How did ‘Cock and Bull’ get its name?

Written by Dick Mason, The Observer April 29, 2013 01:39 pm

by Dick Mason/The Observer 

The restaurant’s name dates back to a decision concerning what entrees would be served when it opened about 45 years ago. 

The first owner decided to have the majority of the main course entrees prepared from beef and turkey or both. The name “Tom & Bull” was considered to reflect this but was discounted because it did not have a good ring to it, said Angie Arnson, the restaurant’s current owner. It was decided instead to substitute cock for tom to create “Cock & Bull,” a snappier name. 

Cock was a fitting substitute because chicken is also served at Cock & Bull although not nearly as much as turkey. Arnson, as a cook, prefers serving more turkey than chicken because it takes less time to cut meat from turkeys because they are larger. 

“I can get about as much meat from boning two turkeys as I would from boning 12 chickens,’’ said Arnson, who purchased the restaurant in 1985.

Cock & Bull Villa Roma was first located at Fourth Street and Washington Avenue. The restaurant was at its original site when Arnson bought it. She moved it to its present location at Pat’s Alley, 1414 Adams Ave., in the early 1990s. 

When were bananas first available in La Grande?

The first shipment of bananas arrived in
La Grande by train in May of 1913. La Grande received 300 banana bunches, many of which were sent immediately to dark ripening rooms, according to a story in the May 24, 1913, Observer.

The bananas were brought here by a company named La Grande Grocery. 

Did La Grande ever have a subway?

Not to our knowledge, but 100 years ago serious consideration was given to building one.

Plans were being made to construct a tunnel under the railroad tracks at Second Street instead of installing the viaduct which now passes over the railroad tracks there. 

Construction of the subway appeared guaranteed 100 years ago

“That the subway is to be seems certain,” The Observer reported in its June 9, 1913, edition.

The subway would have been 180 feet long, 22 feet wide and 14-1/2 feet high. The tunnel would have had a roadway and a sidewalk.

We do not know why plans for the tunnel were scrapped and the viaduct was built instead. 

A portion of the information presented about the proposed subway was obtained from Bob Bull’s book “A Little Bit of This & Little Bit of That: La Grande and Union County Trivia, Volume II.”