Clara Bow’s ‘It Cafe’, Vine Street, Hollywood, 1930s

Clara Bow's 'It Cafe', Vine Street, Hollywood, 1930s
The It Cafe was at 1637 Vine St in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel near the corner of Hollywood and Vine, and was opened by “It Girl” Clara Bow and her husband Rex Bell on September 3rd, 1937. It had a zodiac motif and was popular with Bow’s silent movies era pals. This same space was, earlier in the 1930s, called the Russian Eagle Cafe & Gardens and counted Garbo among its regulars.

  • 1925 to 1928 – Klemtner’s Blue Plate Café
  • 1928 – 1931 – Pig “N Whistle Café
  • 1931 to 1936 – Russian Eagle Café
  • Dec 17, 1936 to Sept 1937 – Cinnabar
  • Sept 1937 – It Café (owned by Clara Bow for about a year, then changed management)
  • 1944 – Les Comiques
  • 1952 – Westerner Lounge-Grill

Front door ot Clara Bow's 'It Cafe', Vine Street, Hollywood, 1930sIt Cafe matchbookMatchbook from Clara Bow's It Cafe, Vine Street, Hollywood

Clara Bow and Rex Bell getting ready to open the “It” Café in 1937 Entrance of Clara Bow's It Cafe, Vine Street, Hollywood Interior of Clara Bow's It Cafe, Vine Street, HollywoodNapkin from the Hollywood Plaza Hotel and It Cafe, circa late 1930sView of the It Cafe foyer, from the inside looking toward the front door:

The It Cafe On Vine St. This Is The Front Door, Looking From Inside The CafeClara Bow and her husband Rex Bell in one of the booths:

Clara Bow and her husband at the It Cafe, Vine St, Hollywood

After Clara Bow sold out, it later became Phil Selznick’s It Café (Phil Selznick was David O. Selznick’s uncle.)

Phil Selznick's It Café, Vine Street, HollywoodPhil Selznick's It Café, Vine Street, Hollywood

Phil Selznick's It Café, Vine Street, Hollywood Phil Selznick's It Café, Vine Street, HollywoodPhil Selznick's It Café, Vine Street, HollywoodCinnabar advertisement Cinncbar exteriorAdvertisement for Hollywood Plaza Hote, Vine Street.jpgAdvertisement for Hollywood Plaza Hotel, Hollywood.

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7 Responses to Clara Bow’s ‘It Cafe’, Vine Street, Hollywood, 1930s

  1. A.J. Cervantes says:

    First picture I’ve seen of the It Cafe after hearing about it from my Dad. He promoted Rumba contests there in the late 30s. Have some great interior pics of the contests for anyone who may be interested. His name is Alfonso Cervantes who went on to become the Mayor of St. Louis where he returned after WW2.

    Would be curious to know what year Mr. Selznick took it over.

    Thanks for all of your great work.

    • Hi AJ and thanks for your note.

      I would *LOVE* to see ANY photos you have of the interior of the It Cafe! That would be wonderful! Any time you have a chance to scan them and send them to me and I’ll post them on my site and Facebook page.

      I look forward to hearing back from you!

  2. Ermanno Neiviller says:

    I am renting this place ……………… love this place……………… 1637 Vine st. hollywood

  3. Brandy Selznick-Mendoza says:

    My great grandfather is Phil Selznick! This is very neat to see a picture of why my grandpa (Jack Selznick) moved to Los Angeles. I am going to pass the info onto my grandpa (he is 87). He gets a kick out of this stuff!

    • Hey Brandy,

      Wow! Your great grandpa is Phil Selznick??? What a kick!

      If Grandpa Jack has any information, memories, or photographs to share, I would LOVE to read, hear and see anything and everything!

      Thanks so much for writing!

    • Ermanno M. Neiviller says:

      Brandy …. My name is Ermanno and I’m renting this space , we would love to see your Grandpa come by when we open … Chocolate Bar…. A coffee house . You can call me if you like …323.481.7596