EASTSIDE MEMORIES: Who Remembers?….

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Lalo’s Place. Lalo Guerrero’s Eastside nightclub on Chavez & Marianna Ave. Here’s a look at what some special Eastside places look like today…..

marihuana-boogie and speaking of which…..

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206½ Atlantic Ave. This little storefront on Atlantic Avenue between Pomona Ave. & The Pomona 60 fwy is what I remember to be the first E.L.A. HEAD SHOP that I ever saw. I was a student at Garfield HS when I followed some friends to this strange little joint one afternoon after school. I recall the oddly strong aroma of incense as we walked in. I was mesmerized by the walls covered in multi-colored, flourescent posters and the display cases full of hippiesh paraphernalia. There was a curtain behind the counter and behind it I could spy many weirdly shaped glass tubes. Being the socially retarded dweeb that I was at the time, I had no idea what the Hell any of that was, but a couple of my friends seemed quite familiar with it all. We went back to the one friend’s house and he put on a record for us in his room. (which oddly enough also reaked of incense and had the same posters, including a cartoon image of a guy saying “Keep on Truckin‘” and an old bearded guy named “Mr. Natural“) The voices of a guy with the heaviest Pocho accent I’d ever heard and another guy who sounded like he was passing out came through the speakers. I was introduced to Cheech & Chong, and I lost a little bit of innocence and pendejo-ness that day.

dsc01218 dsc01013 Who remembers going to dances at KENNEDY HALL & RUDY’S PAST HOUSE?

dsc01217 Who remembers when this corner of Atlantic & Whittier Blvd. had a Drive-In style Burger Restarant?

dsc01115 dsc01113 Who remembers VIC THE TAILOR & EDDIE DILLEN HARDWARE on Whittier Blvd. near Arizona Ave.?

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The old SILVER DOLLAR CAFÉ location. 4945 Whittier Blvd.

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The old THRIFTY’S DRUG STORE on Whittier Blvd. & Fraser Ave. The side entrances, long boarded up. The rear alley entrance which led you to the Coffee Shop. Log Jammer breakfasts, hot apple cobbler with vanilla sauce á la móde, strawberry shortcake with mountains of whipped cream. The fluffiest pancakes you ever had. An old lady waitress named “Elmer”. (She was always nice to me). Always a great selection of Halloween costumes in October. Stacks of toys & games above the aisles. The Hot Wheels cars were kept in a locked glass case. Many of my favorite comic books including CREEPY, VAMPIRELLA & MAD were for sale on their magazine racks.

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Who remembers when this site on Whittier Blvd. west of Eastern Ave. and the Home of Peace Cemetery was the old L.A. Trolley Street Cars turnaround area where you could catch a ride to Downtown?

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JOE GALLO’S PRODUCE MARKET on the corner of Whittier & Ford Blvds. This Joe Gallo guy literally started his businesses by parking his truck on a then empty lot and selling produce out of the flat bed. His business evolved as he built a modest structure to house his growing trade. But, in my opinion, After about 50 years at this corner, the place still seems not that far removed from the level of selling out of a truck. I mean, I’d expect see a lot more to show growth-wise from this popular neighborhood place. It no seems to have diversified with various sub-let enterprises.

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The EASTSIDE ICE COMPANY on Ford Blvd. Just north of Whittier Blvd.. I’ve spoken with many an Eastside old-timer and they all claim that this place has been around since they can remember. Anyone who has ever need to chill their chelas has probably been here. You would drive or walk up to the loading dock and some guy would go inside and hand you ice in any form you needed. On this day I watched him push out a large 4 ft. block and slide it across the dock. Pretty cool.

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Heading east on Whittier Blvd. was one of my favorite blocks. The picturesque and classic looking stretch between McBride & Duncan avenues. This is where you’d find places like WESTERN AUTO (where I got my first bike), THE HOTEL ASHMUN that seemed to house many families on a long-term basis, and the ever popular CHA CHA CHA BAKERY. This Mexican style Bakery was family run and I remember that behind the counter worked twin daughters named LUNA and ESTRELLA. Years later after this bakery closed, one daughter took over the old SOTELO’S BAKERY location on Whittier next to the SILVER DOLLAR CAFE where she renamed her new place: LA ESTRELLA BAKERY. I’ve included this image of what it looks like today, it’s now called L.A. Whittier Bakery.

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The other THRIFTY’S DRUG STORE was at Atlantic Square in Monterey park. This would be the view of the rear entrance and the awesome Thrifty’s coffee shop. Now a Ralph’s.

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Next to THRIFTY’S was a NEWBERRY’S. Between those two was a short covered walkway that had a barber shop and Pete’s Deli. There was also a little shack Key Making Shop.The adjacent strip included various small shops like DOBRIN’S gift shop. On the north end of Atlantic Square was a strip that housed (what I can remember..):

  • GOOGIE’S Diner
  • MUSIC + PLUS Record store
  • The GAP
  • YEE LOW DELI
  • A Pet Store

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Across the street was the VAN DE KAMPS bakery restaurant with the giant windmill sitting atop the building. Look at this photo and imagine a huge white windmill that actually spun at one time. It’s now a Carrow’s.

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A couple of miles North on Atlantic Avenue was ANDY’S BILLIARDS 742 Atlantic Ave., just south of El Portal Pl. (the street that led to Cascades Park and the multi-tiered fountain that was a favorite backdrop for many a wedding photo) this is where many of us High School pals spend Friday nights shooting pool amidst clouds of smoke from our MORE menthol cigarrettes while listening to WHOLE LOTTA LOVE on the jukebox. The wood beamed lodge style Andy’s Billiards building no longer exists. The Stucco Monster Blob of development has devoured acres of areas that once held some character & style.

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Continuing north on Atlantic just past Harding Avenue where we find the site that once housed the Monterey Park Cinemas (that sold movie tickets for 99 cents before they closed down!) and the popular 1990’s hang out; PIRATE’S COVE ARCADE. Everything has been since torn down. This is what it looks like today.

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Back in the E.L.A. /Montebello area. 3000 W. Beverly Blvd. & Via San Clemente, to be exact. Who remembers when this was a BASKIN-ROBBINS 31 FLAVORS Ice Cream store. Just west of the SUPER A Market and the H.SALT FISH & CHIPS. Next door was a little coffee shop called ROD’S that in I never went into in all my years of living near there. There was a time, way back, in this neighborhood where regretably, there still existed certain spots that were the unspoken “outposts” of the old guard White people that lived around there. We, the non-whites, rarely ventured in these places because frankly, you’d get a lot of shitty looks if you did, the wjite patrons seemed entirely content just socializing among their own kind, so there was always this kind of segregational deténte that kept things harmonious in certain spots of good ol’ Montebello. My perception in those days was that Rod’s was one of those kind of places.

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And of course, good ol’ BILL’S PARADISE 3202 W. Beverly Blvd. at Findlay Ave, as it stands today. A mere stuccoed shadow of it’s former cheesy self. Ahh,–Paradise lost.

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Within the MONTEBELLO PLAZA shopping center at 2629 Via Campo at Wilcox-….. This Circuit City (RIP) building was once ZODY’S.

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This used to be SWENSON’S ICE CREAM PARLOR.

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…And I believe that this was the location of the old STRAW HAT PIZZA . I had many good times there!

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BOYLE HEIGHTS. This is at Soto St. & Rogers Ave. just north of Whittier Bl. The old CHILI DOG DRIVE-THRU. My dad would pack the whole family into the step-van for much anticipated trips to “Los Chili-Dogs de la Soto”. We enjoyed our fill of steaming hot franks and scalding hot chili sauce while riding in the back of the bare, seat-less van that my father seemingly screeched and jolted to a halt at every fucking stop light he came to. Dear old dad! My parents remember that at one time, the hot dogs here sold for each, the price eventually grew to 10, 15, 18¢, and then 5 for $1.

Finally,….. I have 3 more items to ask about. Who Remembers?…….

  • The Olympic Avenue exit of the 710 (Long Beach) North Freeway used to have an enormous Electric Digital Sign that read the TIME & TEMPERATURE.
  • Channel 34 Spanish language Television, late 70’s maybe early 80’s, there was a late night horror show with strange tales of madness & the macabre hosted by a creepy old crone by the name of “LA BRUJA MALDITA!“. Please tell me someone remembers!!!
  • Who remembers making paper flowers out of Kleenex tissues, hi-lighting the edges with lipstick and making flower chains to tie on the cars for the WEDDING PROCESSION DOWN WHITTIER BOULEVARD. Usually the ceremony took place at a church like ST. ALPHONSO’S. Afterwards, You could hear every car honking loudly as it made it’s way down the boulevard. Usually with Car Club escorts leading the way. You’d stand on Whittier and spot the car with the beaming happy couple in the back seat and we’d wave at them for good luck!

So who remembers?………………………….

This entry was posted in East Los, history, Personal, Photos, Uncategorized and tagged , , by AlDesmadre. Bookmark the permalink.

About AlDesmadre

Al Guerrero, Artist/Humorist. Los Angeles, CA. Born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles from the age of two, Al Guerrero grew up just steps from the famous Chicano strip, Whittier Boulevard. His youth experiences include witnessing and participating in the 1970 Chicano Power demonstrations, cruising cars on Whittier Boulevard, and graduating from Garfield High School. After dropping out of UCLA (with honors), he drew upon his lifelong passion for art and cartooning and pursued a career in graphic arts. During this period, he traveled overseas and found artistic inspiration from the masterworks he discovered within the European Art Museums. His career blossomed when he was eventually hired by the Walt Disney Company in 1995, where he worked as a creative artist for a number of years. Although the artistic work was rewarding, he eventually grew weary & disillusioned with the bureaucracy of the entertainment business, and left to work briefly in the educational field. His credits include producing a feature film with actor, Conrad Brooks of Ed Wood fame, founding and performing with the Punk Rock group “The Psychocats” at numerous L.A. & Hollywood venues during the 1990’s, and in 1999 he founded and created a hell-bent puppet cabaret show aptly named: “The Puppets from Hell”. As a long time active member of the Los Angeles Cacophony Society, Al “Quaeda”, as he was known, was involved in countless Cacophony Society pranks and events throughout the city. He also produced the “Incredibly Strange Cinema” cult film series as well as themed events such as the now infamous “Pornothon Movie Nights” and the satirical “Mexican Night: Noche De Tequila & Putas” shows at local nightclub venues. Throughout his art career, he has exhibited his canvas paintings at various local galleries, and has also written & illustrated numerous comic strips and Graphic Novel stories. Today, he lives in Silver Lake, California and works as a freelance artist and writer with numerous multi-media projects under his belt and in the works. His personal hobbies include collecting vintage toys and comic books, cinema history and Los Angeles City history. Contact: alguerrero@earthlink.net Al Guerrero P.O. Box 29697 Los Angeles, CA 90029-0697 www.alguerrero.com Myspace.com/thepuppetsfromhell

91 thoughts on “EASTSIDE MEMORIES: Who Remembers?….

  1. Hey Vince, I don’t remember the Arby’s burn-down.I guess I was out of it in those years.
    Ray- I remember those Battle of the Bands shows. The posters were all over. I recall Cold Duck, 7 another band was it Dog’s Breath? or Duck Breath? not sure…., they had flyers & tickets at the Record Inn next to JonSons Market.

  2. Did anyone eat at the original “Hat” hotdog stand on 3rd St. and Ford? They made good pastrami sandwiches. Below is a link to a picture of the old Hat.
    http://www.thehat.com/loca.htm

    Talking about theaters on Whittier Blvd., do any of you remember the United Artists at 5136 Whittier Blvd. or how about the Floral Drive-In?
    Link below has a list of some of the old theaters in East Los Angeles.
    http://movie-theatre.org/usa/ca/la/eastla.pdf

    Do any of you remember swimming at the San Gabriel River located at Rosemead and San Gabriel Blvd? Some people called it Marrano Beach.
    And how about the old Streamland Park that was on Rosemead? Below is a link to some pictures of Streamland Park.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/craniumcellar/75497424/

    How about the old Eastern bus lines,1st Street, Kern Ave. and the Ford Blvd. Link below is a picture of the old Kern bus.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/metrolibraryarchive/2943239629/

    And how about the old trollies? I couldn’t find any pictures of the rest of the ELA trolley lines, but here are some links to picture of the P car that ran on 1st St.: http://www.davesrailpix.com/larys/htm/lary106.htm
    And a picture of the R car that ran on Whittier:
    http://www.davesrailpix.com/larys/htm/lary193.htm

  3. Al- It’s not on Whittier Blvd., but the last time I checked it was still there. what about Tom’s Pastrami off Townsend and 1st?, they have been around for a while and do have an excellent pastarami sandwich!!

  4. Al- Something that I have not seen mentioned on this web site is the fact that the area East of Atlantic Blvd, up to Bradshawe, (I believe) used to be called “Bella Vista”, who remembers that? I ‘member seeing an old rusted sign that said “Bella Vista”, it was on Margaret Ave by Beverly Blvd, anyone else seen any remnants of that lately? Another relic from the past was back in the 60’s atleast, on the last Friday of every month at about 9 am there would be an air raid drill!! Who remembers that lost relic of the Cold War?? Also, what ever happened to the Red Fire Dept Boxes that used to be around the city? All you had to do was “Break Glass and Pull Handle”

  5. Wow I thought I was the only one who remebered all these places. Do I remember the burger stand on the corner of Atlantic and Whittier? It was called Stan’s Drive In and my mother worked the counter and met my father there. In 1965 was the first time I ever ate at Chronis Burgers, My dad put me on the tank of his 48 triumph and we rode down there from Willamson and Bradshawe. I walked down Williamson with my grandfather to Whittier (which was right across the street from Kmart and Food Giant) to see the riots in person instead of on tv. Pete from Pete’s Deli was a friend of ours and we ate there until he sold it and opened the other one for a short while. My grandmother worked at the Woolworths on Whittier for over 20 years and was stuck in the buiulding during the riots. We at breakfast for years at Chanticlears. Does anyone remeber the L & M Cafe on Beverly just down from Rudy’s Bike shop. The two oldest sisters in the world Owned and worked it. It took them forever just to walk from the kitchen to your table but was the best damn Chile Verde Iv’e had to this day. We lived on Margret, Williamson and Northside dr. Then moved to Via Vista in Montebello, remember the carnivals at Cantwell High?
    I can go on forever. Oh Yeah I remember the air raid sirens Too!

  6. AL- I have to mention a little time capsule up on Beverly Blvd. and Sadler, just off the corner, “Art’s Liquor”! This place still looks the same as it did in the 70’s, still run by the original owners, I think you may want to visit this one with an original Coca-Cola refrigerator in operation. The owners are very friendly just like when i was a teenager going there. Notice the original neon sign, and that classic old time look on the outside as well!! Just down the street heading East is Frank’s Liquor, still looks original on the outside, with the classic neon sign as well, unfortunately it’s gone thru several ownership changes.

  7. Al, This one’s for all, who remembers the Old, Old, time gas station that used to be on the NorthEast corner of Beverly & Findlay, where the Century 21 Real Estate Building now sits?? Back in the day when I was a kid it was open, but mostly for mechanic work, it had the OLD STYLE gas pump. like on The Andy Griffith Show!! I can’t remember the name of the gas station, I want to say “Sun” gas but I’m not sure, can anyone help me with that one??
    Also, on the SouthWest Corner of Beverly & Garfield, who remembers the “Church’s Fried Chicken” that used to be on that corner??
    Also, “John’s Burger’s” on Whittier Blvd just west of Garfield, who remembers what it was called before it was “John’s”??…………………………………………………………………………………………it was called “Kratos”!!!!! More to come…

  8. Correction!! Tom’s Pastrami & Burgers is on Hicks & First St, in East L A!!!!
    Went last Sunday for a Pastrami, Coke and Fries, a little pricey, but they were generous with the meat, and the roll was good, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside even after being “double dipped”.

  9. Hi!

    Great memories. But, I think you have the Swensen’s mixed up. The HealthNet Clinic is actually where the old Perry Boy’s Smorgy used to be, Swensen’s was on the other side of the building where I think there’s a Subway now. I remember Swensens being on that side, because I remember sitting and eating ice cream and looking out to the old Sav On and Alpha Beta across the lot from there. And I remember Smorgy’s Being on the other side because when we looked out the windows when we ate there, I would remember seeing the freeway and Via Campo. I didn’t get a chance to read all your comments, but if somebody else has mentioned it before, sorry to repeat it. Awesome pictures though!! Great site!

  10. heres one for you i went to garfield from the early to mid 70`s,about 35 to 45 i kid you not would stand on the corner of rowan and first st.waiting for the special.this is the buss that would drop you off in front of the school,kids would be playing purple,sabbath,elvis,etc.the buss was stick.at about 2:30 it would show up in front of the school to pick us up.the name of one of the drivers was barry ,he always wore shades and did`nt charge you if you mentioned his name and the fare was only 10 cents!

  11. I was born Lincoln Hospital on Soto. It’s still there. My grandparents had a little store on Telegraph and Brannick where Olympic crosses from 1924 to 1984. Used to ride the “R” car and watch the old Angles play at Wrigley Field. We used to go to Stans drive in on Whittier and Atlantic and the Tamale in Montebello. I remember my brother driving across the dirt base of the Santa Ana Freeway at @ Ditman while they were building it. More later if you like

  12. A little end of the year ‘membering’

    Haven’t been a round much, but dropped in to read what was bean ‘membered’ Christmas time. Tamales from La Indiana. Now I hear the Market at 5 points is the place to go. Watching the Xmas decorations go up on 1st street. I used to go to Tom’s all the time, we used to love the fries, big steak fries with lots of salt. Across the street was a Mexican bakery, we used to buy day old cookies for some insanely cheap price.

    My kids were watching a show where some kids went to Evergreen Cemetery to find evidence of it being haunted. I told them how we used to have to walk the full length of that cemetery after dark coming back from seeing movies at the Brooklyn. I used to be scared sh@#less to make that walk. Even walking across the street wasn’t far enough to keep it form being creepy.

    Another Ghost show recently went to Bella Vista Hospital.

    Feliz Navidad to all my East Los Homies

  13. Is it too late? Happy New Years to all LA EASTSIDERS.

    I am closing my eyes trying to recall the stores as I walk or ride my Stingray in and around Atlantic Square. Ah yes, I see Googies, Western Auto, Bill’s Toy, Bank of America, Old fashioned Hair Salon with rows of big ass helmet like hair dryers (My mother sat under these contraptions as I wandered outside because the place stunk of old lady products. God awful. Yikes), Von’s/Fazio’s/Shopping Bag, Thrifty’s, Atlantic Square Bakery (Nothing like buying a loaf of bread and having it sliced thick or thin, Wow!), JJ Newberry’s (God bless the cashier lady who saved my ass a whupping from Mom after I was sent to the store to buy something small with a $20 dollar bill that I lost enroute, I was so distressed and damn near crying, that she bought the item and gave me change to take home, God bless her! I was about 10 then in 1967), Singer Sewing ( I bought my first 45rpm the Jackson 5), The Jewish Deli where I ate my first Liverwurst sandwich on Rye with Kosher pickles, too this day I have a craving now and then for this beautiful sandwich, A shoe repairman, Gallenkamps, and the Jett’s Petting Zoo which was set up in the parking lot between Western Auto and Bill’s Toy store ( I also saw Hubert Humphrey giving a speech as he was running for President in that same parking lot), back on the bike, Constitution Savings, Winchell’s donuts, Taco Fiesta where 20 cents got me a cup of refried beans topped with shredded cheddar cheese and free yellow chili peppers)

    Sorry about the run ons but I was LAUSD edumacated. Too be continued… Same Bat time Same Bat channel.

  14. WOW… Im only 34 and some things I still remember but some are way past my time.

    Cha-Cha Cha bakery was owned by our neighbors who to this day still like in the same place… Tiger and Santa(one of the twins)

    I have read everything here and I even showed it to my suegro who grew up in the area.. He told me about the lot that Target,KMart and RideAid stand in now.. He told me the circus use to come there.

  15. To Al, thanks for tripping down memory lane. Too cool!!!

    Going back to the Atlantic Square area I remember vividly;

    Mejian Chevrolet now called Camino Real Chevrolet. (As a kid I was told that Governor George Deukmejian family owned Mejian Chevrolet).

    The A frame IHOP was originally named Woody’s restaurant. The fact that I know this makes me feel old.

    By the way, I used to work at the GAP for a summer before I was canned. That taught me don’t be late to work. Great lesson.

    Ray the Birdie, I believe the A&P off Floral and Atlantic you referred to was actually called Akron store, it was across from McDonald’s and next to the original Leo’s Stereo. I think.

    Inside Akron or next door was a great tasting and the only Cantonese fast food place (before Yee Low Deli) named Dang’s Chinese kitchen, they were originally housed at the old A&P Market on Beverly and Atlantic which is now a Pep Boy’s, and behind the A&P was the Fujiyama Inn where all the coaches from Garfield/ELAC would get hammered.

    Next door to Pep boys was a small hardware store, the owner went to DW Griffith in the 40’s and stated to me that his teacher who was my teacher was Mr. Krueger.

    Also, I too scampered around the edging of CT parks “gym” as a 6 year old. Where were my parents??? Oh yeah, working. We lived down the grassy hill on Miller Ave. way before they built Kennedy elementary. I learned to freeze my ass off at the CT plunge when they had night swimming back in the 60’s. I also member drinking or sucking water from the metal sprinkler heads above the grass fields where everyone played football. Egadz that was nasty, but in the Summer heat everyone drank from these heads. Pffffft.

    Speaking of Lalo’s, my homeboy lived across the street next to the flower shop and we would on Saturday’s (after balling at Belvedere or Wabash) with beach chairs on the sidewalk get wasted drinking and carrying on and watching the “old people” who were dressed to the nines come and go into Lalo’s.

    I got more but I gotta go now.

    Thanks again AL, y todo.

  16. Wow I stumble on this website by accident or maybe destiny fate? But Igrew up in E.L.A when to Brooklyn ave during the early seventies, and remember almost all of those great and cool places. Great trip down memory lane

  17. Saw the comment about The Hat on Atlantic. Does anyone remember The Hat on Ford Blvd. and 3rd St.? (the present site of King Taco) It was there before the damn State of California decided to mess up East LA by excavating the Long Beach Fwy. My big sis had her wedding reception at the Croation Hall on Ford. Blvd. Also, back in the day, prior to even The Hat, that site was the home of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. My dad and mom got married there.

  18. What a treat to stumble on this site. Ah, the memories. I remember growing up in the early ’80s when the old Atlantic Square was there with the J.J. Newberry, Thrifty’s (and their 35 cent ice cream cones), Albertsons, and Roberts. And then there was the Market Basket across the street where the space has been divided among the Blockbuster Video and Anna’s Linens.

    I also wanted to point out some corrections to the photos of the Montebello Plaza:

    -The former Circuit City (now Best Buy) space was the home improvement store Builder’s Emporium, and not Zody’s. Zody’s is where Albertson’s and the 99 Cents store are now. Of course, the 99 Cents store was the location of the original Circuit City before they moved next door.

    -The Healthcare Partners space was not Swensen’s Ice Cream Parlour. Swensen’s was where Subway is now. Rather, there used to be a buffet restaurant in the medical space called Smorgy’s. Smorgy’s was nothing spectacular and I remember the dishes were a bit greasy. If I remember correctly, Hometown Buffet opened across the street next to Lucky’s in the late ’90s and basically put Smorgy’s out of business.

    -As for the Straw Hat Pizza, I always knew it as a sit-down Pizza Hut. Maybe the Straw Hat preceded the Pizza Hut.

  19. Hey fans of Lalo Guerrero—
    Who remembers BETO’S CAFE at 4149 Brooklyn Ave, on the same side of the street as LALO’S, across Marianna St.? BETO’s had been there in the ’40’s thru the ’60’s when my Godparents sold the place. I lived there with my Dad in the rear of BETO’S. We were LALO’s competitor. LALO’S place was upscale, bigger place, bigger band, fancier dressed customers; LALO’s had a menu. BETO’s had 3 guys in the band by the dance floor while my dad and Padrino tended Bar with .45’s packed in their belt. Cops came all the time — both as customers and to stop fights. We had NO menu. We told you what was cooking in the kitchen.
    Atlantic Square!! JC Penney’s was my 1st job in 1966. Went to Montebello Sr. Hi, and ELAC, so thank you for the Memories!!

  20. August 29, 2010. I was taking a drive with my sons, both OC born and raised. I realised today is the 40th Anniversary of the East LA Sheriff Riots. I took my kids on a little history drive, showed them Laguna/Salazar Park, we drove down Whittier, told them what I saw. Showed them all the still recognizable landmarks. The only thing I saw that commemorated that day was The Brown Berets staging a gathering in front of what used to the the Silver Dollar. How East LA and the World has changed in 40 years.

  21. Man, do I remember these places. Here are some random memories:

    Walking to Atlantic Square in the summer barefoot with Eddie Varela just to hang out, in 1965.
    Eating the best hamburgers at Bill’s Paradise
    Eating at Rod’s on Garfield and getting nasty looks because of my long hair in 1969.
    My dad worked at Mejian Chevrolet for a while. It was owned by George Deukmejian.
    Buying stuff at the ELA Head Shop.
    I remember the lunch counter at Newberry’s.
    And, G-boys, I also saw Humphrey give the speech in the parking lot!! Wow!

    God bless you all!

  22. How about the 4 finger dog at Bills paradise.Before Bill was on beverly blvd he was on Pomona Blvd. I lived at 2924 Via Campo and Bill was just to the north of us across the alley. When we felt like pizza the best was just across the field from Bills at Luigis. Go to these sites now and you will be standing on the eastbound lanes of the Pomona fwy. The state bought our homes and business in 1962 to begin construction.

  23. My parents owned and operated Sotelo’s Bakery on Whittier (later relocated to Montebello). This was a walk down memory lane. I remember Woolworth and Johnson Supermarket as well as Thrifty Drugstore. Our neighbors: a furniture store on one side, a restaurant on the other followed by the hairdresser, a wedding dress shop, and The Silver Dollar.
    The unhappy memories began with the first riot. We were in our bakery when Ruben Salazar was killed in the Silver Dollar. I’ll never forget it. Our businesses shared a parking lot behind the store fronts.

  24. What a treat to find this. I was feeling a little nostalgic/curious about the old neighborhoods.
    My parents owned Sotelo’s Bakery which used to be on the boulevard (4933) in the days of Thrifty, Lerner’s, the Silver Dollar Saloon – that’s what it used to be called, and the huge furniture store which ran ads with El Matador Caraballo (I think that was his name). We moved from the boulevard after the riots because business was going down, the lease was coming up, and the neighborhood was becoming run down. We hated leaving our neighbors there, but found a nice place at 3401 W. Beverly Blvd. in Montebello where many of our customers continued to buy from us until my parents’ retirement. Maybe I can find a photo to post sometime.

  25. omg i just could not stop reading this it took me back yrs…. but i grew up in ELA and i remember newberry’s my mom would take us to eat there, but there was also a JCpenny where the big five sporting good store is now. Does anyone remember Bob’s Big Boy Restaurant? they were the best homemade burgers around, i also remember the circus someone mentioned it used come where the Commerce Theater is now but they also had a carnaval does anyone remember Two Guys which were target is now and what about orinal firestone tire shop on whittier blvd were they also sold bikes? what the boulevard Theatre and the Golden Gate Theatre they used charge one dollar and you see three movies.. wow!! what about on 4th st and laverne The Chinitos Store were you could on a hot summer day when you got out of Griffith middle school you would buy a slush!!!! those were the days when you at 10 or 12 yrs old you could go by yourself not worry about someone taken you like they do now i miss those days…

  26. Thank you for the trek down memory lane. My family you to visit the old Atlantis Square Bakery once per week. I really miss going there.

  27. I stumbled across Eastside Memories while thinking about my grandfather who passed away a few years ago; my grandparents lived in Montebello, he and his brothers owned a furniture store in Whittier Boulevard (Spitzer Bros.), and as a kid I frequented the Thrifty’s next door to it for breakfasts at the counter with my grandpa, shared hot fudge sundaes at Googies with my grandma, and generally loved the area throughout my childhood. Food was a big memory — The French Cafe nearby; Rod’s counter where the waitresses broke out pics of their families (as did we) from childhood thru marriage, babies, grand-babies, etc.; the Montebello Fire Dept. where my grandpa volunteered (and whose firefighters took me up in a laddder truck when I was a kid; a little way up anyway) — Nice others remember too.

  28. Love your comments Betty! Thanks! 🙂 Do you remember that Two Guys when it was Disco and Unimart store? How about the little sit down cafe inside in the back of K-Mart?

  29. The headshop on Atlantic and Pomona Freeway was called the Joint. How about at Atlantic Square Uncle Bills Toys, Singer, Newberries, JC Penney, Gregs Nursery, Googies, Eddies Arco, Monterey Restaurant, The A&P Market. The new Square sucks.

  30. Does anyone remember Toy Villa? My grandparents owned it when I was a kid. They retired and sold it back in the 70s. I was curious when it closed and if anyone has pictures of the building.

  31. I grew up in East L.A. in the 50’s and 60’s. Went to Eastmont Jr. high when it actually was a Jr. High School and graduated Montebello High in ’67. I recently stopped in at Chronis’ for a hot pastrami. A little more expensive than I remember. I hear Ron (Learch) just retired from that place. Wow! I went to school with that dude and remember him behind the counter flippin’ burgers. I also worked at McKeon Bros. on Whittier Blvd. “Boxboy” “where are you?” My favorite bakery, just down the street, was Community Bakery. Best pastries. I still remember the “Pathways” in the middle of each block that made it easy walking between Olympic and Whittier Blvds.
    I guess they are gone now because of house break-ins and easy getaways. I grew up on Fairfield Street.

  32. Where was Toy Villa it sounds familiar? I only knew of 1 toy store in Montebello, in the mart, Toms Toys, probably late 70s/early 80s, I remember buying a Mork toy there. They were originally on the other side of the mart, near where Radio Shack was, I think it took up 2 stores with a split wall. They would watch me like I was a thief. I’m not even Mexican looking.

  33. Toy Villa was on Atlantic but I can’t remember the cross street. It was fairly small, but the toys were stacked all the way to the ceiling. the register was just to your left as you walked in the front door, and the bicycles were just to the right. It was run by an older jewish couple, and that was my father’s parents. guess I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic lately because my dad is in his last days and I wanted to see if I could find a picture of the building, or anything to show him to put a smile on his face. thank you so much for your response!

  34. Thank you, Al, for posting all the old ELA pics and memories. I grew in ELA, attended Fourth St. Elementary School, swam on the swim team at Atlantic Pool, and had great memories of living on Via Campo. Do you remember the small Chinese restaurant named “Ho Ho’s” on the corner of Atlantic & __, I think it was 4th St. Also the car wash on Pomona Blvd/Atlantic? Wasn’t The Hat pastrami located next to the car wash back then? I too remember Atlantic Square with Newberry’s, Googies, Music Plus, Yeelow Deli…and the shoe repair shop. I will always remember the shoe repair guy…he worked hard and was always nice.

  35. WOW THIS SURE BROUGHT ALOT OF MEMORIES FOR ME… ALL THESE PLACES LONG GONE BUT STILL IN OUR MEMORIES… AS A KID GROWING UP IN MONTEREY PARK MY MOST FONDEST MEMORIES WERE GOING TO ATLANTIC SQUARE INTO NEWBERRYS (WITH MY MOM SHOPPING FOR SCHOOL CLOTHES!!!) AND AS SOON AS YOU ENTERED YOU GET THAT SMELL OF FRESH HOT BUTTERY POP CORN FROM THE COUNTER… THEN AFTER SHOPPING THERE GOING INTO THRIFTY’S AND ORDERING A HOT FUDGE SUNDAE FROM THE THRIFTY COUNTER… I MISS THE OLD ATLANTIC SQUARE!!! THANK YOU FOR POSTING THESE PICS 🙂

  36. I remember “The Head” (shop) on Atlantic very well! Good description! I guess I vaguely remember the name “The Joint”… did it go by two names? My grandmother lived nearby and whenever we visited, my younger cousin and I would sneak off to make the trek to scope out the notorious “underground” little psychedelic shop. I still have some of the old flourescent black-light posters! Probably bought a number of “Free Press” mags there.

    There were of course, numerous head shops scattered around LA, but in Montebello???? THIS was real local forbidden fruit! A shame that no pictures seem to exist of the original storefront. Wish the original owners could be tracked down to tell their stories.

    Also well remember the original Atlantic Square and “Uncle Bill’s Toys”… bought numerous plastic model cars to assemble and decal from there.

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