Last carhop drive-in in Southern California CLOSES

TRAVEL TIPS, road trip journey queries, motels, coffee shops, drive-ins, bowling alleys, dinner houses, gas stations, giant objects, signs, theme parks, Disneyland, and roadside sites to see along the way

Moderators: I_LUV_POWER!!!!, Joe, Adriene, moderns-r-us, Tony, Futura Girl, sean, nichols, Java

[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
User avatar
nichols
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 9337
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:16 pm
Location: The wooded highlands of Altadena, Calif.
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Last carhop drive-in in Southern California CLOSES

Postby nichols » Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:21 pm

DAILY BULLETIN

Happy days over for Ontario's A&W carhop drive-in

David Allen, Columnist

GONE FLAT: After 46 years, Ontario's A&W Drive-In, the only location in Southern California with carhop service, is closing April 30.

Owners Larry and Sherrill Roan are retiring after devoting more than half their lives to the restaurant at 1267 W. Holt Blvd. With sales down, and corporate interest waning, the root beer specialists can no longer stay afloat...

http://www.dailybulletin.com/davidallen/ci_3663541

User avatar
SkipHome
Modern Master
Posts: 204
Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2002 2:34 pm
Location: West Hollywood CA
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

drive ins

Postby SkipHome » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:40 am

I thought TL Bob's (Toluca Lake) still had car hop service on the weekends, Fridays and Saturdays? No?

User avatar
nichols
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 9337
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:16 pm
Location: The wooded highlands of Altadena, Calif.
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby nichols » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:13 am

You're right. I should have said "full time drive-in"

User avatar
Adriene
Modern Master
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2002 12:49 am
Location: Granada Hills, CA
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby Adriene » Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:04 pm

Happy days over for Ontario's A&W carhop drive-in
David Allen, Columnist
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
GONE FLAT: After 46 years, Ontario's A&W Drive-In, the only location in Southern California with carhop service, is closing April 30.

Owners Larry and Sherrill Roan are retiring after devoting more than half their lives to the restaurant at 1267 W. Holt Blvd. With sales down, and corporate interest waning, the root beer specialists can no longer stay afloat.

Photo Gallery: A&W Drive-In closing

So much for "Happy Days.''

"We sold the property,'' Larry told me from behind the counter when I stopped by to ask about the rumored closing.

"It won't be a restaurant,'' he added. "It'll probably be a used-car lot.''

Gosh, just what Holt needs!

Oh well. You can't begrudge the Roans for wanting to sell.

"We worked seven days a week, both my wife and I together, every day,'' said Larry, a dryly efficient presence behind the counter. "Now you know why I've got burnout. It's time to hang it up.''

Despite being part of a chain, this A&W was virtually a hometown place. In its 46 years, the Ontario franchise has had just two operators.

The location -- near another landmark, Vince's Spaghetti, west of Mountain Avenue -- opened in 1960 under Keith and Eleanora Hunter. They sold on Nov. 1, 1971 to the Roans, who have been there ever since.

Larry's life has been drive-ins. His parents owned the Tastee-Freez on Pomona's Mission Boulevard during the 1960s. He worked there, too, before buying the A&W. It was struggling, but through hard work, he and his wife built it up.

One boost came from the monthly Cruise Night, which began in 1979 and continues today. Hot rodders bring their cars into the parking lot to show them off over burgers and root beer floats.

In the 1980s, cars would even park along Holt because the parking lot would be full.

"We used to pack 'em in here,'' Larry said. "Everybody's got cruises now.''

Their final Cruise Night is April 21.

The really unique offering has been there since the beginning: carhop service.

Motorists pull up under the canopy and place an order through a speaker system. Food is brought out on a tray, if you're eating there, or in a sack, if you want it to go.

The Roans' daughter, Teresa, who worked there in the mid-1980s, used to wear roller skates. Employees don't wear skates anymore.

"Now we've got workmen's comp to worry about,'' Larry said.

The setup is still unusual enough to draw attention. A retro-style date on TV's "The Bachelor'' involved a carhop dinner at A&W after a movie at Montclair's Mission Drive-In. The restaurant was a film location for the 1987 comedy "Body Slam'' with Dirk Benedict and Tanya Roberts.

The strangest incident over the years?

"We had a streaker,'' Larry said. "He ran from one end of the parking lot to the other, totally nude. That was '71 or '72.''

Ahhh, the 1970s.

After peaking in the 1980s, business has slowed. Holt, once the main drag, doesn't see as much traffic anymore.

"We get a lot of first-timers here who say, ‘I never knew you were here,' '' Larry said with a shake of his head.

They may get more first-timers after this column. And they should -- the food's darn good.

"We made everything fresh. We never cooked ahead,'' Larry said.

A customer came to the counter with his glass mug for a root beer refill. Root beer is on tap, like real beer. Larry put the mug under the spigot and pulled the beer-style lever, which is adorned with the A&W logo.

Founded in Lodi as a root beer stand, A&W formally began in 1922, combining the initials of Roy Allen -- no relation, unfortunately -- and Frank Wright. According to a corporate history, A&W was the first franchised restaurant chain, and it boomed after World War II as society became more mobile.

The name is now owned by Yum Brands, which is pairing A&Ws with KFCs, such as the one in a sleek building at Foothill and Mountain in Upland.

The Ontario drive-in, the last such A&W in Southern California, is an anachronism.

"It's pretty much the end of an era for drive-ins,'' Larry said.

Is that a tear staining my cheek, or just some foam from a frosty root beer?

David Allen writes Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, an era that refuses to end. E-mail d_allen@dailybulletin.com, call (909) 483-9339 or write 2041 E. Fourth St., Ontario 91764.

User avatar
nichols
Lotta Living Host
Lotta Living Host
Posts: 9337
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:16 pm
Location: The wooded highlands of Altadena, Calif.
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Postby nichols » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:44 am



[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1266: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Return to “Roadside Rambling”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests