About Bono's Italia
Bono’s Italia Restaurant and Deli is a historic restaurant located in Fontana, California. The restaurant opened in 1936 to serve travelers on U.S. Route 66, which then passed in front of the site; it originally operated as a produce stand. In 1943, increased traffic on the highway prompted the owners to expand their operations, and the current building was constructed as a full-service restaurant. The restaurant building has a Streamline Moderne design and features red and green stripes promoting its Italian cuisine as well as painted grapevines promoting its wine. As Fontana’s Italian immigrant community grew in the 1940s, the restaurant also became a local source of Italian foods previously unavailable in the area.
The Big Orange, a 7-foot (2.1 m) tall orange-shaped citrus stand, is located on the property of the restaurant. The orange was originally located 3 miles (4.8 km) to the east; restaurant owner Joe Bono [cousin of the late Sonny Bono of Sonny and Cher] purchased the stand in the 1990s and moved it to its current site.
While the restaurant had an orange-shaped stand of its own when it served Route 66 traffic, it was eventually demolished due to decreased money bolt demand. The Big Orange is one of six surviving orange-shaped buildings in California.
Bono’s is a member of the National Register of Historic Places.