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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.

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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