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Stoppe the Presses: Popular Beaumont Business to Open in Downtown Banning

'The rumor is true. We're opening at the Haven,' Lamese 'Mese' Ugapo told Banning-Beaumont Patch in a phone interview Oct. 3.

The Sandwich Stoppe of Beaumont, one of the most popular eateries in the San Gorgonio Pass, is scheduled to open a new location at the vacant Haven Cafe in downtown Banning, the owner confirmed Wednesday.

"The rumor is true. We're opening at the Haven," Lamese "Mese" Ugapo told Banning-Beaumont Patch in a phone interview Oct. 3. "We are opening in Banning. I have the keys in hand.

"We hope to get situated there and open scheduled Nov. 12," Ugapo said. "We're going to run both locations until January at least, and see how it goes."

The decision to open in Banning had nothing to do with the August break-in at the Stoppe's current location on East 6th Street in Beaumont, Ugapo said. It had a lot to do with suggestions he received from customers.

"I was raised in Banning since age 11, and I told myself when I was 9 I would own a restaurant," Ugapo said.

"The Haven came from a Facebook post. A friend from high school, she's a civilian employee of Banning PD, she suggested it. She said like 'We wish you were closer, why don't you check out the Haven? And a lot of people chimed in, supporting the idea.

"So I checked it out," Ugapo said. "It took time, but I've worked out arrangements with the building owner and city economic development."

The Stoppe in Beaumont, next door to an ambulance location on East 6th and a few blocks from the police department and a fire station, is already popular with public safety employees.

Ugapo says he and his family are swamped these days because their Gwen Marlowe Catering business is doing so well. He and his wife Anna Marie named the business for their two oldest daughters, 3-year-old Gwen and 6-year-old Marlowe.

"Both my parents are Samoan," Ugapo said. "The men cook in Samoan culture because the island cooking can involve so many physical tasks. It's a labor of love but it's still physical."

The most popular burger at The Stoppe remains the classic American cheeseburger, Ugapo said.

"It's all about what you put in, and we use only high quality ingredients," he said.

The empty space occupied briefly by the Haven Cafe, vacant since January 2011, has been a symbol for some Banning residents of challenges facing the downtown area. When The Stoppe opens next month, it could be the beginning of a new chapter and a new image for the empty storefront.

The Stoppe is currently located at 225 E. 6th St. in Beaumont. The new location in Banning will be at 42 W. Ramsey St., across the street from Paddy O'Reilly's, just east of the Fox Theater, west of City Hall and the Banning Police Department.

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Chris' Plumbing October 04, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Wow man.. Some drama. Subs are refreshing and healthy, but they don't taste anything like a med rare cheeseburger from the stoppe, and the sandwiches are on a different caliber. Like comparing a BB gun to a shotgun, sometimes you need that flavor explosion. Everyone has there loyal customers, there's enough business for everyone
Harriet Briant October 04, 2012 at 11:20 PM
I say welcome Lamese. I'm glad that you will be filling an empty space in downtown Banning. I wish you success in your new endeavor. Go For It!
Carl Booth October 04, 2012 at 11:56 PM
I'm not pointing fingers at anyone. The city of Banning did such a nice job in refacing downtown. Let's all be friends and support The Stoppe when it moves in next month.
Rick Murdock October 05, 2012 at 12:02 AM
Very excited about The Stoppe coming to downtown Banning. It is delicious. I think most of us can agree that there are already a lot of restaurants in downtown. I think we can also agree that there are several restaurants that are excellent and others that are not. The Stoppe is excellent. Would anyone be upset if Consuelos opened a second location? Of course not. Their food is amazing. The Stoppe is of the same caliber, just a different genre. If you haven't tried it I highly recommend you give it a shot.
Washy October 05, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Oh Mr Ugapo I don't pay that much for a sandwich. I am a struggling business owner too and certainly have never been able to afford an 8dollar veggie burger! (which was the cost the last time I stepped into that place)
Washy October 05, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Julia don't worry for Super Subs they are an affordable sandwich shop. You will likely die of shock when you see the Sandwich Stoppes prices
ATC October 05, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Wow, Washy, such negativity. If you don't like the food or the prices, nobody is forcing you to go there. In fact, I wouldn't expect you to go to Banning for their food anyway, since you live in Beaumont and there is a Stoppe! there already.
Bob Botts October 05, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Welcome Lamese! With the Mid County Justice Center coming on line very soon, and all of your existing customers in Banning and Beaumont, plus the 130,000 cars a day traveling on the I-10 (We look forward to working with you to attract many of those travelers to Downtown and your restaurant) you are going to continue to be successful! We look forward to your success!!
Guy Whittaker October 05, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Hey Rick Im possitive there are a couple Mexican restaurants in Beaumont that would be pretty ticked if Consuelos opened a second restaurant across the street from them.. you also seem to have tried all the Banning downtown restaurants and qualified yourself as a food critic. I'm curious as to which eating establishments you have deemed good and which you deem bad...just sayin...
Guy Whittaker October 05, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Hey Bob Botts, We've heard that all before! When is it that you are going to start steering those 130,000 cars into Downtown Banning? When are those high rolling attorny's going to arrive,or at least when will the various criminal element be released from that new courthouse in Downtown?When was it and to whom did you support Downtown with your patronage lately?
Lamese Ugapo October 05, 2012 at 04:29 AM
https://www.facebook.com/TheStoppeRocks/photos_stream#!/photo.php?fbid=10151114160822830&set=a.382162167829.162139.109436157829&type=3&theater Click on this link here folks. These are cell phone pics of just a few of our most popular burgers. You will see that our patties are not perfectly round. It's because they are HAND FORMED every single morning from 100% certified Angus Beef that is NEVER frozen. #4 is The Stoppe!'s TRUE Veggie Burger that Mr (or Mrs.) Washy is refering to. It costs $4.79. It's made with your choice of melted cheese sandwiched between two slices of breaded, seasoned eggplant (to form our "patty"), grilled mushrooms, lettuce, onion, tomato, fresh avocado slices, sprouts and mayo on a grilled whole wheat bun. Would you pay $4.79 for the cost of food and labor to create this Veggie masterpiece? Add a 16 oz drink and Fries for ONLY $2.79 more. Add tax and ALL that comes to $8.17. Now which $8 veggie burger were you referring to again? Washy, if you're going to attack my place of business PLEASE use FACTS. Have a blessed day:-)
Lamese Ugapo October 05, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Thank you Rick. All of this drama created by the simple dream of a simple man (myself) to expand his business into the city that he calls home? It is laughable. We simply LOVE the location. It is gorgeous! It has the best of both worlds, new and old. We simply love the spot, have a very loyal following and are working hard to make our American Dream come true. We're not trying to "shut down" or take away from other businesses. By the way between 22nd and 8th there are TONS of restaurants (chains and local) and they do well. It's called business and you just have to carve out your own niche and do it well.
Claire October 05, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Lamese, in every response you have shown yourself to be a class act. I do not know you or your restaurant, but I look forward to trying it out. You sound like the kind of person that our communities need to hear more from. Good luck! Stay positive!
Suzanne Reubush Birchard October 05, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Wishing you great success! Positive, hard working, business owner are a welcome asset to any downtown. Good location, awesome architecture, and now a great sandwich!
Suzanne Reubush Birchard October 05, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Wishing you great success! Positive, hard working business owners are an asset to any downtown. Perfect location, awesome architecture, and now a great sandwich! Best of luck to you!
Bob Naus October 05, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Lamese, I hope that your business does well. Yes, I remember you as a "little" Coombster up through taping your ankles in football. Your store in Beaumont was great, Let's hope this is just as successful. As for the rest of these posts, I hope that you are not putting all your eggs in one basket and think that the new courthouse in Banning will be the savior of this town, you may be wrong. Just look at the small mom and pop restaurants that have closed in downtown Riverside that were forced out by law buildings with really no revenue stream coming. I hope this does not happen but remember i am warning you.
Lamese Ugapo October 06, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Hey Coach Naus. As far as the courthouse goes, I'll "cross that bridge when I get to it". Business from a building that won't be done for another year and a half is the furthest thing from my mind. I'm focused on the good folks who are here now:-) We have a plan for our business and are blessed to have an extremely loyal following in the Pass. We only need to work hard, stay focused and positive and put our plan into action. We'll see you soon. Take care.
Mariana Zuelsdorf October 06, 2012 at 07:05 AM
I can almost taste that chicken salad on squaw bread! It looks delicious!
Washy October 06, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I am completely unsure as to what you were trying to prove other then my point. I make a homemade veggie burger that puts yours to shame (although mine look really homemade and are not perfectly round but round enough. But more importantly then being perfectly round mine are not dry. Anyhow I digress my homemade veggie burger for a recipe of 20 costs less then 2 bucks each to make. Takes approx 1hr of my time prepping and making so adding my time the whole 20 burgers cost (I added three extra dollars for the cooking etc....)26 dollars for the batch....For a 1.30 Potato cost about .35 cents add profit of 400 percent and you have an 8 dollar veggie burger. (again my 1.30 burger is not dry)
Charles Ferrell October 06, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Let's see... a Pass Area business, and a good one, has decided to expand and open a second operation in Banning, to go along with its already successful location in Beaumont. Sounds like all good news to me. Good for the business and its successful owner, good for downtown Banning and good for Beaumont which will keep a popular restaurant. Good for the Pass Area, period.
Inside Informer October 06, 2012 at 03:32 PM
In a week of crime, accidents, and political bashing, it is great to read some good news like this! Welcome!
Lamese Ugapo October 06, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Also Washy, I would LOVE to try your burgers someday if you would oblige. Because if yours really do put mine to shame (which is possible) I NEED TO TASTE THAT BURGER:-) Good day neighbor:-)
Lamese Ugapo October 06, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Awww shucks Mariana:-) Well we can't wait to serve you! Have a great day.
Lamese Ugapo October 06, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Thank you Charles for seeing this "scandal" for what it really is. I'm just a person who wants to help out the town that I love and call home. I know the majority of the people feel the same. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Lamese Ugapo October 06, 2012 at 11:42 PM
Hey there Informer. Thank you so much. We only wish to bring more people to the downtown area so we can ALL benefit, other businesses AND restaurants included. Not many people can eat the same thing every day. Heck! I can't even eat my food EVERY day, LOL! I'm a consumer and have the desire to taste others' food. If we can help pull folks off the 10 freeway and most of all get more locals downtown then they will be exposed to ALL of the businesses down here more often and will be more likely to visit other businesses as well. We ALL win!
Lamese Ugapo October 06, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Suzanne we appreciate your well wishes. Thank you and we look forward to serving you in our beautiful new location:-)
Lamese Ugapo October 06, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Thanks Claire. Positive is the only way to be:-) We look forward to meeting you in person:-)
Lamese Ugapo October 07, 2012 at 12:08 AM
All that and yet you still haven't explained how my $4.79 Veggie Burger = $8. Facts please. Have a good weekend neighbor:-)
Don Smith October 07, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Welcome to Banning. Its a great location.
Chelse Porter-Youngblood October 10, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Mese, it's really not worth engaging in conversations with the negativity of some. I'm proud of you and excited for our city. I understand your passion in wanting our hometown to prosper by taking the risks involved. I know that you believe in this city. How do I know this? We were both raised here in a time where people living in this community became involved and had a vested interest simply because we cared! This born and raised small town girl will continue do everything I can to support you as well as the business that surrounds the downtown area. Good Luck & God Bless my friend!

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