The historic Red Hill Coffee Shop along Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga, California, will have a new owner Tuesday.
Jim Moffatt, who owned the restaurant at 8111 Foothill Blvd. (Route 66) for 40 years, will turn the keys over to Gabby Sanchez, reported the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
Moffatt kept a lid on the transaction, but customers have been anxiously asking if the breakfast-only spot was closing, moving or changing hands after the lease expired Jan. 31, and the staff didn’t know what to tell them.
“Rumors are flying,” Moffatt told me Thursday before disclosing his plans.
That the crusty, white-haired Moffatt will no longer be behind the cash register — where he takes cash only, not cards — is hard to accept.
“It won’t be the same,” said Bill Alexander, a councilman and Red Hill regular. “He’s a fixture.” […]
The small, square building on Foothill Boulevard announces itself as a holdover from the Route 66 era. Inside, you find a six-stool counter, a cook at the grill, 10 tables with red-checkered tablecloths, servers carrying plates of omelets and nearly every inch of the walls covered in old, framed photographs of Moffatt with boxers, actors and politicians.
Moffatt, an Air Force veteran, also was known to often feed military veterans for free.
Moffatt began his run with the Red Hill Coffee Shop in 1976, but the restaurant dates back to 1943. Before that, it was a tavern called Blanche’s Place for a few years.
Sanchez says she won’t change a thing about the restaurant. She eventually wants to buy the land on which the Red Hill Coffee Shop sits. According to the newspaper, Moffatt had quarreled with his landlord over a proposed rent increase that likely prompted him to sell.
(Image of the Red Hill Coffee Shop by Dean Cheng via Flickr)