Fontana, CA -- Joe Bono took me on a tour of his prized, roadside diner recently. "This building has been in our family since the 30s," he said while pointing to an old photo on the wall. Bono's Deli has not been in service for a couple years but Joe is working on reopening the historic landmark very soon. Inside, the walls are lined with Route 66 memorabilia.
His family once owned 200 acres of vineyards along Baseline. The vineyards are long gone but he is trying to preserve the nostalgia by collecting wine bottles and building a wine tasting room attached to the 100-year old diner.
"You know there are probably six Route 66 enthusiast clubs out there; I belong to six of them," chuckled Bono. Looking back at the pictures on the wall, he pointed to a framed photo of he and Sonny. You mean Sonny as in Cher? I asked. Joe looked over at me with a big smile and said, "My cousin."
The large orange, pictured above, was built in the mid 1930s and was used as advertising. It used to be two miles down Route 66 but was recently moved to where it is now. Another example of vernacular architecture, which was very popular in the 30s and 40s.