Chip Anzalone: a man with a vision

Jun 18, 2023 | Business

Crestline’s Stockade Grub and Whiskey restaurant on a cold, wintery day. (Photos by Douglas W. Motley)

By DOUGLAS W. MOTLEY – Senior Writer

Stockade owner Chip Anzalone behind the bar counter in the outdoor patio.

Stockade owner Chip Anzalone behind the bar counter in the outdoor patio.

Charles “Chip” Anzalone is a visionary and astute businessman who knows a good investment opportunity when he sees it. One such opportunity presented itself in September 2021 when he purchased the San Bernardino Mountains’ oldest continuously operating bar and restaurant, the Stockade.

The Stockade, which had seen a series of at least three previous owners since its 1954 opening as Chateau Café Piland, was operated by Lil and Newt Piland, who also built and operated the exclusive Club San Moritz Supper Club and the Yodeler in Dart Canyon.

“I had been coming here for years and I could see that the business was going downhill. Now, customers who had been coming here for ages are coming back in droves,” said Anzalone, who has a penchant for breathing new life into failing businesses.

When asked what inspired him to get into the restaurant business, Anzalone told the Alpine Mountaineer, “I worked in restaurants when I was in college (he majored in environmental science at UC Santa Barbara) and my wife and I invested in two restaurants in the Long Beach area, so I have years of experience at doing this.” Although you will sometimes see Anzalone pouring drinks behind the bar, he said he’s more of a business owner who brings businesses back to life.

The first thing Anzalone did after buying the restaurant was to embark on a remodeling project, which included replacing the flooring with material similar to the rustic planks covering the barroom floor in the adjacent dining room and replacing all of the lighting fixtures, as well as replacing the furniture with new high tables and chairs. Other upgrades included a new surround-sound loudspeaker system that extends out to the covered patio behind the kitchen. Out on the patio, there is another bar, as well as tables and benches for outdoor dining.

At the far end of the patio is a stage, where local bands, as well as bands from all over Southern California, play on weekends.

Big Bear band No Consent performed on the Stockade’s outdoor stage on Saturday, June 10.

Big Bear band No Consent performed on the Stockade’s outdoor stage on Saturday, June 10.

“We are family friendly and focus on live entertainment,” Anzalone said, noting that Thursdays are open mic nights. On Friday and Saturday, guests will find either a band or DJ in the barroom, as well as a band playing on the patio stage, which encourages couples to dance.

With 22 employees, patrons can rest assured they will get timely and attentive service. According to Anzalone, the “Stockade Burger,” which comes with fries, is their best seller. Other popular menu items are Smoked Brisket, Barbecued Ribs and Ribeye Steak. Every night, the Stockade has different specials.

The Stockade is closed on Mondays, excluding holidays, and only the bar is open on Tuesday. The kitchen is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and sometimes later on the weekends. On Saturday and Sunday, they have brunch, starting at 10 a.m. with food and drink specials.


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