Bono's Historic Orange
Today is my friend Jim’s birthday (go say happy birthday to him!) and I’m missing him more than usual, so I’m coping by reliving a tiny portion of our Route 66 road trip from last year. When Jim moved to California, I was obviously bummed to be losing one of my best friends to the worst coast, but I was also excited to have a reason to visit (and a place to stay in) California. Arguably the mecca of quirky roadside attractions and novelty architecture, I’ve only been to CA twice, but my list of must-sees grows daily.
Bono's Historic Orange is one of six surviving orange-shaped buildings in California. It’s located in Fontana along a stretch of Historic Route 66, 45-minutes from The Donut Hole, and about 20-minutes fromt the Wigwam Motel. Bono's Italian Restaurant opened nearby in 1936 to supplement the revenue from the Bono family farm. The seven-foot-tall orange sits in front of the restaurant on the side of the road and thirsty travelers could buy a glass of orange juice for 10 cents.
The restaurant was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. In 2013, owner Joe Bono (he’s a cousin of Sonny Bono) received permission to move the building 20 feet from the street and said he had plans to reopen the restaurant and the orange stand, but both remained closed when we visited last year. I’m sad that I didn’t get to purchase something orange from the orange-shaped stand (probably my favorite thing to do, ever), but I’m happy that it survives at all.
Bono’s Historic Orange
15395 E Foothill Blvd