Who remembers Ford's Lunch Counter

I just barely remember Ford's Lunch Counter. It was one those old places on Euclid in Ontario that were either burned down or torn down over the years. It was right near the corner of Euclid and Holt 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 racy.

Ford's Lunch Counter and the cafe itself was huge, with what seems as miles of counter space and totally devoted to Ford, with pictures of every ford made from 1945 to early 60's....I remember walking into this place and seeing the Huge Ford company logo, made of heavy brass, embedded in gray marble at both the Euclid and Holt entrances.

But the food at Ford's was not that good, except one item which I loved, and that was their deep fried French toast.. I really dont know why my dad liked the place.. .I guess it was the meat loaf.. I remember though, you almost had to beg for refills on coffee and if the place was just a little bit busy, you could waste your whole lunch hour there.... There was just something about the Ford's... I guess people just like to sit there at the lunch counter and watch the cars go by on Holt on one side and up Euclid on the other.

Today the only reminder of the Ford Lunch Counter is located in a display at the Ontario Museum of History and Art devoted to Ford Lunch features photos and a menu and few old timers who can still remember the place.

One thing I also remember.. The owner was a mean SOB to work for..  He yelled at the cooks and waitress alike and would even yell at some of his customers... I remember one time a waitress coming out of the back cook area with a full load of food on her tray, and I am not to sure what happened, but when Hobart started yelling at her, she just opened her hands, and let the tray full of food drop and took off her apron and threw it in his face as she walked out yelling "I quit!" at the top of her lungs.. It served Hobart right. He had to clean it up.


Whenever my dad got his monthly schoolteacher paycheck, we always came here as a treat for a nice greasy burger plate (they buttered the bun tops, if I remember right)and a piece of pie. I used to love the old-fashioned booths and the cranky old waitresses with the 1920's bobs.

My dad took me there once or twice on days he took me to work with him. I believe it was sometime in the early 60s. Years later my wife and I moved to Ontario, but by then Ford's was long gone.

I certinaly remember the Ford Lunch. My Dad worked there from about 1938 to 1956. He was hired as a short order cook. And yes, ol Frank was difficult to work for, but his brother, Chuck was very pleassant and he would tell my Dad, don't pay any attention to his ranting and raving. It's location made it a favorite stop for Hollywood Stars on they way from Hollywood/LA to Palm Springs. They tipped well and drank a lot One night the bartender did not show up for work and Ol Frank came to my Dad, and asked, "Can you tend bar?" Well Daddy had never tended bar in hie life and didn't have the money to drink, but he was no dummy, knowing how these people drank and tipped. From that night on, Daddy was the full time bar tender, poured a good stiff drin. The more they drank, the more they wanted and the more they tipped.

There was another cook there named Pat Parnell, he always said Daddy fell into a gold mine and Frank Hobart was real happy with the proceeds from the bar. Frank really tried to get Daddy to not quit. Chuck told Daddy that Frank was in poor health and was talking of selling the place.

I don't really remember Ford's Lunch Counter directly but my dad used to talk about eating there all the time.

I used to eat at Ford Lunch fairly often. As I remember, I liked it.

In the 1940's my mom & dad took me to Ford Lunch in Ontario every other Friday( for many years) for dinner. We always ordered the meat loaf with gravy plate. It was fantastic!!!! I guess, since we were regulars and Italians, we were always served promtly and treated extremely well!!!!

My Grandpa, Hugo Larson, was a baker at Ford Lunch for a number of years. I think it was in the 1940's.

My Grandmother Idell Winkley worked for ford lunch in the 50s-60s

What a delight to read the previous comments about one of the landmarks of downtown Ontario's "golden era" . They are glimpses into the history of our community with the confidentiality of eyewitnesses and insiders. Especially enlightening was the submission by the person whose dad tended bar. I wish I could read a longer article or book by the same author!
I grew up in Ontario and during the 1960's downtown Ontario was a busy place. We shopped and ate and went to the movies along Euclid Avenue. My Mom's Dad worked at the General Electric iron plant on Euclid just below Holt. I remember driving down Euclid to the plant to pick up Grandpa from work on a few occassions, and on a couple of those times he had Mom stop at Ford to treat us to a burger or grilled cheese. The booths seemed huge to a six-year-old boy and I remember the nice waitresses, the good food, and the fun we had laughing together at Grandpa's stories and funny sounding animal impressions!
Whenever I drive by Euclid and Holt, I always remember the good times we had together there at the Ford Lunch.

My mom and dad bought out their Porcelain /steel Soda syrup dispensers and porcelain Banana Split dishes Red White and blue, I got them when my mom passed away. they also gave me the pressed glass footed Ice cream dessert cups.
I have to sell them asap. caldizny@gmail.com if you are interested.


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