Category: Restaurant

Carl’s Drive In


Image: “Dick” Whittington Collection/USC Digital Library photo via .

Location may be Flower Street at Figueroa in Los Angeles.

“I see that one car owner still has his 1938 plate (3C 17 70), perhaps dating the photo in early 1939. And there’s a 39 Arizona plate on the coupe three cars to the right of the carhop.

“It’s hard for me to ID the cars here too, but I see two 36 Ford sedans, one right by the building and one between the drive-in sign and the carhop; a 36 Ford coupe by the building, a light-colored 38 or 39 Ford coupe at the left by the building, a light-colored 39 Pontiac at lower left, a 37 or 38 Ford slantback 2-door in front of it, a 37 or 38 Chevy coupe two cars to the right, and a 39 Ford convertible with whitewalls clear to the right. Those are the only ID’s I have any confidence in.”

Excerpt: Comment from reader Pete Madsen on the Hemming’s post of this photo at the image link above.


Red Sails Inn


Image: 1939 postcard from link below.

Here’s a story of luck during the Great Depression that worked out well:

Joseph Yjidy Viery (1886-1952) came to America from the Azores Islands off Portugal. To this self-described ‘peasant lad’ in 1908, the United States seemed like a ‘fantastic dream.’ He met and married Emily Dina Pereira, had three boys, and found employment in banking. Fluently speaking Spanish and Portuguese helped in his twenty-year career in Alameda County, California. But somehow, he lost everything, home, savings. In 1935 he found himself on the San Diego waterfront with $4 to his name.

“’I was trying to get a job on a tuna boat, but I didn’t get it,’ Viery recalled.

“’I couldn’t spend much for food, so I went into a hamburger stand down there on the waterfront. I guess it was fate that sent me there. Just as it was fate that brought me to San Diego.’

The fleet had come in that day and the Portuguese man running the place couldn’t keep up. His partner had walked out on him. Viery offered his services, and that day in 1935 they brought in $80! He had a job. In a few days the owner asked if Viery wanted to be his partner in the business.

“’But I only have $4,’ replied Viery.

“’That’s all right. You give me your IOU for $290, and the place is yours!’

“They had sailor witness the document. He borrowed $6 so he’d have enough change for the next day’s business. His hamburger place made money and he saved. One thing led to another and Joe, his wife and son opened up The Red Sails Inn at the foot of G Street on Fisherman’s Wharf.”

Excerpt and images from .

Ford Lunch


Image: undated photo from unknown source. It appears to be in the mid to late ’30s based on the automobiles.

“It was right near the corner of Euclid and Holt [in Ontario] on the same side as the Yanzee Chinese Restaurant.

“Anyway, the owner of Ford’s was one nefarious guy named Frank Holbart, (The Restaurant was named for Ford Cars) was also known as the guy who refused to serve actress Mae West when she was making a movie in the area….something about her movies being to[o] racy.”

Excerpts from .

“Ford Lunch had a reputation for racial discrimination, so my parents never took us there to eat.” This was a comment from reader Linda (Shaffer) Frost responding to an earlier newspaper column quoting memories of Jim Bowman growing up in Ontario.
Excerpt from .


“One customer [of newsboy Victor Murillo Ruiz] was the owner of the fabled Ford Lunch, a restaurant on the southeast corner, which wasn’t exactly a welcome place. It had a sign, according to Ruiz, that said Mexicans and blacks (though in less diplomatic terms) were not allowed there. To deliver his paper, he was permitted to go inside, but with only one foot.
“I was supposed to leave the paper on the top where the cash register was at,” he said. “I would get paid from the girl, one foot in the door. Reach out and get the money, walk out and go back to my corner.”
Excerpt from .


Image: undated matchbook from unknown source.




Sycamore Inn


Image: undated photo from unknown source; probably from the 1920s.

The inn is located in what is now Rancho Cucamonga (it was just “Cucamonga” in 1939) and is still in operation.

“In 1939, Danish immigrant Irl Hinrichsen acquired the Inn. With the help of his sons, he remodeled the Inn, discontinued use of the upstairs hotel rooms, and renamed it the Sycamore Inn. The Hinrichsen family, Irl and later his son Vern and his family, made the Sycamore Inn into one of the prime eateries of the Inland Empire.

“That old dirt road that fronted the Inn became the fabled Route 66, the primary route from points east to the Pacific Ocean. During those colorful years of the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, before freeways, the Inn hosted the rich and famous…movie stars and notables, both the famous and the infamous, en route to Las Vegas and Palm Springs. The Inn is rich with folklore. Legend has it that both Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Short (the “Black Dahlia”) dined at the Sycamore in the weeks before their untimely demise.”

Excerpts from . Click on the link to read the history of the location since 1774 and to see present-day images.