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Bahooka Ribs & Grog

West Covina, CA
Bar & Restaurant
10
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1312 W. Francisquito Ave.
West Covina, CA
Opened in 1967
Closed in 1980
No longer in operation.

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Bahooka Ribs & Grog

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Humuhumu’s description

This was Bahooka's original location, in West Covina. Bahooka was started by two brothers and a sister in 1967, one of the brothers—Jack—had worked for 10 years at Kelbo's. The building was expanded over the years, which was ultimately its downfall—it grew over a property line, and in the ensuing dispute, Bahooka lost its lease. In 1980, the building was demolished. Four years earlier a second Bahooka location had been opened in Rosemead
history
Bahooka Ribs & Grog
Rosemead, CA
Bar & Restaurant
9.5
, and that location stayed in operation until January 2013.

Comments

January 29, 2018, 10:51 PM
I'm grateful to see that there is at least the one photo here of the exterior of the West Covina Bahooka.
I grew up within walking distance of this place in the late 60's and early 70's. far too young at the time to go inside and imbibe, or to really appreciate tiki in general. But here are some memories anyway:
Not long after the place opened, they installed a surplus naval anti-aircraft gun outside in the garden, next to the path leading to the entrance. It was battleship gray in color. In no time, the neighborhood kids figured out that one could sit in the gunner's seat, turn the cranks, and fully aim the thing in both altitude and azimuth. It probably would have shot ammo if we had any. To their credit, the owners and staff of the W.C. Bahooka never kicked us off.
A little non-tiki is needed here to conjure up the whole context: West Covina in the 1960's was a veritable hotbed of googie architecture. The W.C. Bahooka was located on the street with the coolest name in the world (Francisquito!!!), perhaps only a mile from the very original In n' Out Burger, which did indeed host a queue of '57 Chevys most of the time. To this day at that spot, the original pair of crossed palm trees still stand. Closer to home, right there sharing the parking lot with the W.C. Bahooka was a Thriftimart grocery store boasting a giant red T on the roof (at least 30ft tall, mounted on top of a 20ft high building) that lit up at night, bathing the Bahooka in red light. What a scene. To me as a kid, this was all normal.
In the same parking lot was a local hardware store where my brother and I decided to look for some decor for our backyard garden... and what did they have?... bamboo, fishing nets, tiki masks, you name it. I don't remember any other motif was even there for consideration. There in our own place and time, tiki was all around, but was as invisible to us as water is to a fish.
Getting back to that antiaircraft gun... I never did find my way over to the Rosemead location, and of course now it is too late. But anyone can look at the Google street view of the restaurant now occupying that location, and see a naval gun painted white in the parking lot, looking maybe a little forlorn. This may well be the same one from West Covina... if anyone knows for sure please comment! thanks

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