Goodbye Pottery Ranch, Hello Jack in the Box

After 70 years of business in Monrovia, the Pottery Ranch will be leaving to make way for a fast food chain.

The is moving to Pasadena, and another is popping up to take its place.

The business that sells pottery, glassware, china and other wares is being forced to move from its location on Magnolia Avenue and Huntington Drive after operating on the corner lot for seven decades.

Pottery Ranch owner Dan Thorpe said Jack in the Box bought the property he is leasing and he has until the end of the year to pick up and move.

"We've been doing it for 70 years in Monrovia, we love Monrovia. They just told us we have to be out the first of the year," Thorpe said. "What can I do, I've accepted it."

Jack in the Box received approval on its plans for the site from the city's planning commission last week. It will tear down the Pottery Ranch and an apartment building on the property to make room for a drive-through restaurant, according to Craig Jimenez, the city's principal planner.

The new restaurant would be less than a mile away from a Jack in the Box that already operates in Monrovia . Jimenez said the city was surprised that Jack in the Box was looking at the site, but the fact that it has another restaurant close-by did not factor into the city's approval of a conditional use permit for the chain.

"Typically that's not part of the consideration. If a use is permitted...within that zone, it's basically just looked at as that particular use," Jimenez explained. "If restaurants are permitted in that zone, to us we don't look at what kind of restaurant."

Brian Luscomb, a spokesman for Jack in the Box, said the company typically doesn't comment on new restaurants until construction has begun but confirmed that Jack in the Box was pursuing the property.

"That is a site that we're interested in," Luscomb said. "It's a good location."

Luscomb said the company was not concerned about the site of the new restaurant's proximity to an existing Jack in the Box.

"The site we're looking to develop is a very vibrant part of the community," Luscomb said. "Even though there's another Jack in the Box restaurant nearby, the travel time between the two is such that we can maintain sales at the existing location on West Duarte Road."

Jack in the Box will now move into the building phase of the project and is expected to submit plans to the city's building department. Once those plans are submitted, it would likely take the restaurant 6 to 8 months to get up and running, Jimenez said.

Concerned resident Dave Sparks emailed Patch and said that he was not happy about another Jack in the Box coming to town.

"Personally, I don't think that's such wonderful news," he wrote. "...Do we REALLY need another fast food restaurant on that stretch of Huntington along with Taco Bell/Pizza Hut, Popeye's, McDonalds and Burger King?"

Jimenez said he was sorry to see the Pottery Ranch go but believes the project will ultimately improve the appearance of the site. He said Jack in the Box plans to do extensive landscaping and noted that the apartment building currently there is in a state of disrepair.

"As much as I hate to see the Pottery Ranch go--it's been there for a long time--I think this is going to improve the aesthetics of the site," Jimenez said.

Thorpe said he hasn't identified a new home for the Pottery Ranch yet but plans to relocate somewhere in Pasadena. He was resigned to leaving.

"We can't afford the property, so Jack in the Box can," he said. "That's the way it is these days."

This story is part of Patch's nationwide series " Tell us what issues and what local stories go to the heart of your American Dream. Please contact editor Nathan McIntire at nathan.mcintire@patch.com.

Holly Hale September 21, 2011 at 03:28 PM
@Frank, What do you mean by that? @Jake, you are right about Baja Ranch Plaza being an eyesore. The corner looks bad, period. I'm sorry to say that included Pottery Ranch. They carry some interesting wares but when it comes to the large ceramic pots, one can find them at Dogwoods for less than half the price. What I object to is "more junk food" in the neighborhood. Granted, it's not the city's job to monitor what we eat, but with obesity at the rate it is, more junk food just isn't good. Plus, that is the route many kids walk to go to Santa Fe so now they will have junk at both ends.
Martha Johnson September 21, 2011 at 03:49 PM
Wow, another fast food conglomerate buying up real estate. Their outrageously high fat and caloric content food is just a friggin shame. Obesity is always on the rise and hey, we need all the help we can get keeping this menu off our plate!
Heidi Haskins September 21, 2011 at 04:02 PM
We don't need more fast food! Is there some way we can sign a petition against another fast food business in Monrovia? If people absolutely NEED jack in the box they can WALK, or BIKE, or JOG down to Duarte Rd. I am also very concerned about the health of our community with Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart disease on the rise. We need to teach our children to make better food choices.
Tracy Ramirez September 21, 2011 at 04:10 PM
This is bad news.....I LOVE that pottery store. It is very indicative of old Route 66. So much for Monrovia preserving the "old town" feel of the city. I guess the fact of the matter is that a fast food restaurant will generate more tax revenue than a cool pottery store. However, I will continue to visit Pottery Ranch wherever they move to and they will not lose my business! : )
Meghan Jackson September 21, 2011 at 04:12 PM
Seriously? Another fast food joint?
Ursula September 21, 2011 at 04:43 PM
I agree with Meghan. We don't need another fast food place. What we DO need are interesting places to shop and we need to support small business not fat *sses
MTownsOwn September 21, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Welcome to Monrovia, home of the fattest kids in california because we have more fast food places then we do parks. Once again Monrovia puts money over the health of its citizens
Will Owen September 21, 2011 at 05:08 PM
That's the last little piece of genuine Rt. 66 left this side of Glendora. It's like a little time capsule, a bubble with this chunk of 1952 floating in it, to some of us more precious than what they're selling. I should be happy they're relocating to Pasadena, where I live, and I am in fact glad we can continue to buy too many huge pots when the mood takes us. Just too bad they can't pick up the whole thing and truck it here intact!
Samantha September 21, 2011 at 05:14 PM
Several years ago, to me, Jack in the Box had the best tacos I've ever eaten. So, I drove to Duarte Rd to pick them up at least twice weekly. Suddenly, one day I got home with my edibles & couldn't believe what I bit into; the worst taco EVER! The meat was like muddy slush & I wrote a letter. I can't begin to tell you the response I got which ended up being a $1.00 coupon. Absolutely no apologies or inquiries into why this happened. I've never been back. As much as I'll miss the Pottery Ranch, I might try the 'new' Jack just to see if they have the 'old' taco that swept us off our feet.
Todd Flink September 21, 2011 at 05:31 PM
I say ... complain and let Jack know you will boycott their stores and let all you friends know to do the same. http://www.qdoba.com - another JackInTheBox venture https://www.jackinthebox.com/corporate/contact-us/feedback/index.php
Lari Burney September 21, 2011 at 05:33 PM
I'm just surprised to hear that they are REALLY closing! They have been flying those signs for years! They haven't offered the discounts that they advertised in the past, it was just a ploy to get customers to come in............it will be interesting to see what they are offering at 50 to 80% off now!
SYLVIA WILLIAMS September 21, 2011 at 05:39 PM
@Holly I totally agree with you. I' m sorry Pottery Ranch has to go. I grew up in Monrovia and they are one of the originals still standing, but they were wayyyy over priced! I get pots from Dogwoods for much less too. But man, another fast food place so close to so many others on Huntington is just too much. Where are the cute and interesting shops that will draw business to our little community in order to keep that "Old Town Monrovia " feel. Instead we're becoming a "drive-thru" town....sad
Alice Parkinson September 21, 2011 at 06:08 PM
I agree with Lari, It's become a joke all the liquidation sales. Ugly signs and rude sales clerks. Not in favor of fast food, but this has been in the works for a while. That whole section town should be torn down, it's a dump.
Kate K. September 21, 2011 at 06:37 PM
So, why is it that Monrovia's planning dept. does NOT look at the type of business, etc., as Mr. Jimenez said ? Planning dept. and planning commissions in other cities look at those factors. That's what urban planning is about--- creating a balanced, viable community. Why is Monrovia so hands-off about this ? (And yet Monrovia is so hands-on about other issues, such as which salons can and cannot offer massages as part of their services). Having more minimum-wage fast food businesses ( In-N-Out is supposed to go in nearby on Huntington, too) guarantees that some will go under: We are "planning" for failures.
Kate K. September 21, 2011 at 06:42 PM
Check out little, admittedly-peculiar Sierra Madre: Their citizens have railed and fussed and voted which has successfully prevented "chain" fast foods from going in. The recent opening of a (very tasty) Mexican fast food place has been a huge hit. And its a "small business", not a mega-corp.
Kate K. September 21, 2011 at 06:50 PM
The "Old Town feel" we preserve is ONLY in the official "Redevelopment Zone" which was (until a few months ago) subsidized by the taxes we pay to the State of California. Look at Foothill Blvd., Huntington, and pretty much all areas south of Huntington---it seems the city "leadership" couldn't care less about how those parts of town are "developed" or laid waste. City Hall seems to spend 90% of its attention on the Old Town Redevelopment District, 5% on what's happening at the Aztec, and 5% on the remaining majority of Monrovia.
Lori Lomas September 21, 2011 at 06:56 PM
Don't get your hopes up...they all serve the same "meat" paste in a grease-soaked, half-soggy/half-petrified excuse for a tortilla.....mmmmm...sounds tasty, doesn't it? I will sadly miss seeing the Pottery Ranch on that corner, where it's been my entire life, and longer. I wish them well for the future.
R Terry September 21, 2011 at 09:27 PM
Jack in the Box? Why two so close? And yes, the taco do suck big time. This should have been the new location for In n Out! Either way, this area just may get designated as "Fast Food Row". Not sure how classy that is... Yeah, dump the entire business mall at the Baja Market area. The owner would never update it.
Susan September 21, 2011 at 09:35 PM
A Jack in the Box around the corner from the jack in the box... horrible
SYLVIA WILLIAMS September 21, 2011 at 10:08 PM
So true Ursula...and Kate K. thanks for the info.
Betty Sandford September 21, 2011 at 11:09 PM
I always bow to Steve Baker but I guess he is not going to comment on this. First, I have no comment on fast food places I just don't eat their food. Monrovia has a lot of individually owned or family owned restaurants with good,inexpensive food. The Pottery Ranch was owned and run by a family for most of the 70 years of it's existence. My late husband was attorney to the Honowitz family and gave them lots of support when Daddy ,Milt ,was killed in a car accident. Mom, Dotty, ran the store for the next several decades while raising 3 boys Barry, was an artist whose watercolor, "Mills View" became the official poster for the Monrovia Centennial It was reproduced in notecards and postcards and sold throughout the City, to benefit Centennial projects Ed is still a member of the Pasadena School Board and married to a woman who has been Executive Director of several nonprofits I haven't kept track of the third son but I am certain he has kept up the family role of community involvement It has been years since I purchased pottery at the store or chatted with Dotty at the counter but,yes, I will miss Pottery Ranch
Steve Buckner September 22, 2011 at 03:09 AM
This is what one city employee thinks. <Quote> "Positive or negative, we just don't want comments," Bell said. "It's been that way since the start." WOW. This is what your going to get people.
Richard Young September 22, 2011 at 05:10 AM
Wait...Wait.. How many Starbucks do we have here in Monrovia. The original Taco Bell on the north side of Huntington Dr next to the Nursery on Monterey, is now a Starbucks. Then inside the Pavilions store on Foothill between Myrtle and Primrose. Not to mention that right across the parking lot from Pavilions is a third Star bucks. Then another one on Huntington Drive by the 2nd street rail road bridge overcrossing...or is that the boundary of Arcadia. Not to mention the TWO Tack Bells both on Huntington Drive and both within a mile of each other. Go order a Cheese Quesadilla with extra cheese at both restaurants and check out the difference. Give Jack the heave ho on Huntington. Put In-n-out there instead. Only problem might be the wrap-around traffic on Friday and Saturday nights like the one on Foothill in Pasadena or the one on Santa Anita just south of Colorado. What a traffic jam!!
R Terry September 22, 2011 at 05:34 AM
Yeah Rick...you are right about the traffic. But that is exactly why we can handle a lot more In n Outs. Lessen the traffic density at the ones close to us. And yes lots of Starbucks but I can live with that, I'm just surprise that they can all survive. I'm just not a big fan of Jack's...one is plenty. Thank goodness it isn't a KFC! Now that would suck big time...: ( So you are going to the reunion?
Mark Maley September 23, 2011 at 01:51 AM
Nothing wrong with another Jack-in-the-Box!
Jerry Baker September 24, 2011 at 02:25 AM
Now what is Pottery Ranch going to do? The "Everything Must Go" banners have been a fixture of the Pottery Ranch since I was a little kid. Now nobody is going to know anything's going on.
R Terry September 24, 2011 at 04:14 AM
Yeah, right...I thought they were going out of business long ago. And at their prices, they should have. Maybe Jack in the Box would like to put up those banners. Just a forever sale regardless of who is there... : )
Jonathan Lesueur September 24, 2011 at 03:06 PM
You guys got to keep in mind that the jack in the box on duarte rd is a franchise it is owned by a person and the one that is being built on Huntington drive is corporate owned store just like the taco bell pizza hut is corporate owned and the taco bell near Albertsons is a franchise. Oh and the city did not sell the land to them the owner of that property did so the city can't do nothing about it Jack n the box owns the land now.
R Terry September 24, 2011 at 11:37 PM
Seems that corporate Jack in the Box is not very nice to their franchisee. Competition around the corner! The city certainly has a say in what businesses are allowed to open regardless who owns the land. I mean...what if it was sold to Larry Flynt and he wanted to open his version of "Jack in the Box"...it might not fly with the city.
Susan September 26, 2011 at 05:28 PM
AGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH another jack in the box........................No not that anything but that!!


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