The Downtown Report: Early October Edition

New in Town

Pour Vida has opened at 101 N Harbor where The Pickled Monk was. Many favorable reviews are in, and wow, Brunch 7 days a week. ZAMA Lounge has opened at 213 N Harbor where Branagan’s was and the fund-raisers we mentioned last time at Mickey’s and High Horse were both great successes. All are now open full time.

Chrissie and Jimmy, Pour Vida.

Celebrating Tommy Lasorda

“Lasorda Legacy: A Tribute to Baseball and Dodgers Legend Tommy Lasorda,” along with a second exhibit “Picturing America’s Pastime” opened on September 10 at the Fullerton Museum Center. Former Dodgers Bobby Valentine and Charlie Hough were gracious enough to give us a pose, below. A sea of baseball fans dressed in Dodger Blue flooded the exhibits, meeting hall, gift shop and outdoor areas to celebrate both Tommy and the collection on loan from the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Dodgers Bobby Valentine and Charlie Hough.

The second annual Tommy Lasorda Day was up next, taking place on his birthday, September 22. Those in attendance were serenaded with music by Lover Sonicos while sampling wonderful Monkey Business hot dogs with veggies harvested from the Fullerton Arboretum. Also on hand were funnel cakes and libations in the beer and wine garden. Informative talks and a round table discussion with former Dodger Steve Sax with Jason Turbow, Zack Minasian, and Chris Epting, moderated by Roberto Angotti and Tommy’s daughter Laura Lasorda rounded out the evening. Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva was seen at the celebration with commemorative signage soon to be posted on the 5 Freeway made possible by her bill ACR67 naming part of the freeway ‘Tommy Lasorda Memorial Highway.”

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva with New Highway sign.

The British are Here

In our last Observer we mentioned The British Grocer, of course having no idea that Queen Elizabeth II would soon pass away and that many patrons of the shop would be greatly affected by her passing. We reached out to the owner Jaqueline Wyld, known to most as Jackie, who has turned over the operations to son Simon, who also runs The Olde Ship British Pub and Restaurant, where Jackie’s late husband Dougie had put his heart and soul into the Pub beginning in 1993. We were looking for personal insights from Jackie and Simon, as well as customers of both downtown businesses.

Simon with Olde Ship GM Jenn Hardie.

Jackie tells us she grew up at Tattenham corner near the Epsom racetrack and saw the Queen in her carriage a number of times in her youth when attending the Epsom Derby, recalling how personable the Queen was.

While enjoying a true Imperial Pint of Boddington’s at the Ship with friends recently, it was obvious that the passing of the Queen was a moment in history any Brit will never forget, akin to the biggest moments in our own history. Taking a look at the notebook many had signed, soon to be sent off to the newly crowned King, we found these comments, and include here part of the intro written by Simon.

“It is one thing to lose a Mother but you have also lost a Queen. A Queen that has guided us through thick and thin throughout her reign. She was compassionate, steadfast, and devoted to her Country, Commonwealth, and the Faith! We are proud to honour her aboard our little Pub here in America. God Save the Queen! Now we honour you, King Charles III! God save the King!” –Simon

Other condolences included: “Your memory will never fade, I will forever miss you.” and “Your Mother was a tremendous example of stability and consistency. We wish you good health and peace.”

Regular customer Dave Tomlinson.

Finally, from Dave, “The Queen lived by the rule of mutual respect. She was the finest ever Lady. Bless Her.”

3751 Returns

An Amtrak track safety event took place at the downtown transportation center on Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25 with free tours of the Train Museum presented by Southern California Railway Plaza Association (SCRPA) and the impressive return of the massive 3751 Steam Locomotive. Just the sight of that beast is overwhelming, and the steam whistle could be heard for miles every time she blew, acting like a magnet for all who recognized the sound from past stops in Fullerton for Railroad Days.

Photo Quiz

Where was this ‘before’ photo taken? Send answer to Mike at