Brenna von den Benken
Known for its piles of layered toppings on their pizzas and antipasto salads, Warehouse Pizza, located in the heart of downtown La Verne on D Street, is one of the most established independent businesses in the community.
While restaurants here have come and gone, Warehouse has served La Verne for 39 years.
John Knerr founded Warehouse Pizza in 1972.
“The restaurant had a decent following while John was still alive, but after he passed away his son ran the business into the ground and eventually sold it to me in 1986,” current owner Kenny Schonfeld said.
At the time, Schonfeld had owned a restaurant prior to Warehouse Pizza in Upland called Sneakers.
However, Warehouse Pizza seemed like a better deal to Schonfeld so he jumped at the opportunity. He bought the recipes from the original owner and the menu remains exactly the same as it was in 1972.
Other than their prominent pizzas and salads, the restaurant also offers recognized sandwiches, spaghetti, breadsticks and cinnamon sticks.
“All the food on the menu sells evenly,” Schonfeld said.
Warehouse Pizza stays busy everyday, especially on weekends.
“We basically just serve some really good quality pizza, toast all our breads well in the oven, and have some good-tasting meats,” Schonfeld said.
Fountain drinks, a good selection of bottled beers and six tap beers are available for a good time in a charming, relaxed environment.
“It’s just a casual place that hopefully everyone feels comfortable in,” Schonfeld said.
For a convenient and personable dining experience, Warehouse offers outdoor patio and indoor seating.
The interior of the restaurant provides a snug and cozy atmosphere with a spontaneous and informal theme. Giant gorilla, dog and automobile sculptures adorn the decks of the room among other keepsake ornaments. Guests can watch their favorite sports games on plasma televisions that hover just below the ceilings.
Arcade games such as Pacman, Nascar racing, House of the Dead, Universal Studios’ Monster Bash pinball, and other games have been a hot spot for locals for about six to seven years.
“A lot of students from the University of La Verne and Bonita High School from the ‘70s still come in and reminisce,” Schonfeld said.
Some students from ULV work part-time at Warehouse Pizza while the cooks in the kitchen work full-time, some for more than 10 years.
Warehouse Pizza has been voted the “Best Pizza in Pomona Valley” and rates high in reviews from food critics from all over the community.
Schonfeld does fundraisers for local groups and is supportive of schools by placing advertisements, providing gift certificates, T-shirts, raffles and prizes.
The restaurant is also a popular host for family gatherings, birthday parties, graduation dinners, and sports teams’ end-of-season parties.
“We can accommodate large groups and our prices are very reasonable,” Schonfeld said.
“It has got to be the best pizza I have ever tasted,” freshman psychology major Steve Reyes said. “Whenever I get the chance to eat during my breaks between classes, I go there.”
“I think it’s the cheese,” freshman business administration major Ariel Cole said. “It’s all the layers of toppings that they put on the entrees that you just can’t get enough of.”
“I have a really good time here; I enjoy the customers and the success keeps me going,” Schonfeld said.
“It’s hard enough to keep it clean and running for tomorrow’s busy day, but we still continue to try to serve the best food we can here.”
Brenna von den Benken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.