A fire broke out inside the historic Big Oaks Lodge in Bouquet Canyon late Saturday night, and by early Sunday, the popular 2-story wooden restaurant building was gone.
The fire also consumed a trailer that was parked behind the restaurant but was stopped before it could spread to the brush.
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department assigned detectives from its arson bureau to investigate as a matter of routine. The 9-1-1 call came in from a late-night commuter who saw the fire and reported it as soon as cell phone reception was available, officials said. The California Highway Patrol reported the time as 11:34 p.m.
There were no reports of injuries.
Visitors to the ruins Sunday exchanged stories over the remaining patio tables and said it was “like losing an old friend.”
A teenage witness who lives on the property told a source close to SCVTV that the fire started in the kitchen while the restaurant was open and the owner was present. They quickly doused the fire, but it must have reignited, the girl said.
The history of the lodge goes back at least to 1932, possibly earlier, when it was a country store and cabin resort that hosted Saturday night dances. It was remodeled in 1939 and became the Big Oaks Lodge with its iconic rock perimeter wall. In the early 1980s prizefighter Jerry Quarry, who twice challenged Muhammad Ali for the heavyweight title, established a boxing ring and training camp there. It became a popular place for bikers and operated recently as Cavi at the Big Oaks, which had shut down.
The lodge, like other businesses and residential cabins in the Angeles National Forest, operates on a long-term land lease from the U.S. Forest Service. The 3,000-square-foot building was listed for sale in March 2017 with an asking price of $449,000. It was described as having a full kitchen, bar, outdoor kitchen with pizza oven, three rental units and a liquor and catering license. The current owners reportedly purchased the business in 2011.
As a filming location, the Big Oaks Lodge has been used for the TV series “Dynasty,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Melrose Place,” among others. Its current advertising as a film location listed a lodge, 9-stool bar, dining room, boxing ring, two cabins and restaurant with limousine access (although the boxing ring had been removed).
Chili cook-off entries and craft boutique applications are now being accepted for the Antelope Valley Indian Museum’s eighth-annual “Holidays on the Homestead,” to be held on Saturday Dec. 1, from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
No. 1 College of the Canyons will host No. 4 Ventura College in a California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regional Playoff first round matchup at Cougar Stadium on Saturday Nov. 17. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
College of the Canyons was the team favorite to capture this year's California Community College Athletic Association women's golf state championship and the Cougars didn't disappoint on Monday, winning the program's third title.
No. 1 College of the Canyons completed a perfect 10-0 regular season and claimed its first conference championship in five years with a rousing 42-30 comeback victory over longtime conference rival No. 18 Bakersfield College.
Until further notice, the California Film Commission will not accept applications for filming along Pacific Coast Highway, which is closed from Sunset Blvd. north to Las Posas Road due to the Woolsey Fire.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a temporary rent stabilization policy in the unincorporated areas of LA County in order to protect renters threatened by skyrocketing rents.
Nearly 700,000 ballots cast in the Nov. 6 general election remain to be counted, according to the second ballot counting update from Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan on Tuesday afternoon.
As late absentee and provisional ballots continue to be counted in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, Democratic challenger Christy Smith has pulled ahead of Republican incumbent Dante Acosta in the 38th Assembly District race.
SCVi, iLEAD’s founding school serving learners in grades TK through 12, will welcome students, parents and interested members of the community to two Prospective Family Meetings Wednesday and Thursday.