Friday, January 11, 2008

The Huddle

The classic "googie"-style coffee shop used to reside in the parking lot of Eastland Center in West Covina, California, close by the neighborhood where I grew up. Built in 1958, Eastland was then only the sixth shopping mall built in the Southland. The Huddle was down from the mall by the side of the westbound San Bernardino freeway (US 99, I-10), right at the Citrus Ave St offramp...


Click image to enlarge


(More on The Huddle restaurant chain.)

Our family actually almost never went to The Huddle. Mom didn't like the service or the food, and the place was always absolutely packed after church on Sunday, which also met with Mother's extreme disapproval. (We always ate out for breakfast on Sundays.)

Mom may not have liked The Huddle, but the place was really interesting to me. In the front, it was like a normal everyday family coffee shop, a la Denny's, but the back half was this very dark, smoky bar with a lighted fountain, central fireplace and extremely "mod" furniture and stylistic appointments. Not that I ever went in there – I used to sneak peeks at this forbidden area when I'd go in the back to the bathroom. ^^ I always wondered why grownups liked to go into dark, smoky places...

Anyway, by the time I was leaving high school, The Huddle was in obvious decline. During my freshman year at college, the restaurant disappeared, and in its place was a sporting goods superstore. That's gone now, too, though there's still a building on the site, and it's probably the same building that was the core of The Huddle.

Wow, I just looked at the area on Google Earth, and yeah, the Huddle building's still there, but a whole shopping center that used to be west of Eastland is like gone! (Where Akron was.) I wonder what they're going to build there. Who knows, who cares? *sighs* No matter what, if it's in LA, it'll be gone 50 years from now. That's just how it goes there...