Many of you may remember us as “Pop’s & Pam’s,” our first restaurant we founded in 1986 in Lucerne Valley. Pam and Tony took pride in their quality product, customer service, cleanliness, and the fact that we always made your family, our family. We knew everyone, and everyone knew us.
We raised our family at the business and our youngest, Melanie, was only 18 months old when we first opened the doors. We took an old building, spiffed it up, and made it our own. We knew most of our customers by their first names and sometimes, back in the day, the resident Sheriff’s deputy would make drinks for us and pass out orders when it was busy. The customers loved it! When our oldest daughter, Sarah, got her driver’s license at 16, California Highway Patrol officers would make sure she got home safely in inclement weather by following her from Pop’s & Pam’s all the way to our home in Apple Valley. When we sold the restaurant seven years later, Sarah was only in high school but was our best cook and manager.
We believed in giving back to the community then just as we do now. We regularly sponsored ice cream socials for the local honor students. We sponsored Little League and youth soccer teams and, whenever an emergency occurred, we delivered food and drinks to the first responders.
Our three daughters (Sarah, Melissa, and Melanie) were raised with our strong work ethic and taught to strive for the best customer service possible. Being a family business, they worked from day one. They were taught to always do their best no matter where life took them. During our busy season, they were all on the payroll and learned the value of earning a buck! At only four years old, Melanie would pull up a milk crate to the cash register and learned to count back change before she had even started kindergarten. The girls would come out after school to do their homework and would take a break from their schoolwork to help out when it got busy. All three girls are now college-educated and very successful. We now also have three grandchildren!
Sarah has always wanted to return to her roots and open another restaurant. A court employee with a great job, she still had that itch she wanted to scratch. She would call her mother every once in a while, “Mom, I found a place. What do you think about it?” But it was never the right location or lacked character or a great history - nothing iconic enough to warrant a start-up. Then one day Sarah called and said, “Mom, Hesperia Airport?” And Pam said yes! The perfect location with great local customers. The perfect old building with lots of character and an iconic history. So, like the close-knit family we are, we circled our wagons and with lots of help from family and friends and lots of blood, sweat, and tears - The Aviator Café and Bar!
Business was so successful, Pam decided she wanted a second location, so when she heard of a vacant cafe at the Apple Valley Airport, she decided to check it out. Our relationship with our landlord, San Bernardino County, is so amazing at Apple Valley Airport that we decided that this would be our permanent home and we would focus all our attention on this location. After two closures due to Covid, the Little Aviator beat all odds, and we are now renewing our lease for another term.
Let us make your family, our family. Let us serve you the best possible food in a clean and enjoyable environment. We want you to feel at home. Get to know us. Share your stories with us. And, most importantly, enjoy!
Sincerely, Tony and Pam Spagnuolo
© 2022 Little Aviator Cafe | 21600 Corwin Rd. #13, Apple Valley, CA 92307 | (760) 946-0044