Get a feel for a classic diner at Village Grille in downtown Claremont

By Cheran Dinger |Staff Writer|

With a taste of a simpler time, The Village Grille in downtown Claremont is the place to get your fix for great food and that classic diner feel.

The restaurant opened in the summer of 1949 on the corner of Yale and Indian Hill in historic downtown Claremont.

The restaurant is frequented by all walks of life: college students, biker crews and senior citizens who meet there weekly for a book reading and coffee.

“I have had many study sessions here with a giant plate of pancakes during finals week. The food is awesome, and cheap. Which is good because I am a poor law school student,” said Larry Richman.

With a wide range of choices, The Village Grille has something that will please even the most particular of pallets.

“For me it’s difficult to find a place that has vegetarian options, but I love the veggie sandwich and the vegan veggie sandwiches are both pretty bomb,” said Jessica Willard.

The mix of generations creates interesting conversations with guests interacting over breakfast. I overheard a discussion between an older gentleman with a college student over gas prices.

The term “whippersnapper” was thrown around a few times when the gentleman was explained how kids these days don’t appreciate the little things anymore.

“Oh come on son, you young whippersnappers don’t even know the value of a dollar these days,” said the older gentleman.

During my visit, I ordered the veggie sandwich. Ironically enough for a vegetarian I’m not a fan of many vegetables.  But with a sandwich with: sprouts, guacamole, cucumbers, and secret sauce I couldn’t pass it up.

The sandwich tasted like an upgraded version of a sandwich I could make at home. It was simple yet so satisfying at the same time.

Two cyclist, patrons of The Village Grille, stop for a “carbo load” on their way to the top of Mt. Baldy every weekend.

“Carbs are my friend. I get the French toast combo, so fluffy and filling. That’s what I need to keep me going,” said one of the cyclist.

The staff seem more connected and genuinely happy to be there compared to staff at other restaurants.

“We actually all like each other, it’s cool. It is a chill atmosphere where you get to meet the most interesting people sometimes,” said Danny Astroga, a server.

“Like the other day, I met a monk! Well he said he was a monk, who knows if he was just crazy or not but it made for an interesting conversation nonetheless,” said Astroga.

The Village Grille is an iconic piece of downtown Claremont where you can get classic American dishes at a great price. The crazy characters you can meet at any given time is a pleasant bonus as well.

 

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