Nickodell Restaurant, 5511 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles

From Susan M:

It’s a place you could take a heavy drinker for lunch and know they would be well cared for! By the 70s, all those earthy type places with alfalfa spouts were in vogue and Nickodell seemed really out of the past, but it suited many still who like that type of fare and the dark ambiance. While I was still going there, they never seemed to change the menu much towards things more 70s ‘gourmet.’ It remained a flashback to earlier days. I’m not sure what it’s decor looked like after those early 70s days – I don’t think I was there past maybe ’73 or might have been ’74 – and I think the last time I was there, it was with Joe Cocker – and he LIKED his cocktails!

I think it was on that corner of Plymouth and Melrose and stretched out length wise down part of the block. That would have been the south-west corner of Melrose and Plymouth but it didn’t run as far as the next block – some other buildings were between it and the next corner. I do recall if I had come down Gower from A&M, I had to turn left onto Melrose and head down the street a block or two to catch the valet parking – by the 70s that neck of the woods was impossible for parking!

If you’ve seen photos of the tables at the various Derby restaurants, the service settings and tableware was quite similar at Nickodell to the Derbys. Nickodell had several layers of thick white table clothes – maybe 3 of them, so the ‘cush’ was there and you knew it was a ‘fine eating establishment’ from the minute you sat down. ‘Nick’ had nothing unique on the walls tho as did the Derby. I can’t really recall much about the walls other than nondescript and think they had wall-paper on them by the later 50s.

Nickodell Melrose Ave menu 1Nickodell Melrose Ave menu 2 Nickodell Melrose Ave menu 3 Nickodell Melrose Ave menu 4 Nickodell Melrose Ave menu 5nickodells

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One Response to Nickodell Restaurant, 5511 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles

  1. Jean Hunter says:

    THANK YOU for posting this!

    I was so sad when Nickodell’s went the way as so many before it. I believe it was swallowed up by the fortress wall that Paramount put up when it wiped away so many businesses (Western Costume too if I’m not mistaken) and did away with those quaint apartments on Valentino Place. 🙁

    My friends Bob and Frieda used to eat at Nickodell’s for years and their kids (born in the late ’40s-early ’50s) practically grew up there. I remember them telling me a story about William Frawley eating supper at Nick’s and their daughter running up to him and joining him at his table. She couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6. Contrary to grumpy ole Fred Mertz, Frawley delighted in his young fan’s attention.

    I had to eat at Nick’s at least once when I was living in Hollywood in the early ’80s and joined Bob and Frieda there for a very nice meal. It still retained the ’40s atmosphere that I had expected it to have with dim lighting and plush booths. I don’t recall seeing any stars, but I was in heaven. I worked at Paramount at the time (temp assignments) and wish I had taken advantage of eating more at Nick’s than just that one time. I was just heartsick as my friends were when I read it was torn down.

    Good bye, old friend.