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Slip Into 'Bananas' for a Respite From Rat Race

January 17, 1991|LISA MASCARO

In Fullerton, thought of by many as a slice of Pasadena in Orange County, most people passing through probably expect to find the palm trees, the cute small-town character, the artists.

But maybe they wouldn't expect to find banana trees--especially the one sprucing up an old industrial-area cocktail lounge, transforming it into something of a cross between a 1950s-era Polynesian hut, a country-Western watering hole and a modern day sports bar.

Bananas Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge is something of a sight for sore eyes in the midst of a hodgepodge of enterprises on and around Raymond Avenue--including a food processing plant, a paper mill and an assortment of auto shops.

Inside, red-vinyl, half-circle booths welcome visitors to the cocktail area, where there's a jukebox and an evening buffet of hors d'oeuvres. Across the bar, in another room, are three pool tables, a hoop machine and a TV.

The easily intimidated needn't worry about the sometimes large number of trucks in the parking lot; the clientele is varied enough that an outsider will feel welcome.

Most times you'll find a mixture of truck drivers, railroad workers, secretaries and managers from the industries nearby. But on Friday afternoons, when patrons gather for the weekly noontime fashion show, the crowd may take on a different look.

A good-sized menu offers a daily Blue Plate Special along with traditional standbys such as burgers and fries, soups and sandwiches. Breakfast is also available.

Drink bargains from 6 to 10 a.m. weekdays are presumably meant for those heading for the pillow, rather than off to the job.

Bananas Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge. 601 S. Raymond Ave., Fullerton. Open daily, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. (714) 871-7390.

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