark says:

      I remember your Dad’s grilled onions, with sour dough bread, etc. I wish they were still around!

    • Mark D. says:

      Your Dad’s Steal Sandwich was the best. On sourdough, grilled onions with fries and a shake. Life didn’t get much better than that.

      Thanks for all the good times,

    • Margaret says:

      I remember Oodles so well. My grandfather owned Artbuilt Cabinets a cabinet shop in town, and he would get his lumber from Anawalt. Oodles was located near Anawalt and I used to go there to get lunch for the crew when I worked in his office. Oodles had the best burgers, and the shakes were my favorite, especially the banana and pumpkin. I used to go to the Burger Garden too, because I loved those shakes so much! Thank you to your Dad for making such wonderful memories for so many people.

  8. Teresa says:

    I remember all of these, especially Oodles. My dad, Harold was Oodles. He did start out on Foothill before settling down on Broadview and Verdugo, next to Anawalt Lumber. Shortly after moving into the old Laundermat, he sold it and moved to Vegas. A few years later he was back in La Crescenta and opened The Burger Garden. He later sold BG as well. Sadly, I have never found a burger as good as his.

  9. Teresa says:

    I remember all of these, especially Oodles. My dad, Harold was Oodles. He did start out on Foothill before settling down on Broadview and Verdugo, next to Anawalt Lumber. Shortly after moving into the old Laundromat, he sold it and moved to Vegas. A few years later he was back in La Crescenta and opened The Burger Garden. He later sold BG as well. Sadly, I have never found a burger as good as his.

    • Mike says:

      Loved your dad’s restaurant Oodles. I remember it both on Foothill and on Verdugo. That is my first recollection of “take out” food. Your dad a nice too.

    • Steve Bell says:

      Teresa,

      Almost 50 years later and what I would give for an Oodles steak sandwich or and SBB or the recipe for the secret sauce…..

      You should know your father is well remembered and much missed.

  10. Sue present says:

    Oodles had the best grilled cheese sandwiches. My dad Hal loved the burger on sourdough. I remember Terry Schuneman that worked at Oodles and stepped into the hot oil that was left on the floor when they were changing the oil. Melted her boot and her skin.

  11. Ron Ruppe says:

    A lot of memories, but what about Crazy Burgers and Gino’s hamburgers? Gino’s was just a stand with a few stools in front of the counter on Foothill near New York and I think Crazy Burgers was on Foothill at La Crescenta or Rosemont.

    • Betty King says:

      There was a little hamburger place at the corner of Foothill and Rosemont, before the big shopping center.

  12. Steve G says:

    Hmmm, you forgot Copper Penny at Tujunga Canyon and Foothill, where the bank now stands. I ate at Hong Cafe for years back in the early 70′s.

    Wasnt Golden Pheasant the restaurant that was in the old Trader Joe’s parking lot?

    • Steve G says:

      Oh yeah, almost forgot my Buddy Steve’s place..HuckFinns!

    • Betty King says:

      We used to eat at Copper Penny, the Verdugan, and a Mexican restaurant on Foothill in Tujunga near Tom’s Market. We would go to Churchill’s for our anniversary dinner. And went to Kona Kai then played miniature golf next door on our 1st anniversary.

  13. Lesa E says:

    I remember all of these. Churchhills had the best salad, mixed at your table, butter lettuce and the best dressing, sure wish I had the recipe as I still crave it to this day. Still don’t exactly know what Yorkshire pudding is, but it was served as well.
    Oodles was a favorite, best burgers, miss it a lot. Still go to City Hall, best breakfast and service around. Loved the Pickle Barrel, heartbroken when it closed.
    Great places, Great Memories.

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