May 28, 2020
TITLE: THE SPORTSMAN RESTAURANT: This week’s image is a photo of The Sportsman restaurant in Cedar Glen. The restaurant was opened in 1949 by owner/operators Harold and Lenore Bain. The restaurant was very popular in the area because they had good food, provided quality entertainment, and had a cocktail bar. In the early 1950’s the roads and transportation made it challenging to have a restaurant open all year-round so The Sportsman restaurant, like many others, opened in the April/May timeframe for the summer season; similar to other mountain venues such as Enchantment Lodge in VOE and the Skyhouse in Skyforest, The Sportsman was able to provide the quality food and atmosphere required to host organizations for dinner meetings, and for wedding receptions. During the summer season the restaurant offered a dinner menu featuring steaks, chops and chicken and with the featured entertainment it stayed open until 1:00 a.m. A unique characteristic of the restaurant was the display of many of Harold’s trophies from his big game hunts over the years, including a mural of his grand slam of North American big horn sheep. Also noteworthy in the Bain family was their daughter, Sherry, who was an actress in movies and TV during the 1970’s. One of our local residents recalled that The Sportsman restaurant was the spot where many important decisions were negotiated and finalized for Lake Arrowhead during that same tumultuous decade. Mike Connors occasionally visited The Sportsman and talked about his vacation home in North Bay. In 1979 the restaurant was sold to Marce and Donna Jiron, who owned the Tree Top Lodge in Lake Arrowhead, and during the 1980’s the restaurant was operated by Bill and Kathy Jiron. In 1982 for Saint Patrick’s Day the restaurant offered an all-you-can-eat Irish Stew dinner for $5.50. Entertainment was provided by the country rock group Mojo Mountain. A variety of businesses occupied the space following the closing of The Sportsman restaurant. By Bill Pumford, Image from Russ Keller Collection.