Restaurants New and Old Around Toluca Lake Part 2

December 3, 2020

Today I’d like to share a bit of history on one of the most centric historical restaurant locations in all of Toluca Lake and no, I’m not referring to Bob’s Big Boy, that will be for another post. This one is at the northeast corner of Riverside Drive and Talofa Ave. Now if you go there today you won't find a vintage long time established restaurant anymore. Instead, you will find a handful of smaller eateries like The Counter Burger, Shakey’s, and Coffee Bean. But before these modern places set foot in this town, there were 2 long-standing establishments that defined Toluca Lake in the early days.

Starting way back in 1948, the first restaurant in this location was called Tick Tock Time. It was a family dinner and family-owned. Bob Hope and his wife were frequent visitors, even. They were famous for their gooey rolls. Arthur Johnson, the owner, was very proud of his restaurant and quality was very important to him. So important that when he passed away in the 80’s, the living family didn’t want to sell the restaurant and its name to anyone else. They felt the quality wouldn’t stand up to Arthur Johnsons standards so they instead closed its doors forever.

So when Tick Tock Time was demolished a new icon of Toluca Lake was built. And that icon was none other than Baronies. It was one of the largest Italian restaurants around. It had a low-light atmosphere with a huge fireplace inside. Tables lined with red pin leather seats. And coat of arms and vintage armor decorated the walls. They had two entrances. One on the corner for Dine-in and a smaller one on the side for take-out. One unique thing about their pizzas was that they were rectangular, not round. It just had a classy cozy atmosphere that made it an easy choice on a Saturday night. It wasn’t until 1999 when they finally closed their doors and the land was redeveloped to what you see today. It really was a large space which was one of the cool things about it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a single photo of Barones in Toluca Lake but I did find photos of their other locations.

It really is amazing how much things can change. Even after Barones closed, the corner location was a Koo Koo Roo’s. Then it was The Counter. And before Sharkys, it was health health-conscious hamburger restaurant.

In our next post, we will talk about the king vintage location of them all and still stands there today. Can you guess which one? Follow along to find out.


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