In the course of researching the Garden of Allah novels, I came across all sorts of places in and around Hollywood and the greater Los Angeles area and started to collect the information together into one location on my website. The references at the end of each entry refer to the page number of the book where I found the information. (So “2/15″ refers to page 2 of book 15 listed on my bibliography page.) Readers of these pages will note the occasional inconstancy–that is due to conflicting sources from which this information was taken. This is my long-winded way of saying that I am not presenting this information as professionally-researched, definitive, you-can-take-it-as-gospel. It ain’t. It’s just a huge pile of info I’ll pulled from a wide variety of books, websites, magazine articles. Take it, like it, lump it or leave it.
~~ HOLLYWOOD PLACES – P to Z ~~
Pacific Ocean Park – the perpetual, mist-shrouded carnival that rambled along the length of the Ocean Park pier, in Santa Monica. (78/175) Opened July 1958, closed October 1967 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Ocean_Park
Pacific Turkish Baths – 4th & Hill St, downtown Los Angeles. Phone F-2553, Main 3468. “Bath and Bed $1. Hot room, steam room and plunge, open day and night. Baths: Turkish, Russia, Shower, Cabinet, Tub
Pago Pago – 131 East First Street, Long Beach. Phone 678-170
Palace de Glace – Melrose Ave, ice skating rink. (Burned down)
The Palomar – a massive ballroom, nearly a block long, on Vermont at 2nd and 3rd. Opened 1936. (40/140, 155) The Palomar was built in 1925; then known as the El Patio Ballroom, it boasted being “the largest and most famous dance hall on the West Coast.” Many VIPs, including a number from the film industry, attended its opening. A few years later, it was renamed the Rainbow Gardens Formerly known as the Rainbow Gardens. Where Benny Goodman got his big break during late Summer 1935. In the late 1930s, weekday prices were 40 cents for ladies and 65 cents for men. Closed when it burned down 02 OCT 38, sending 1500 dancers scrambling for the exits. (40/181)
Legend has it this is where the “swing era” started, specifically on Aug. 21, 1935, when Benny Goodman and his band began a three-week engagement there. Goodman’s combo, which had appeared on the NBC Saturday night program “Let’s Dance” earlier that year (his segment had aired at 9:30 p.m. in the West, 12:30 a.m. in the East), had experienced mixed success on its subsequent nationwide tour. But they were received more warmly at several western stops — Salt Lake City, Oakland and San Francisco — and the Palomar stay made it evident that young audiences (who had become Goodman fans from the radio show) simply loved this band and its Fletcher Henderson arrangements. “Swing” rapidly rocketed in the musical lexicon. (Ten tracks from a radio broadcast the following evening, Aug. 22, can be heard on the CD “Benny Goodman — On The Air: Original 1935-36-38 Broadcasts.”)
The Palomar had been successful for a few years, but now, as the de facto West Coast capital of swing, it really took off. Many bands performed there, including Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Dick Jurgens, Glen Gray, Will Osborne, Jimmy Dorsey and Isham Jones.
http://www.latimemachines.com/new_page_42.htm Boasted an Arabian decor (47/329)
As listed in the ‘Los Angeles Guide, 1941’ : “One of the few good outdoor restaurants in Los Angeles. Indoor dining room also.”
Pan Pacific Auditorium– 7600 Beverly Blvd. – Built in 1935 for expositions, auto shows, ice revues, and concerts. (25/90) In 1957 Elvis Presley appeared before 9000 fans in his gold lame suit.
Originally built as part of a major exposition complex in Gilmore Island bounded by Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Ave., the auditorium was one of several major sports and entertainment buildings. Next came Gilmore Field (1939), Pacific Theater (1946) and the Gilmore Drive-In (1948) all of which were gone by 1989.
Pan Pacific Bowling Lanes – 7568 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles.
(Jimmy O’Neill’s) Pandora’s Box – Sunset Boulevard – Teen and young adult hangout in the 50s(?) (Vanity Fair, March 2009)
Pantages Theater – 6233 Hollywood Blvd. Opened June fourth, 1930 with MGM’s The Floradora Girl staring Marion Davies (when its owner was serving a prison sentence for raping a 17 year old girl in the mezzanine office of the downtown Pantages – he was later acquitted on the appeal- 63/92). Acquired in 1949 by Howard Hughes who changed the name to RKO Pantages and he kept an office on the second floor (108/49). Academy Awards held there from 1949 to 1956.
Panza’s Lazy Susan Restaurant – on Fountain at La Brea Ave.
Paradise Club – lesbian venue (60/89)
Paramount Italian Kitchen, 1617 N. Vine St, Hollywood / 6270 Sunset Blvd, Phone HI 0338
also at 2015 West Seventh Street, Los Angeles
Paris Inn – Downtown L.A. near City Hall. Opened New Year’s Eve 1924. (40/43)110 East Market St., Bert Rovere, owner and manager, Innocente Pedroli, co-owner. Later moved to 210 E. Market, then 845 N. Broadway.
As listed in the ‘Los Angeles Guide, 1941’ : “Dinner from 5.30pm. Orchestra. Dancing. Floor shows 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Separate bar. A rather unusual bar and singing waiters. Closed Sundays.”
Paulais Café, Hollywood Boulevard, 1920s, next to Grauman’s Egyptian theater
Peacock Alley, 3188 W. Eighth Street, downtown Los Angeles.
Perino’s Restaurant – 4101 Wilshire Blvd., Near the corner of Wilshire and Western. Opened 1932, closed 1969. (6/169) (First location at 3927 Wilshire which used to be the failed Hi-Hat restaurant (47/34) Perino sold it in 1969 and finally it closed in 1985. (49/36) Perino’s was opposite the Ambassador Hotel, near the original Brown Derby. None of the Garden of Allah crowd went to that Brown Derby. They preferred the one in Beverly Hills or on Vine St.The original restaurant opened on that location was the Hi-Hat opened as an upscale café by Derby owner Herbert Somborn, but it didn’t work. (40/57) (49/35)
Perino’s, on Wilshire, was opened by people who had been associated with Victor Hugo’s and it quickly established a reputation for providing the best food in Los Angeles. It was probably the one restaurant patronized by the movie colony that could have been set down in New York or London without seeming out of place: the ambiance was conservative and the service excellent by any standard. (41/316) Perino’s was a white-glove, European-style, restaurant presided over by the courtly Alexander Perino and favored by Los Angeles society. (48/12) After joining the Plaza Hotel in New York, he worked his way up to captain and then maitre d’, then shifted coasts in 1925. Following a stint at Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel he became head waiter at Victor Hugo’s in Beverly Hills, then considered the finest restaurant in the city. Perino, though, decided he could run a better place and opened his own in 1932. Pink-toned dining room. No garlic used – Perino hated it. Menu changed daily, always including some authentic Italian fare. (49/35)
As listed in the ‘Los Angeles Guide, 1941’ :
Perino’s Restaurant – 3927 Wilshire Boulevard. Table d’hote and a la carte. Specialties include scallopini of veal, chicken curry, crepes suzette, and strawberry Italienne.
Perino’s Roof – 9600 Wilshire Blvd (Saks Fifth Ave) Luncheon, tea, dinner. A la carte only. Elegant atmosphere, notable cuisine.
Perino’s at Saks Fifth Avenue:
Pig ‘n Whistle – 6714 Hollywood Boulevard. Opened 22JUL27 adjacent to the Egyptian Theater. Full name: Pig ‘N Whistle’s Contribution to Filmland, A Bit of Romance. Tomato soup was a specialty. (66/186)
Pink Club – lesbian venue in the Valley (60/89)
Pirates Den – On May 3, 1940, a celebrity-owned restaurant opened up at 335 N. La Brea, right where the Bob Hope Health Center is today. And guess what? Hope was one of the owners of the Pirates Den. Other owners, according to the book Out With the Stars: Hollywood Nightlife in the Golden Era, were Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurry, Jimmy Fiddler, Johnny Weissmuller, Ken Murray, Rudy Vallee, Tony Martin, Errol Flynn, and Vic Erwin. Quite a line up. On any night, though, the waiters dressed as pirates and their manager carried a bullwhip to enforce discipline in his crew. Mock battles were staged and female patrons abducted & held in the brig until they screamed–at which point, they were released with a scream diploma. The bar, btw, was called the Skull and Bones Bar. The Victualling Blog credits Don Dickerman, a pirate fanatic, with opening Pirates Dens in NYC, Miami, and Washington DC, and with being the actual operator of the restaurant on La Brea. http://historylosangeles.blogspot.com/2011/03/pirates-den.html
Pirate’s Den – 335 N. La Brea Ave. Advertised as the “Jolliest, most unique and colorful rendezvous in the whole cock-eyed world. Had a bottle throwing gallery, the Skull & Bones bar, and a dance floor. (67/74)
See also: PIRATES’ DEN on this website.
Pixie Town – Beverly Drive – where young girls bought their first good dress. (50s?) (Vanity Fair, March 2009)
P.J.’s – 8151 Santa Monica Boulevard. Phone 656-9333. Dancing and entertainment.
Plantation Café – 7600 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City. Opened by Fatty Arbuckle on 02AUG1928. Designed by Cedric Gibbons from MGM. Was a huge success at first but by 1930 the Depression had hit and he sold his interest. http://nfo.net/usa/niteclub.htm (40/31) See also 61/70.
On opening night, Mabel Normand sent her former co-star a life-sized model of himself made of flowers. Her husband, Lew Cody, emceed the show while Tom Mix led the orchestra. Some of the first-nighters were Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks Snr, Buster Keaton, the three Talmadge Sisters, Harry Langdon, Ruth Roland, Bebe Daniels and directors James Cruze and Marshall Neilan. Another night Al Jolson sang 30 songs in a row. John Barrymore and Jack Coogan worked together in a comedy routine. Fanny Brice and Leatrice Joy did turns on other evenings. Even mogul Jack Warner was once induced to sing for Fatty. (63/15-16)
http://www.filmsofthegoldenage.com/foga/1996/winter/hollywoodhotspots.shtml says Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was on top of the world in 1921. As a comedian he was second only to Chaplin in worldwide popularity, and he had just signed a multi-million dollar contract with Paramount which gave him complete creative control over his films. But it all came crashing down later that year when he threw a wild weekend party at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. One of the partygoers, a starlet named Virginia Rappe, became ill and later died, and Arbuckle was charged with manslaughter. The nation’s newspapers played up the Arbuckle affair and kept it on the front pages through three successive trials, the first two of which ended in a hung jury. In the third trial Arbuckle was acquitted, but his career was ruined. It is now believed that Rappe died as a result of a botched abortion and that the comedian was victimized by the tabloid press, ambitious lawyers, and Hollywood figures who were jealous of his success.
Slowly, Arbuckle began to pick up the pieces. He managed to direct a few films under the pseudonym of William B. Goodrich, and on August 2, 1928, he launched the Plantation Cafe on the western edge of Culver City. Cedric Gibbons, head of the MGM art department, designed the decor without charging a fee, and many of Arbuckle’s famous friends came out to congratulate him on the opening. Buster Keaton, Chaplin, Pickford and Fairbanks, Tom Mix, Bebe Daniels, Harry Langdon, Marshall Neilan, Ruth Roland, and the three Talmadge sisters provided the evening’s entertainment, and an ailing Mabel Normand (in one of her last public appearances) presented Arbuckle with a life-sized likeness of himself modeled in flowers.
For over a year the Plantation was the hottest spot in town, and its stage gave Arbuckle the performing outlet he so desperately needed. But along came the Depression, and the club seemed to empty overnight. Unable to deal with this latest bout of ill-fortune, Arbuckle sold his interest in 1930, and the Plantation closed soon afterwards. The comedian died in New York three years later.
The Players – 8225 Sunset Boulevard opposite Garden of Allah. Opened by Preston Sturges quietly during the Summer of 1940. He would close it when he wanted to entertain his pals. Closed 1953 (16/77) (40/191) (49/49) (61/77)
The Players Club almost opposite Garden of Allah was owned by playwright Preston Sturges who lost most of his money on it. It resembled a Swiss Chalet (1/82) Bogart often went there, often with Mayo. It had a small theater at the top. Howard Hughes often dined at the top floor before it became a theater. Of often dined alone, at the start of his hibernation. (1/82)
The restaurant was on two levels and when, after the first season, it showed a loss, Sturges closed it and substituted a music and dance area called the Playroom which had a gala opening in the first part of 1942. Writers and stars made it a home base, and it flourished with regulars Howard Hughes, Barbara Stanwyck, Orson Welles, and Bogie. Superb food was its trademark and the Blue Room its formal dining.
Named after the New York theatrical club…Through its various costly face-lifts, The Players eventually grew to include a barber shop and a dinner theater cum nightclub known as “The Playroom”. After the play ended, the room, with the push of a button, was transformed: the floor leveled to become a supper club with an orchestra in a revolving stage. Regulars included Bogie, Chaplin, Stanwyck, Rudy Vallee, Joel McCrea, William Wyler, William Faulkner. Sturges held court every night. Howard Hughes frequently dined there alone or with a starlet. (49/49)
Writer-director Preston Sturges was Hollywood’s premier satirist of the ’40s, with such comic gems as The Great McGinty (1940), The Lady Eve (1941), Sullivan’s Travels (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1942), The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944), and Hail The Conquering Hero (1944) to his credit. But that was just his day job. By night he was a commanding presence on the Sunset Strip as Hollywood’s most eccentric club-owner.
Sturges opened The Players here in 1940 in an attempt to bring some sophistication to the local nightlife. The son of wealthy socialites, Sturges was well connected with the East’s uppercrust; and millionaires from Boston to Chicago came here to drool over pretty young starlets. The entertainment and literary crowds were represented as well. Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, Orson Welles, Joel McCrea, Rudy Vallee, William Wyler, Howard Hughes, William Faulkner, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman, and Donald Ogden Stewart all got bent on The Players’ drinks, which were said to be the most potent in town. Sturges held the cast parties for his movies here, and this was also where he married his fourth wife, Anne Margaret Nagle.
At its peak during WWII, The Players was a three-level extravaganza with a restaurant on each floor, a barber shop on the mezzanine level, and a dinner theatre/dance floor with a revolving, hydraulic stage. Sturges later added a burger stand for the tourist trade and made such zany improvements as tables that swiveled out to provide easier access to the booths. His plans to install a helicopter pad so fresh fish could be flown in were dropped only after the neighbors threw a fit.
Sturges may have been a genius behind the camera, but he was no businessman. He regarded The Players as his private domain and closed its doors to the public whenever he wanted to be alone with his friends, which was often. He had customers thrown out just because he didn’t like their looks, and the regulars had to contend with their host’s caustic wit. Needless to say, The Players never broke even, but Sturges kept pouring money into it even after his movie career nosedived in the late ’40s.
By 1953 Hollywood had written Sturges off as an alcoholic has-been, and the burger stand was the only part of The Players still open for business. Screenwriter Earl Fenton recalled seeing Sturges serving the greasy burgers himself, wearing a tattered dinner jacket, and “making loud, drunken jokes about how the mighty had fallen.”
Soon afterwards, The Players was sold out from under Sturges by his creditors.
Then became Imperial Gardens and Later the Roxbury and Miyagi’s.
The following description was given to me by someone whose architect father did remodeling and design work for the Hollywood Reporter’s Billy Wilkerson, as well as Preston Sturges’ The Players club:
Interior of Players…there was a roof patio where diners could sit…umbrellas for the lunch crowd, no umbrellas for evenings. Two longish interior rooms at same level (to the left as you look at exterior photo) as patio, white tablecloths for four-tops and such, and on the walls, shadow box models of sailing ships in glassed frames (burgundy with gold piping) above each table. Very restrained decor, vaguely gentleman’s club in tone. The maître d’ was almost too elegant to share the same airspace, but the waiters were gabby enough to explain what each dish was (soufflé potatoes, profiteroles and the like). My favorite dinner was a starter of marinated herring, rare roast beef, those glorious potatoes, and for dessert, a Napoleon from the pastry tray.
The Players Motor Hotel, 777 N. Vine Street, Hollywood 38, California.
Pokey’s coffee shop Corner of Beverly Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard
20/218 – Even before Prohibition became federal law in June 1919, local laws had severely cramped public nightlife in Los Angeles, most municipalities forbidding dancehalls and nightclubs to serve liquor. To drink, listen and dance to a first rate band with Paul Whiteman playing violin, it was necessary to drive out to the Vernon Country Club, a ranch-style building surrounded by beet fields, where Valentino worked as a tango dance when he first arrived in California. And on the private circuit, Nazimova created the movie colony’s first salon. Pickfair didn’t open its doors until 1926, the same year that Hearst and Marion Davies began entertaining at Ocean House, in Santa Monica.
Prohibition era speakeasies in the Culver City area: (40/25)
- The DooDoo Inn
- The Kit Kat Club
- Monkey Farm
- Hoosegow (on Washington)
- Club Royale
- Harlow’s Café
- Midnight Frolics
- The Sneak Inn – Washington Boulevard
After hours snacks could be had at:
- the Chicken Roost (5738 Washington)
- the Lighthouse
- Tommy Ryan’s Diner
- Fil’m Hut Tea Room
- King’s Tropical Inn (Washington and Adams, Culver City) had a jungle look in the 20s and then a Polynesian look in the 30s when the Mainland-to-Hawaii route opened up. (40/156)
Pucci Café – 1760 N. Vermont Ave. Opened in 1937 and in the 1950s became the Dresden Room. http://www.latimemachines.com/new_page_5.htm
Roy Harlow’s Pump Room, 13003 Venture Blvd, Studio City
Radio Room – 1539 Vine St. Hollywood. Telephone: HOllywood 6331
Radio City Tourist Motel – 1319 Tamarind Ave, Hollywood
Rancho Grande – Western café. Sunset Boulevard at Cahuenga. Phone GL-1641
Radium Sulphur Springs – Corner Melrose Ave and Gower St in the “Colegrove” area of Los Angeles. Colegrove was the name given to the area to the immediate south of the city of Hollywood.
For more information, see
Map showing the “Colegrove Addition, which reached as far north as Hollywood Blvd (then called Prospect Blvd) and reaching as far south as Exposition Blvd.
Rand’s Round-Up Restaurants
7580 Sunset Blvd.
7860 Beverly Blvd
13920 Ventura Blvd.
3550 Wilshire Blvd.
617 South Brand
8401 S. Figueroa
Ravenswood – 570 North Rossmore Ave. – Art Deco apartment building built in the late 1920s and opened in 1930. Was home to Mae West (with its handy location to her studio: Paramount) from 1932 to 1980.
The Redhead – lesbian venue in East L.A. that only welcomed Mexican Americans. (60/89)
The Red Snapper Restaurant – 826 N. La Cienega, Phone: Crestview 4-2629
-and- 4100 Riverside Dr, Toluca Lake. Phone Victoria 9-1618
Red Onion Café – 3128 Beverly Boulevard. Was around in the late 1920s, but some time after the end of Prohibition, it was bought by Elmer and Tess Wheeler. Tess was aka “Tess the International Mess” who went on to run Club Internationale at 8711 Sunset Boulevard in the late 1930s/early 1940s. The place was raided on October 6, 1935. Tess was arrested and charged with nine violations, including operating a “disorderly house” and putting on a show without a license. Also arrested were ten patrons of the bar, which the Times described as a “beer parlor.” A week later the State Board of Equalization its liquor license, effectively forcing the Red Onion out of business.
Regent Bowling Alleys – 1666 Highland Ave, Hollywood (circa 1919)
Retake Room – a bar just off the MGM lot behind the Thalberg building. (32/176) http://www.jodavidsmeyer.com/combat/episodes/bridge_at_chalons.html
Started out as “Jim Stacey’s” after Prohibition, then became “France Edwards’”, then the Retake Room. Closed in June 1959. Article on closing: http://bit.ly/1dBvZLh
A fellow named Ferris Webster was a Film Editor for MGM Studios in Culver City and also owned a very popular bar and grill called the “Retake Room” right across from the entrance and exit to the studio (not a bad location, eh?). Ferris was a real nice guy with a lot of dough… http://eagle2team.com/ronscorner/circletrackinpart1.html
The Rex– floating casino anchored three miles off Santa Monica Bay. Launched by ex-con Tony Cornero (real name Anthony Stralla) on 05MAY38 and generally considered the grandest of all the floating casinos. Originally a fishing barge, it was transformed with $250,000 into an ark-like freighter that hardly matched the ocean liner pictured in his full-page ads. The sophisticated ad campaign worked: within a month, he had hosted over a million people. For a couple of years the Rex could be counted on to fill the gambling void (created by an authorities crack down on land-based gambling) until the authorities forced the ship out of business just before WWII. (40/167)Anchored off the Santa Monica pier was the SS Rex, the king of the 3-mile-limit crafts that offered gambling to the city’s society crowd during the 1930s and remained a constant source of irritation for lawmen. 13 water taxis carried customers out to the Rex, a 12-minute ride that was both comfortable and inexpensive. (48/329)
Rexall Drugs – General offices of the Rexall Drug Co. together with the largest and most beautiful drug store in the world. NOTE: present site of Beverly Connection, at intersection of La Cienega and Beverly Blvd., across from Beverly Center.
Rhum Boogie – a nightclub Mickey Cohen operated on Highland Ave, near Hollywood Boulevard. A novel concept for Jim Crow Los Angeles, the club imported “black and tan” entertainers, like the singing, dancing Trenier Brothers, from the Central Avenue ghetto into the white neighborhood. (115/p55)
The Rhythm Room at the Hotel Hayward – Corner 6th Street and Spring Street, downtown Los Angeles.
Richlor’s, 150 N. Cienega Boulevard, Beverly Hills. Phone Crestview 52130 – “. . . featuring planked hamburger steaks and a unique seafood bar.”
Rings Music – music store on Cherokee, south of Hollywood Boulevard had the largest sheet music collection in the world. (p266/113)
Robert’s Drive-In – corner of Sunset & Cahuenga. (108/119) Also at Pico & Western, and Victory & Olive in Burbank.
Roger’s Airport – corner of Wilshire Boulevard & Crescent Avenue (now Fairfax Avenue). Rogers Airport, operated by Rogers Aircraft, Inc., opened in 1918 as Charles Chaplin’s Chaplin Airdrome. It had a single 1,800 foot east/west dirt runway. Rogers Airport was evidently closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1932-40, as it was no longer depicted on a 1940 LA street map or the 1941 LA Sectional Chart. http://wikimapia.org/8755321/Rogers-Airport-site
Rollerdrome – As listed in the ‘Los Angeles Guide, 1941’ : “11105 W. Washington Boulevard, Culver City. Eve 8 to 11pm.; Sat & Sun aft 2 to 5pm.”
Camp’s Bar (aka Roman Terrace) – 1708 Las Palmas Ave, Hollywood. Gay bar.
Romanoff’s – 325 (326?) North Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills. Opened 19 DEC 1940 in Beverly Hills by Prince Michael Romanoff, whose real name was Harry Gerguson from Cincinnati who arrived in Hollywood in 1927. (6/167) Romanoff’s closed on NYE 1962. Bogart was one of its most famous and frequent diners. They had a strict rule that customers must wear ties, Bogart insisted on coming in tieless. Romanoff finally had a showdown with Bogart and he agreed to don a cravat. The next day Bogart and Lorre showed up sporting minute bow ties, about a half-inch long, in protest. Technically Romanoff conceded, they were in the clear. (22/261) As George Jessel once said reverently, “ A man can take his family and have a lovely 7-course meal for $3,400” (22/368) Bogart took a liking to the second booth from the left off the entryway and occupied it daily. (22/369) (40/195)Romanoff’s on North Rodeo, north of Wilshire, was the most popular restaurant for Garden of Allah residents. Owned by Mike who, when he decided to open a restaurant, asked Garden of Allah’ers Benchley, Parker, Jock Whitney and others to chip in. (1/83) In 1951 he moved to 240 S. Rodeo – south of Wilshire – to expand but it (the new location had a roof garden, ballroom for private parties, small private dining room and a much larger dining room designed to accommodate 24 equally-desirable booths was never the same because of the seating arrangements – most people wanted to be seated on the left of the staircase where there were only 4 booths. The restaurant prospered through the late 50s but it became hard to fill the room. It also didn’t help that he became ultra Republican in a Democratic community. The restaurant closed New Year’s Eve 1962. (49/53)
Gangsters tried to buy Mike out.Prince Michael Romanoff, who was born Harry Gerguson, the son of a Brooklyn tailor, had a royal record of check bouncing before we went legitimate with his Beverly Hills hashhouse. The bogus prince is highly regarded in screen circles. In a community of pretenders, he is the great pretender. He has been called a prince among fellows, and also among princes. He was once dubbed “Hollywood’s most honest phony”. For more information, see 22/368 & 369Romanoff’s, then on North Rodeo Dr., also had excellent food. It was financed by several of the Garden of Allah writers – Benchley, Dorothy Parker, John O’Hara. I was there with Scott on the opening night, and at the end of the evening there was not enough money to pay the waiters, so there was a hasty whip around for cash. (31/79)Featured orange, green and yellow wallpaper, chosen personally by Mike.Also: 41/318 & 319
Romanoff’s had a large Hollywood clientele, specialized in French cuisine and was run by a flamboyant former Chasen’s waiter, “Prince” Michael Romanoff. (48/12)
Originally the site of Mama ’s Restaurant.
Competing studio heads Darryl Zanuck and Jack Warner put up the money. Mike was known for his trademark spats, moustache and walking stick. He even spoke with an Oxford accent. The cuisine was French. (49/53)
Michael Romanoff (born Hershel Geguzin) was a Hollywood restaurateur and actor born 20 February 1890 in Lithuania. He died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California on 1 September 1971. He is perhaps best known as the owner of Romanoff’s, a Beverly Hills restaurant popular with Hollywood stars in the 40s and 50s. The restaurant closed in the 1960s. According to U.S.A Confidential (Mortimer and Lait, 1952), while Romanoff pretended to be Russian royalty, he was actually a former Brooklyn pants presser once named Harry Gerguson. His IMDb.com biography states: Mike Romanoff, the former Harry F. Gerguson, was a successful “professional impostor.” He accumulated an enormous fount of knowledge in his numerous travels and occupations around the world (and he attended, however briefly, several leading universities). When Hollywood filmmakers needed a technical adviser for a movie set in Europe, Romanoff claimed to be an expert and drew a comfortable salary. The genial Romanoff was a popular figure among the movie colony, and he opened a restaurant that was frequented by many film stars. Romanoff made few screen appearances, but he can be seen in all his fraudulent glory in Sing While You’re Able (1937). David Niven was a close friend, and in his book Bring On the Empty Horses he devotes a chapter to the colorful Romanoff. IMDb.com also notes that Geguzin immigrated to New York City at age ten, changed his name to Harry F. Gerguson some time after 1900, and married Gloria Lister in 1948.Finally, IMDb.com further explains that Romanoff “Claimed to have been born Prince Michael Dimitri Alexandrovich Obolensky-Romanoff, nephew of Tsar Nicholas II. Everyone in Hollywood knew he wasn’t, but, in a town full of pretenders, it hardly mattered, and “Prince Michael” enjoyed great success as a restaurateur.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Romanoff
The New Yorker ran a series of four Profile articles starting Oct 29, 1932 that traces his history from birth until date of publication. He was deported to France to serve time for fraud.
http://www.filmsofthegoldenage.com/foga/1996/winter/hollywoodhotspots.shtml says Romanoff’s was the namesake of one of the world’s greatest imposters. In 1937, a Lithuanian immigrant named Harry Gerguson arrived in Hollywood and began passing himself off as Prince Michael Romanoff, cousin to the late Czar of Russia. With his Old World manners and impeccable Oxford accent, this ebullient con man charmed his way into Tinseltown society and became much sought after for fancy soirees and polo matches. The studios even paid him a royal sum to act as technical advisor on films with Russian locales. Everyone was in on the gag, of course; they let him get away with it because they loved having a man of such bottomless chutzpah around.
When His Imperial Highness decided to open a restaurant in Beverly Hills, Cary Grant, Darryl Zanuck, Jack Warner, Joseph Schenck, Jock Whitney, Caesar Romero, and Robert Benchley were among those who provided financial backing. Romanoff’s opened to capacity crowds in 1941, and within a year Prince Mike was able to buy out all the investors. On top of it all he had become an international celebrity, with Life magazine dubbing him “the most wonderful liar” in 20th Century America.
The Prince may have been a phoney, but he did have excellent taste. The French cuisine at Romanoff’s was the finest in the city; it drew all the local gourmands, who tolerated Mike’s insults and his habit of having his bulldogs dine with him at his table. Bogart, when he wasn’t working, ate lunch here every day, and a bronze plaque bearing his name hung above his favorite booth; other choice booths were staked out by Zanuck, Louis B. Mayer, and Harry Cohn. Gable, Cooper, Sinatra, Lana Turner, Groucho Marx, Jack Benny, Herbert Marshall, Sir Cedric Hardwick, Clifton Webb, Robert Morley, Cole Porter, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, and Otto Preminger were all regulars.
In 1951, Romanoff’s relocated to larger quarters on 140 S. Rodeo Drive, where there was a roof garden, a ballroom, and a VIP lounge. Devotees like Paul Henreid felt the restaurant’s culinary standards got lost in the move, and as the ’50s progressed, Romanoff’s began to slip in popularity. Mike remained as imperious as ever, but a new generation of Hollywood talent wasn’t impressed with the old rogue who, among other things, had become a very vocal ultra-conservative. Even his most loyal patrons were offended by his friendship with J. Edgar Hoover and his handing out right-wing literature along with the menus.
Mike’s political views may have cost him business, but they helped him achieve his goal. In 1958, he was made a U.S. Citizen by an act of Congress signed by President Eisenhower. Mike closed Romanoff’s on New Year’s Eve, 1962, and spent the rest of his life in retirement. He died at 78 in 1971.
Rollerdome – huge venue in Culver City catering to the 1937 new fad of rollerskating. (40/157)
The Roundhouse Café – 250 N. Virgil, conveniently close to the Bimini Baths. A roundhouse is a locomotive maintenance shed built around a turntable hence the rather realistic locomotive sticking out the side there.
Roos Brothers – Upscale clothing store at 6320 Hollywood Blvd just east of Vine St. (Telephone Hollywood-4114.) Opened in the1920s and into the 1930s. In a later incarnation, it became the second Newberry five-and-dime located in Hollywood.
Rosslyn Hotel – 121 West 4th St, Los Angeles, 13
Rosslyn Valet Shop Ph MA-8483, MI-3311
The Rosslyn Hotel (1914) and its annex (1923) across the street were built, owned, and operated by the entrepreneurial Hart brothers, whose name is represented by the iconic heart-shaped sign on the roof. They both started their careers in hospitality as bellhops at the Old Natick House in the center of downtown Los Angeles, and they later managed the property with their father after he purchased it.
The New Rosslyn Hotel, as it was originally named, was built next to an older hotel called the Rosslyn, for the staggering sum of one million dollars (hence the signage, Million Dollar Hotel). The annex was constructed across the street nine years later. Its luxurious décor and amenities (such as ice water from the tap and ventilated phone booths) were worthy of a grand hotel, while its prices made it affordable to the average traveler.
At one time it was the largest hotel on the Pacific Coast, with 1,100 rooms and 800 baths between the two structures.
Ruby Foo’s – 6666 Sunset Blvd. Formerly Billy Wilkerson’s Vendome Café.
The Rotisserie – 8690 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills
Phone: CRestview 6-0343
Sunset Blvd, west of Vine, Hollywood
Phone: GRanite 4075
– Oval dining room
– Coffee shop – fountain
– Cocktail lounge
– Pastry and delicatessen
– Tropical Rooms for banquets and private parties
Russian Eagle Café – Originally at at 8428 Sunset in Sunset Plaza. Sheila Weller: “Opium had been smoked in the back room. John Barrymore, Ramon Navarro, and Russian femme fatale Alla Nazimova had hidden out in the club from photographers. The Eagle’s owners were Russian emigres with raging tempers. One night the pair fought noisily — one was romancing the other’s wife. The cuckolded partner came back in the dead of night and set fire to the club. Flames shot up against the mountain, loosening a wooden footbridge, threatening an avalanche, and reducing the club to embers. (Nazimova kept her memories of that night close to her vest; she had turned her nearby mansion into a hotel — the Garden of Allah bungalows. There, she played hostess to the likes of John O’Hara, Robert Benchley, and William Faulkner, when movie work brought those writers westward.)”
The cafe burned to the ground on the night of June 6, 1928 and it moved to the Hollywood Plaza Hotel at 1633-37 N. Vine St.
General Theodor Lodijensky presided over the establishment, and Greta Garbo among it’s frequent visitors.
http://www.vialarp.org/vacation/b_blvd_sex_n_death.htm says, “The left side lobby of the Plaza Hotel was the Russian Eagle Cafe & Gardens in the 30s. Garbo was a regular and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. first tried Cocaine in the restroom. In 1943, Clara Bow opened her “It” Cafe in the same space.”
A group of Russians left the Sunset Strip after their roadhouse burned down. They moved to the Hollywood Plaza Hotel ballroom where their Russian Eagle did better than it had on the Strip. The waiters wore fezzes. The doorman was a a former Cossack cavalryman. The cashier was Princess Xenia Shadhowskoya who also snag sad songs out front. Garbo loved to eat caviar in a dark corner. Dietrich visited often too. When the movie magazines reported this, the Russian Eagle became a hot spot for a while.
When the Russian Eagle closed in 1935, it reopened as the Cinnabar. (p230/113) – then later Clara Bow’s It Cafe which later became Phil Selznick’s It Cafe.
Time Magazine – June 18, 1928 – “Charles Spencer Chaplin, funnyman, picked up a garden hose, squirted it. He was serious. He was helping to fight a fire at the American-Russian Eagle Club in Hollywood, Calif. His efforts were stopped when an explosion of leaking gas wrecked the building and injured eight people. Among those present and unhurt were Jack Dempsey & wife (Estelle Taylor), Richard Dix, Renee Adoree, John McCormick & wife (Colleen Moore), Marquis de la Falaise (husband of Gloria Swanson). The owner of the nightclub, Theodore Lodiginsky, 56, onetime Russian general, was seriously injured.”
Sahara Room – at Garden of Allah Hotel, 8152 Sunset Boulevard. http://blackdahlia1946.blogspot.com/2007/01/hollywood-19591963_22.html
Sam’s Columbia Grill, 1446 N. Gower St, Hollywood. Phone HUdson 2-7986
Santa Monica Beach Club, Biltmore Health Club, Roosevelt Highway, Pacific Palisades, 1920 & 30s
Santessus Club – downtown L.A. gay and/or lesbian club
Saratoga Restaurant – 7953 Sunset Strip Phone OL-6-2960 http://blackdahlia1946.blogspot.com/2007/01/hollywood-19591963_22.html
Sardi’s – 6315 Hollywood Boulevard, near Vine St. Ultra-chic place opened 1932 by the Montmartre’s Eddie Bandstatter. (40/66) Sardi’s Restaurant was destroyed in a fire 11-2-1936. Bandstatter also owned The Embassy Club, Lindy’s Restaurant, and The Sunset Inn. In 1934, he was again convicted for illegally selling “stimulants” at Sardi’s. Eddie Brandstatter’s troubled existence ended when he died on January 20, 1940 by suicide (carbon monoxide poisoning in his car) at age 54. He was found dead by his wife Helen at their home garage in Sherman Oaks. He had a Jewish funeral at Forest Lawn. Hedda Hopper lauded him as a man who had befriended the stars in their lean years. A sad figure who should be remembered for his many positive contributions to early Hollywood. http://www.latimemachines.com/new_page_23.htm
In the 1920s, was originally called Henry’s Café and run by a Charlie Chaplin stock player called Henry Bergman. (61/75). In the 1950s it became Zardi’s Jazzland.
As listed in the ‘Los Angeles Guide, 1941’ : “Govey’s Sardi’s 6315 Hollywood Boulevard. Features are the amply laden hors d’oeuvres cart, the Kansas City roast beef and steaks, and the boneless squab chicken with wild rice.
Satyr Book Shop – 1620 (or 1622) Vine St., Hollywood, next to the Vine St Brown Derby. The bookshop opened (I think) in 1926, and was originally co-owned by Stanley Rose; this photo dates from sometime in the 1930s. http://www.readinkbooks.com/home/satyrbookshop.htm
This photo shows that the Satyr must have moved to the corner of Hollywood and Vine by the 1950s.
Savoy Shirt Shop – 8470 Melrose Ave – The clothing store that made custom-made shirts was owned by gangster brothers Fred and Joe Sica and was a front for a giant wholesale narcotics business. (115/p86)
Scam Restaurant – Moroccan-themed restaurant located in the 900 building on Sunset Strip.
Slate Brothers – Sunset Strip 1950s nightclub (17/95)
Scandia– 9131 Sunset Boulevard. Opened 1946 by natives of Copenhagen. In 1957 moved across the street to 9040 Sunset where walls were decorated with coats of arms. Original owners sold it in 1978 and it closed in 1989. Hungarian born Peter Lorre ate there every Saturday. (49/61)
Schwab’s Pharmacy – 8024 Sunset Boulevard. Opened 1935 (49/39) The pharmacy was torn down in 1988 to make room for a block-long shopping complex now anchored by Virgin Records. http://www.travellady.com/articles/article-sunsetstrip.html
An historical footnote: Ironically, the new Virgin Megastore sits on the same spot where the legendary Schwab’s Pharmacy once stood. In the movie “Sunset Blvd,” William Holden‘s character calls Schwab’s Drug Store “headquarters; a combination office, coffee klatch, and waiting room” for Hollywood writers. And so it was. F. Scott Fitzgerald(author of “The Great Gatsby“) had a heart attack here in 1940, while buying a pack of cigarettes. Songwriter Harold Arlin wrote “Over the Rainbow” (from “The Wizard of Oz“) by the light of the Schwab’s neon sign.Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd used to play pinball in the back room. And the rumor still persists that Lana Turner was discovered at Schwab’s, but it isn’t true (see the article on Hollywood High for the real story). Alas, Schwab’s was closed in 1986, and replaced by the Virgin Megastore a decade later. http://www.seeing-stars.com/Streets/SunsetStrip.shtml
See also: 22/378 & 379, re Sidney Skolsky and Schwab’s competition with Beverly Wilshire drugstore, and Turner’s on the Sunset Strip. Turner’s would deliver money as well as pills and potions. (22/380)
Schwab’s was on the corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights – a 2-minute walk from Garden of Allah. They sold popular Bavarian chocolate mint bars. Billy Phipps was the delivery boy. Dr. Frank Nolan had an office over Schwab’s who treated some of the monstrous hangovers at Garden of Allah. (1/84) Once Ava Gardner came over – she wanted to make herself an ice cream soda. Soon she was making them for everyone.
Brothers Leon, Bernard, Martin & Jack, all pharmacists, owned at one time 6 family drug stores around town. The first was on 6th Street, downtown. Schwab’s was a social leveler in the 30s and 40s. Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Ida Lupino, Mickey Rooney, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Clark Gable, Orson Welles, and the Marx and Ritz brothers ate eggs and onions, lox and bagels at breakfast or steaks at dinner alongside agents, columnists, bit players and nobodies hoping to become somebodies. A sign near the counter reading “Coffee 40 cents per cup. Maximum 30 minutes,” was largely ignored. (49/39)
AKA “The Poor Man’s Country Club (57)
See also 61/35
http://www.povonline.com/larestaurants/larestaurants09.htm During Breakfast hours, it was practically like a club — the same folks at the same tables. When Schwab’s closed down in 1983, that group began drifting from restaurant to restaurant, never managing to find a venue that was as good and actor-friendly. In the meantime, the old Schwab’s location was torn down, replaced by a shopping center built around a Virgin Megastore. Also demolished to make way for that complex was Harry’s Wood-Pit Barbecue. The Virgin is a nice place but I’d much rather have Schwab’s and Harry’s.
(Ray Haller’s 7 Seas) Seven Seas – 6904 Hollywood Boulevard, just west of Highland, putting it opposite Grauman’s. Opened mid-1930s. Hawaiian bistro where Bing Crosby often performed. (57/113) (61/75) “There was the Seven Seas for dancing. The interior was all like Hawaii with Hawaiian dancers. You’d think you were on the main island. It was just incredible. (66/289) The sign for this place in the rear (near the El Capitan parking lot) lasted up until very recently. Water pouring on the roof gave the sound effect of a South Seas downpour. Hawaiian band and dancers.
Bob Brooks took it over from Ray Haller a few years later.
http://blackdahlia1946.blogspot.com/2007/01/hollywood-19591963_22.html calls it Bob Brook’s 7 Seas and gives the phone number as GL-6761
Under new ownership in the 1960s, the popular night spot became the Seven Seas Supper Club. By the 1970s, however, the 7 Seas was declining into nothing more than a seedy bar.
“L.A. in Maps” lists it as one of THE major places in Hollywood
As listed in the ‘Los Angeles Guide, 1941’ : “Seven Seas Café – 6904 Hollywood Boulevard. Dinner from 6pm. No couvert. Hawaiian orchestra and entertainers, dressed in native costumes. Floor shows 11pm, and 12pm and 2am. Bar. Dancing from 8.30pm. Hawaiian Island atmosphere, complete with “rain on the roof.”
A number of photos can be found here: http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=30531&forum=2
The Shack, 1046 Cole Ave, Hollywood
Shafer’s (men’s clothing store) – 6367 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Circa 1920s
Sherry’s Restaurant – In the 1940s a place called Sherry’s Restaurant stood where the Key Club is today. Mickey Cohen, who was known once as Bugsy Siegel’s right-hand man, was shot there in 1948. His favorite booth was #12. (115/2) http://www.thesunsetstrip.com/info/history
Was previously Cafe La Maze
http://www.filmsofthegoldenage.com/foga/1996/winter/hollywoodhotspots.shtml says During the ’40s Sherry’s was popular with L.A.’s mafia element. In 1949, rackateer Mickey Cohen was gunned down here after a late dinner. Cohen survived the ambush, but the mob chose to dine elsewhere after that. Sherry’s later became the famous rock club Gazzari’s, whose proprietor, the cigar-chomping Bill Gazzari, billed himself as “The Godfather of Rock ‘N Roll.” The building was demolished in 1994.
- Café Roxy from 19?? to 1935
- Cafe La Maze from 1935 to 1943
- Dave’s Blue Room from 1943 to 1948
- Sherry’s from 1948 to 1949(?)
- The Deauville 1950 to 19??
Ship’s Coffee Shop — There were three — one in Westwood and one in Culver City, but everyone’s favorite was the one at Olympic and La Cienega. It was open 24 hours and it wasn’t Denny’s. If you ordered breakfast, they brought you bread instead of toast and you cooked it yourself in the toaster at your table. Every table had one, plus they were all along the counter for the folks sitting there. It was another great place to get a hot turkey sandwich and I remember that a friend of mine liked to go there because they had “the coldest milk in the world.” The waitresses were all what you’d get if you put out a casting call for “friendly coffee shop waitresses.” All three Ship’s Coffee shops were opened by restaurateur Emmett Shipman between 1956 and 1967 and closed in the eighties. They were noted for their decor and the one at Olympic and La Cienega was used as a location in several movies. They may be among the “most missed” defunct eateries in all of Southern California. http://www.povonline.com/larestaurants/larestaurants01.htm
For sample menu, see http://www.povonline.com/images14/shipsmenu.jpg
Shrine Roller Rink – As listed in the ‘Los Angeles Guide, 1941’ : “700 W. 32rd Street. Aft. 2 to 5pm; eve 8 to 11pm.”
Silver’s Style Shop, 3732 Wilshire Boulevard. Clothing store.
Silverwoods Men’s clothing– 6555 Hollywood Boulevard. (Also on Sunset Blvd)
Simon’s Drive-In – at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, an Art Deco mirage of glass and neon served by carhops, a new variation of the American Girl, a cross between a waitress, an usherette and a starlet, who emerged as a protagonist in the new relationship between the restaurant and the automobile. http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/04/20/reviews/970420.20pattert.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
Simon’s, 2836 Sunset Boulevard. “Inflation fighter restaurant. An unexpected dining experience.
Sky Room at Union Air Terminal, Burbank (later Burbank Airport aka Bob Hope Airport) “Famous for Sea Food”
Slapsie Maxie’s – 5665 Wilshire Boulevard. Previously the Wilshire Bowl which was helped made popular with film folk by popular bandleader Phil Harris. Opened as Slapsie Maxie’s by prizefighter Max Rosenbloom. Frequented by Hollywood’s underground, including Mickey Cohen. (61/70) Slapsie Maxie’s was famous for comedy revues, aka “Laughing Spot of California” (76/94)
http://blackdahlia1946.blogspot.com/2007/01/hollywood-19591963_22.html says that it was at 7165 Beverly Boulevard.
As listed in the ‘Los Angeles Guide, 1941’ : Slapsy Maxie Rosenbloom’s Café. 7165 Beverly Boulevard. Dinner from 6pm. No couvert. Orchestra, but no dancing by patrons. Three of four funny floorshows nightly, with Deadpan Maxie in the middle of things.
Slim Gordon’s – Hollywood Boulevard gay bar. The military would post a sign at this place, and every other place they suspected drew a gay crowd, that said “Out of bounds to military personnel.” (60/73)
Smith Bros. Fish Shanty — Located at the intersection of La Cienega Boulevard, San Vicente Boulevard and Burton Way, the Fish Shanty was known to Los Angeles residents as “that place where you walk in through the whale’s mouth.” … like Pinocchio. http://www.povonline.com/larestaurants/larestaurants03.htm
Smitty’s – along with The Gay Inn and the Gayway Café – Downtown gay venues. The military would post a sign at this place, and every other place they suspected drew a gay crowd, that said “Out of bounds to military personnel.” (60/73)
Smoke House – 4420 W Lakeside Dr, Burbank, across from Warner Bros. Since 1946 steaks and chops and good martinis to the valley film community. Hanna & Barbera were frequent patrons.
Snow White Waffle Shop – 6769 Hollywood Blvd. http://www.theblackdahliainhollywood.com/?p=65
Solomon’s Penny Dance DeLuxe – Grand Ave at 9th Street, downtown L.A. – Phone Tucker 3844
“Where you get a dollar’s worth for a dime.”
“The Ninth Wonder of the World.”
“The largest manufacturer and distribution of Pleasure on Earth.”
Sorrento Beach Club, Formerly The Gables Beach Club – “Where Wilshire meets the sea” – 808 Ocean Front, Santa Monica, Phone: 27290
Speak 39 – on Cahuenga on the north side. Gay bar.
- Doo Doo Inn
- The Kit Kat Club
- Monkey Farm
- Club Royale
- Harlow’s Café
- The Sneak Inn
- 13 story art deco building on the corner of Beverly bvld and Virgil Ave was a storage facility for the American Storage Company, built in 1928. A celestial-themed speakeasy – where waiters sported “make-believe wings” commanded the top floor until the end of Prohibition.
Sphinx Club, 8477 & 8572 Sunset – In a previous incarnation the Clover Club was known as the Sphinx Club.
Jon Ponder said: Sphinx moved three times. It was also out on the west end, near the Beverly Hills line. That venue was briefly Felix Young’s Little Troc, which is where Lena Horne made her Hollywood debut, and thus was officially discovered — in the first full month of the war, January 1942. The gambling was upstairs — hidden in plain sight. Downstairs was likely a normal nightclub. Like at the Troc, there was a nightclub with dining and entertainment upstairs and the gambling was downstairs in the below-grade floor that opened onto the parking lot in the back. There was also a bar downstairs that was separate from the gambling. . . . In 1951, 8572 Sunset was a late iteration of the Sphinx Club. (It had been in three or more other locations, including the site of the Clover Club.) Starting at least in 1953 it was the Crescendo with a club upstairs called the Interlude. Later it was the Trip operated by Elmer Valentine, with the Interlude comedy club upstairs.
Southern Pacific Company Ticket Office – 6553 Hollywood Blvd. http://www.theblackdahliainhollywood.com/?p=65
SS Friendship – Lesbian hang out (possibly near MacArthur Park, known back then as Westlake Park) (59/96)
Stanley Rose Bookshop – Hollywood Boulevard, right next to Musso & Frank’s (now M&F’s east diningroom), was favored by the higher-paid, less political writers. The principal activity at Stanley Rose’s was drinking, and the back room was filled with couches occupied by such legendary Hollywood drinkers as Gene Fowler, Horace McCoy and William Faulker…The shop had a club, called the Book of the Day Club, which sponsored monthly lectures by writers such as Christopher Isherwood, Aldous Huxley and Bennett Cerf. Sometimes as many as 100 people would crowd into the little back room. (72/117) http://www.readinkbooks.com/home/stanleyrosenewpage.htm
Stanley Rose, a hard-drinking tough type from Texas, was on the smaller end (of bootlegging.) Rose ran a book shop on Vine St, just south of Hollywood Boulevard, even though he didn’t particularly like books. He had not learned to read until injured in WWI. In his book shop, he stashed cases of liquor smuggled from Mexico or offshore ships. The books were used to hid the booze that Rose personally delivered to the studios. Rose eventually developed an impeccable state in literature. (p196/113)
Starlit Room – 8950 Sunset Boulevard. Opened in 1945 and featured cross dressing acts; Rae Bourbon, a very popular act at Chez Boheme (which was a previous incarnation of the Starlit Room) played there too for a while.
The Star Room – lesbian venue (60/89 & 97)
Stark’s – 5658 Wilshire Blvd, at Hauser Telephone WYoming 0603
Larry Potter’s Stardust Café – 6445 Hollywood Boulevard, Phone HO-1234
Stefanino’s – 9229 Sunset Boulevard, Owned by Steve Crane (& Associates) of LUAU and Lana Turner fame.
Sternberger’s Rite Spot – 776 North Vine Street, Hollywood. “Since 1919” into at least the 1940s
Streets of Paris – Hollywood Boulevard. (1940s) A live music venue with a saloon in the basement. (82/55) 115/p220 says that Mickey Cohen hosted a wedding breakfast for Lana Turner and Steve Crane at the Streets of Paris, a Hollywood Boulevard restaurant he held an interest in.
Studio Bowling Academy – 1953 South Vermont Ave, Los Angeles
The Sugar Bowl – 1940s & 1950s, on Wilshire and was owned by Arthur Lake (Dagwood in the Blondie series) and Stanley Rose’s brother, (The Stanley Rose Bookstore) Olin Rose. (Askville)
Sunset Bowling Center – 5842 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood. “Situated on the Warner Bros. Sunset Lot where the first talking picture in Hollywood was made.”
Sutton’s Club Lido, at Pico Blvd and Western Ave.
Scrivner’s Drive In – locations:
- 3060 Crenshaw
- 3425 W. Manchester
- Imperial at Western
- 4180 Wilshire Blvd
- Sunset at Crenshaw
- 5821 S. Western
- 3101 S. Western (“Red Hut Broiler”)
- Imperial at Anza
- 174th and Western
- Crenshaw at Rosecrans (“The New Henry’s”
Sunset Gardens – A discreet whorehouse near Sunset Boulevard (50s?) (Vanity Fair, March 2009)
Sunset House – mens haberdasher owned by Billy Wilkerson of the Hollywood Reporter. 6717 Sunset Blvd, between the Hollywood Reporter offices and the Tip Top Cafe where he discovered Lana Turner. Billy Wilkerson Jr said: “By day, the gangster [Bugsy Siegel] was also a regular at Wilkerson’s Sunset House, the barbershop and haberdashery where he enjoyed close personal ties with the shop’s main barber, Harry Drucker. Drucker always made sure that Siegel got the best shave, facial, haircut and manicure of the day.” It appears Billy Wilkerson had sold it by Jan 3, 1938 to someone named Ben Bail.
Sunset Inn – Baron Long started the Sunset Inn (formerly the Nat Goodwin Café), along with Paul Schenck, but lost his liquor license in 1917 in the battle to make Santa Monica “dry” and apparently had to sell it to Mike Lyman and Eddie Brandstatter. The Sunset Inn was first located at Ocean Ave and Colorado Street and then moved to the Crystal Pier. Baron Long then teamed up with Julius Rosenfield in 1917 to purchase the Ship Café in Venice.
Swing Club – 1710 N. Las Palmas Ave, Hollywood. Dinner & Dancing
Tabu of Hollywood – 7290 Sunset Boulevard. Phone HOllywood 1016 (nightclub)
Tahiti – 327 Broadway, Santa Monica
The Tahitian, 12010 Ventura Blvd, Studio City. Phone: PO 9-0674 & TR 7-0531
Taix French Restaurant – 321 Commercial St. Sunday and Thursday chicken dinner. Excellent food served family style. The atmosphere is congenial and informal.
Tam-O-Shanter restaurant – 2980 Los Feliz Blvd – formerly Montgomery’s Chanticleer Inn. Established in 1922 by Lawrence Frank and Walter Van de Kamp, founders of Van de Kamp’s Holland Dutch Bakeries who went on to found the Lawry’s restaurant chain.
Chas Tartaglia Brothers tailors, 508 W. 6th Street Los Angeles, Phone 14948 – “Established 1907. Six bothers, six reasons: Charles, Joe, Michael, John, Angelo, Otto”
Tail o’ the Cock Restaurant – 44 S. La Cienega Boulevard, aka “Restaurant Row.” There was another at 12950 Ventura Boulevard in the valley — both popular dinner joints famous for their America menus (steak, prime rib, etc.) and bar scene.
The Tamale Restaurant, 6421 Whittier Blvd., East L.A., 1920s
Tam O’ Shanter – 2980 Los Feliz Boulevard. Opened in 1922 as the Montgomery Country Inn but changed its name soon after. Early customers were Mary Pickford, Tom Mix and John Wayne. (61/77)
Taylor’s Steakhouse – In 1953, “Tex” and Margie Taylor bought O’Kelley’s Tavern on the corner of Olympic Blvd. and Western Ave., just west of downtown Los Angeles. What began as Taylor’s Tavern, the “Biggest Little Bar in Los Angeles” soon grew to become Taylor’s Steak House.
Technicolor lab – 6311 Romaine St (67/67)
Tess’s Café Internationale – Lesbian nightclub on Sunset Boulevard (60/47 & 87)
Tillford’s Restaurant and cocktail lounge, located at the northwest corner of La Brea Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. Opened in 1949. (See Tillford’s for more photos.)
Tony’s Nightmare Café – 6300 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, Phone: PL-39275
The Tropics – 427 North Rodeo. The Luau was formerly Sugie’s Original “The Tropics” restaurant and club. “The Tropics” was opened by Harry “Sugie” Sugarman in Beverly Hills in 1936. This was one of the earliest of the Pre-Polynesian places that catered to the motion picture industry. 115/p74 says that Mickey Cohen-era gangster Jimmy Utley own The Tropics (1940s). The Tropics was purchased by Steven Crane and turned into The Luau in 1953. http://on.fb.me/Hqyl00
The Hollywood Tropics, 1525 N. Vine St. “So atmospheric you feel the rainy season coming on.”
The Toad in the Hole – 6160 Hollywood Boulevard, a fave with Hollywood socialites
Toed Inn Café – First located on Channel Road in Santa Monica and was not enclosed. The Toed Inn was damaged at the Santa Monica location in the great floods of 1938 and later moved to 12008 Wilshire Blvd and enclosed. This photo is of the Wilshire location.
Toffs coffee shop, Hollywood Boulevard (corner of Orchid Ave???), 1950s
Thelma Todd’s Sidewalk Café – 17535 Roosevelt Highway (now known as Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)) Opened in 1934 by movie star Thelma Todd (aka ‘The Ice Cream Girl’) until her mysterious death on 16DEC1935 (4/58) http://nfo.net/usa/niteclub.htm (40/139) http://wikimapia.org/6556973/Thelma-Todd-s-Sidewalk-Cafe-Historical-Site
The Thistle Café– 606 San Vicente Boulevard http://www.armchair.com/warp/la30c.html#brown
Tick Tock Tea Room – 1716 North Cahuenga Ave. Opened in 1930, by Norwegian Arthur Johnson and wife Helen. Closed 1988. On the day they opened for business, they installed an old clock, a family treasure on the wall; hence the name. The final tally was 48 clocks plus the neon one out front.
The Tick Tock was a well-liked restaurant serving heaping portions of comfort food to the aspiring actors and studio craftspeople who could afford to dine in the city’s tonier restaurants. In the 30s and 40s the restaurant was popular for it’s 3-course dinners; in those days the Tick Tock served 2000 people a day. Only complete dinners were available, and came complete with a basket of beloved Sticky Orange Rolls, sweet enough to be desert. Dinners were usually canned fruit cocktail or tomato juice, sherbert, meat loaf, fried chicken, fried beef liver and onions with some sort of homemade pie or cake for dessert. (49/29)
Tiny Naylor’s Drive In Restaurant – Sunset and Vine. http://www.losanjealous.com/2005/12/15/cal-worthington/ http://jpg3.lapl.org/pics28/00063830.jpg
Drive-in restaurants stood on Sunset Boulevard’s major corners. After school, Hollywood High students went to Tiny Naylor’s at Sunset and La Brea Ave. (p309/113)
Trianon Ballroom, in South Gate. A popular night spot of the 1940s and the site of several live remote broadcasts of a music show called One Night Stand produced by the Armed Forces Radio Service during WWII. http://cinematreasures.org/theater/7301/ (82/52)
Top Hat Café – on the Southeast corner of N. McCadden Place and Sunset – where Wilkerson discovered Lana Turner.
Tom Bergin’s was founded by its namesake, a 46-year-old lawyer, in 1936. The establishment was originally located at 6110 Wilshire Boulevard and named the “Old Horseshoe Tavern and Thoroughbred Club” in honor of a Boston-area watering hole owned by Bergin’s uncle. In 1949, Bergin built a new eatery, re-named Tom Bergin’s Horseshoe Tavern, at 840 South Fairfax Avenue. Employees and customers alike carried the pub’s legendary horseshoe-shaped bar three blocks south to its new home.
Tom Breneman’s– Vine St, near Sunset. Phone HOllywood-3577. Next to NBC and ABS radio stations. Became famous when Breneman started hosting his “Breakfast in Hollywood” radio show which aired on the Blue Network from 1941 to 1948. It ended with Breneman’s untimely death. http://hollywood.libsyn.com/ (61/74) http://blackdahlia1946.blogspot.com/2007/01/hollywood-19591963_22.html , http://www.you-are-here.com/sunset/schwabs.html
The Town House – 639 S. Commonwealth Ave. A large hotel property built in 1929 on Wilshire Boulevard adjacent to Lafayette Park in Los Angeles, California. Designed by Norman W. Alpaugh, the building was once among the most luxurious hotels in Southern California. Equally popular and well-known was its Zebra Room. Conrad Hilton bought the Town House in 1942 so when Elizabeth Taylor married his son Nicky in 1950, they celebrated at the hotel in 1950. It was sold to Sheraton in 1954and became the Sheraton-Town House.
The Zebra Room was a nightclub. The Cape Cod Room was the hotel’s coffee shop and lasted until 1993. The hotel’s main restaurant was the Garden Room.
As listed in the ‘Los Angeles Guide, 1941’ : “The Zebra Room is frequented by the young set. A more conservative atmosphere is in the Wedgewood Room.”
Trader Vic’s – Beverly Hills Hilton. Phone CRestview 4-777. Opened 1956
The Tradewinds – My father, Joe Chastek, first was introduced to Polynesia when he and a high school buddy stowed away to the Philippines when they were both 17. After that, he became so immersed in the culture that it literally became his whole life until he died in 1995. He was one of the first to open a nightclub with the South Seas motif. His first was the Zamboanga, where he entertained movie stars and sports celebrities. The Zamboanga was featured on the TV Biography series that discussed early 1940’s South Seas nightclubs in Los Angeles. His second nightclub was the Tradewinds. His third, the Vagabond’s House was on Wilshire Blvd in LA, and was incredibly popular with, again, movie stars and sports celebrities. http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=7557&forum=1&start=30&39&PHPSESSID=1c2af6f24b55eecad6347406400a7636
The Trap – About 4pm Fitzgerald could get away to a salon built right on the Metro lot. The place was called The Trap, so named because the management seemed to think that it was poaching on their workers’ time. There Fitzgerald could be seen with one of his omnipresent Coke bottles, and there he would rejoin the clique – Loos, Gable, Tracy, Huxley and the others. (32/10)
Travaglini’s Café and Lounge – 6480 Sunset Boulevard, Phone GRanite 9119
Travaglini’s One-Za-Meal Restaurant – 17500 Ventura Boulevard, Encino
Trocadero Café-Restaurant – 6600 Hollywood Boulevard, Phone HO-2172
Not to be confused with the New Trocadero Café at 1761 West Jefferson Boulevard, Phone REpublic 9571
The Tropical Village – gay venue raided in 1948. (60/91) 51/101 says it was located in Santa Monica.
Try Later, 8279 Santa Monica Blvd, opened in 1951.”You always kept phoning until you got a job or Central Casting closed the switchboard. The phone was the line. The words “Try later” became a joke password with the Hollywood extras. If you asked to borrow some money, you were likely to be told “try later”. Some years afterward, Frankie Darro opened a bar called the “Try Later”, where extras met to discuss their hopes and fears, exchange wardrobes, call Central Casting, and even drink.
Oddly enough, even with his off and on drinking problems, Frankie operated a bar on Santa Monica Blvd. for a time. The establishment was called the “Try Later”. One article from the L.A. Daily News dated August 16, 1951 (provided by Wade Ballard) states: “The latest motion picture profile to go into the bistro business is actor Frankie Darro, who has opened up what he calls, without mincing words, ‘a bar’ on Santa Monica boulevard. This cocktail lounge is dubbed ‘Try Later’ and caters to ‘the kids from pictures’. Darro explains the ‘Try Later’ as follows: “You know when you call Central Casting, they tell you only two things on the phone: ‘No work’ or ‘Try later’.” He adds: “This is my first venture into this business. I’ve always wanted to have a bar. I’ve spent so much money on the other side of bars that I thought I’d get behind one and get even.” Darro, who is 33 years old, has been in pictures for 28 years. He just completed a couple of movies at Metro and says he isn’t giving up his acting career. Associated with him in the enterprise is Lee Carroll, an ex-Hollywood agent. (Wade notes that he’s always wondered if this man is related to Dorothy Carroll – Frankie’s 3rd wife – who he married right after his divorce to Betty Marie – her dad or her brother perhaps???). The “Try Later” features something called a Sunday Morning Club where hungry actors can get ham and eggs, potatoes, toast, coffee and a drink for one dollar. “But that’s only if you’re a member of the club,” says Darro, “To be a member you’ve got to have a card and pay a dime. That’s to keep out the riffraff.”
63/35 – The bar was once called the Try Later and owned by Frankie Darro, the star of B pictures. It’s now called the Raincheck. It was one of Veronica Lake’s favorite hangouts.
Town and Country Village – This unique village, designed for the discriminating shopper, offers the latest in style and fashions. The village also includes several delightful cafes. NOTE: formerly at S.E. corner of 3rd and Fairfax.
Uncle Bernie’s Toy Menagerie – Rodeo Drive – Toy store that featured a lemonade tree. (50s?) (Vanity Fair, March 2009)
Urban Military Academy – on Melrose, near Paramount (103/202)
Vagabond’s House Restaurant – 2505 Wilshire Boulevard- My father, Joe Chastek, first was introduced to Polynesia when he and a high school buddy stowed away to the Philippines when they were both 17. After that, he became so immersed in the culture that it literally became his whole life until he died in 1995. He was one of the first to open a nightclub with the South Seas motif. His first was the Zamboanga, where he entertained movie stars and sports celebrities. The Zamboanga was featured on the TV Biography series that discussed early 1940’s South Seas nightclubs in Los Angeles. His second nightclub was the Tradewinds. His third, the Vagabond’s House was on Wilshire Blvd in LA, and was incredibly popular with, again, movie stars and sports celebrities. http://www.tikiroom.com/tikicentral/bb/viewtopic.php?topic=7557&forum=1&start=30&39&PHPSESSID=1c2af6f24b55eecad6347406400a7636
Vallera Italian Kitchen was a favorite spot, especially during radio’s heyday. It was located at 6225 Hollywood Boulevard on the NW corner of Argyle and Hollywood Boulevard, just east of the Pantages Theater. (14/205)
Van De Kamp’s bakery & restaurants
Vendome Café – 6666 Sunset Blvd. Opposite and down a block from the Hollywood Reporter offices. (28/72) one of Hollywood’s most fashionable night spots in the mid-30s. Opened MAY 1933. This was the first restaurant opened by Hollywood Reporter’s Billy Wilkerson. http://nfo.net/usa/niteclub.htm who originally planned it as a gourmet paradise and specialty store but soon after the opening, Wilkerson made it a luncheon place and it soon became the most important place to lunch in town. (40/75) (see 28/72 for the Old English Costume Ball thrown by the Countess Dorothy di Frasso June) Closed late 1938, and reopened as Ruby Foo’s . (40/179) (41/316)
Vegetarian Restaurant / Cafeteria – 315-319 West Third St, downtown Los Angeles, circa turn-of-the-century (see PHOTO)
Venice (Pier) Ballroom – Popular big band venue in the 1940s (82/58, 59)
Phil Selznick’s Versailles / Club Versailles – 8590 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip. Versailles opened on Dec. 12, 1937, was around for about three years. Later opened as the Mocambo. Versailles was started by Lee Francis, the madam behind House of Francis who was trying to go legit. She claims to have paid to have the building designed and built but lost it to an East Coast gambler (ie a mobster) before it opened, possibly Bugsy Siegel using Phil Selznick as his front.
Via Vigna Inn – Near the northeast corner of Hollywood & Vine. (1950s and 60s (?))
Victor Hugo Restaurant – 233 N. Beverly Drive at Wilshire. Opened 10DEC34 (40/117) Table d’hote Dinner in 1937 – $2 (considered rather stiff at the time). Owned by Hugo Aleidas. First location was 619 S. Grand…however 41/316 says that the original location was on Hill St between 7th and 8th
As listed in the ‘Los Angeles Guide, 1941’ : “The Victor Hugo – 233 N. Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills. Couvert after 9pm. The continental lunch is a gourmet’s favorite. First-rate French cuisine. Advance reservations necessary for the movie star’s impromptu Sunday night shows with dancing to name-bands.”
Scene of the glamorous Mayfair Ball in the 1930s.
Victory House was a bandstand and booth structure that was built in Pershing Square during world war II as a location to hold war bond drives.http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=170279&page=165
Vieux Carre – 1716 Las Palmas Ave, Hollywood. Gay bar that ran almost 10 years.
Villa Carlotta – 5959 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood. Built 1926. Popular place during the 30s and 40s with the crowd into poetry readings and séances. (59/179) Built by the widow of Thomas Ince, who also built the Chateau Elysee. See: http://www.pennyhead.com/angelcity/index.htm Home to Adolphe Menjou, Edward G. Robinson, George Cukor, Louella Parsons, Marion Davies. It featured several new-fangled amenities, including sound-proofed rooms, water filtration, refridgeration, and a ventilation system that changed the air in each room every 5 minutes. (66/354)
Villa Capri – McCadden St, Hollywood. Opened 1950 by Pasquale “Patsy” D’Amore whose Casa D’Amore (opened 1939) was Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood. There, they served the first pizza in Los Angeles to the likes of Frank Sinatra, Joe DiMaggio, Tommy Dorsey and Dick Powell. In 1957, it relocated to a larger, plusher building a few blocks away at 6735 Yucca, one block north of Hollywood Boulevard. The new Villa Capri became a favorite of movie stars, including James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Jimmy Durante. Durante was there so often that a private banquet room was named for him. But the big star of the Villa Capri was Sinatra. That was, if you don’t count Patsy, who was much loved by the clientele. But with the Capitol Records building only a few blocks away, Frank practically used the restaurant as his clubhouse, dining there often and throwing lavish parties. When he recorded the song, “The Isle of Capri,” he snuck a mention of the Villa Capri into its lyrics. It is said that in 1960, when Sinatra threw his support behind John F. Kennedy for president, he held planning sessions there to figure out how to mobilize show business to help J.F.K. http://www.povonline.com/larestaurants/larestaurants05.htm
The Villa Capri restaurant opened on Yucca St. in 1957 and was co-owned by Frank Sinatra. It was a favorite of celebrities until it closed in 1982.
According to Old L.A. Restaurants – in 1950 the Villa Capri opened at 1735 N. McCadden Place in Hollywood. (It was next door to Don the Beachcomber’s restaurant at #1727, which had previously been located on the opposite side of the street.) In 1957, Villa Capri relocated to a larger, plusher building a few blocks away at 6735 Yucca Street, one block north of Hollywood Boulevard.
Interior of Villa Capri (circa 1950s):
Villa D’Este – 1355 N Laurel Ave, Italianate courtyard villa that was built circa 1928 by Cecil B. DeMille for his daughters in West Hollywood. The early 20th century Italian Renaissance style building, with its elaborately painted portico, ceiling decorations and frieze, was a former residence of silent film stars Pola Negri, and Mabel Normand. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zachary_Selig , http://www.movielanddirectory.com/tour-location.cfm?location=5320 , http://la.curbed.com/archives/2008/03/new_to_market_w_1.php
Villa Nova– Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe had their first blind date at the Rainbow Bar and Grill in 1953 when it was still the Villa Nova. Vincente Minnelli, Liza’s father, proposed to Judy Garland at the restaurant in 1945. http://www.thesunsetstrip.com/info/history#40
Vivian Laird’s Restaurant and Jungle Room, Long Beach
Voisin – Where F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sheilah Graham often dined. (31/78)
The Waldorf – 521 S. Main Street, downtown LA – And if you looked at the downtown bars like the Waldorf, the Cellar, the 326 – it was so goddamned open. (11/36) Gay bar…on a seedy stretch of Main Street…near Harold’s…since their glamour days as early as the 1930s, both bars had grown shabby. (60/1)
Looks like it started out as the Waldorf in the Waldorf Hotel, at 521 S Main, later becoming the Waldorf Cellar, as it was listed in the 1956 City Directory. Bohemian Los Angeles by Daniel Hurewitz mentions in a footnote that “The official Waldorf liquor license was denied in 1936 on grounds that the business ran ‘contrary to public welfare and morals.’”
Wan-Q – 8751 W. Pico Boulevard (1 block east of Robertson) Wan-Q was a terrific Chinese restaurant located on Pico Boulevard, just east of Robertson, in the building that now houses another terrific Chinese restaurant called Fu’s Palace. Unlike Wan-Q, Fu’s Palace is not a dark place full of tropical decor and little streams and waterfalls that run through the room. I took some of my first dates to Wan-Q because it seemed to be that kind of place, but its main clientele was local Jewish families. … The waiters at Wan-Q were great and they really did fit the Great Chinese Waiter Stereotype of all looking alike…but you could tell them apart by the loud Hawaiian-style shirts they wore. There was one who thought the funniest thing in the world was to ask, when a family ordered something with pork in it, “Are you Joosh?” That was how he pronounced “Jewish.” http://www.povonline.com/larestaurants/larestaurants06.htm
Warner Bros. Hollywood Theater – 6433 Hollywood Blvd. Opened: April 26, 1928. Also been known as the Warner Cinerama, the Hollywood Pacific and the Pacific 1-2-3.
W.C. Kreiss ice cream parlor on the ground floor of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on the west side. Late 60s early 70s. – Carole: “The floats were amazing. They’d balance a big scoop of ice cream on the rim of the soda glass. There were always stars there which is why I loved taking out of town guests there. Sadly both locations closed in Beverly Hills and Palm Springs. The only ice cream parlor that even comes close to it is in Orange, California. Kreiss passed away and had no family so the two locations were shut down. It was really fun there. Great ice cream desserts but they were known for their malts, milk shakes and floats.”
Also known at other times as Henry’s and Brass Rail Café
Websters – 270 S. La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills
Western Costume Co. – 5555 Melrose Ave. Opened in 1912, then moved to the Melrose location in 1932. (25/81)
West Side Market – 9009 Sunset Blvd – a grocer where many of Hollywood’s top stars did their marketing – and where the “regulars” were somehow able to always to get the choicest cuts of beed, the richest cream and butter and the best of whateve relse was being rationed during the days of WWII. It was, in effect, a wide-open “Black Market” that billed customers by the month and that even delivered. Thesedays it is the Roxy nightclub. (25/161)
The White Spot Café – 5357 Wilshire Boulevard, near La Brea. A popular 1920s eatery for teenagers, once located at 5357 Wilshire Boulevard, near La Brea. Though it closed around 1941, many old timers used to argue over which Los Angeles cafe first introduced the chili burger, the White Spot or Ptomaine Tommy’s. Chili burgers aside, the White Spot was famous in its day for their omelets smothered in chili. The cafe’s devoted following also used to drop in late at night for “midnight specials.” Bizarre Los Angeles Facebook. Also at 5467 Wilshire and also 7266 Wilshire
867 So. Western Ave
Phone FAirfax 9642
William Fox Studios – located at Sunset and Western Ave, just before the time 20th Century Fox was formed in West L.A. (75/131)
Wich Stands – Drive in restaurants. At Figueroa & Florence, Slauson & Overhill
Wilshire Seacomber, Wilshire Blvd at San Vicente Blvd. Beverly Hills
Wil Wright’s — Original store: 8641 Sunset Boulevard. Opening in May 1946 and for 24 years thereafter a small shop on the Sunset Boulevard served the richest ice cream on America – 24% butterfat – to the most famous people in the world. (63/128) There was also one on Beverly Drive. (50s?) (Vanity Fair, March 2009)
Wil Wright’s was a chain of ice cream parlors that dotted the Southern California landscape up until the mid-seventies. There was one in Beverly Hills at the corner of Beverly Drive and Charleville, and another in Westwood Village at the corner of Glendon and Lindbrook. (There were others but those were two I frequented.) They were the perfect place to take a date after the movie with delicate pink and red decor and little marble tables and wire-frame chairs that made you feel like you were seated inside a Valentine’s Day card. I seem to recall that my dates would always order the banana split while I wondered about the Freudian implications of their orders. I would either have a milk shake or a dish of Wil Wright’s unique orange sherbet which resembled frozen orange juice more than any orange sherbet I’ve ever had anywhere else. There is still a Wil Wright’s brand of ice cream sold in stores but I think the parlors are all gone. http://www.oldlarestaurants.com/wil-wrights/
There was also one on the northwest corner or Ventura and Van Nuys boulevards, Sherman Oaks as well as in West Hollywood at 8252 Santa Monica Boulevard.
|Willard’s Far Famed Chicken Steak Dinners. Original restaurant opened 1928 at 9625 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles. In the 1930s, another location opened up at 4500 Los Feliz Blvd at the corner of Hillhurst. In 1940, that location became a Brown Derby.See also: http://www.martinturnbull.com/2014/07/27/willards-restaurant-at-los-feliz-and-hillhurst-far-famed-chicken-steak-dinners/|
Wilshire Bowl – 5665 Wilshire Boulevard, helped made popular with film folk by popular bandleader Phil Harris. Later reincarnated as Slapsy Maxie’s. (40/122) As listed in the ‘Los Angeles Guide, 1941’ : “Dinner 6pm to 2am, no couvert.”
Wilshire Beauty Shop – 8442 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills. Located inside the Fox Wilshire Theater. (1950s)
Wilshire-La Brea Recreation – 737 South La Brea, Los Angeles. Phone YOrk 5296. A 28-lane bowling Alley, cocktails, coffee shop.
House of Westmore. The Westmore Brothers had cornered the hairdressing business at 6638 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. (31/30)
In 1935, the Westmores opened their Hollywood beauty salon and barbershop on Sunset Boulevard near Highland. Perc and Ern Westmore had made wigs for Max Factor. Their father, George, had run the MGM makeup department. A mile away, in a separate building at Sunset and Gordon, the Westmores ran a cosmetic plant. (p209/113)
Westmore Brothers had cornered the hairdressing business in Hollywood. (31/30)
The Willows – Huntington Drive, near Santa Anita race track
Wilshire Country Club – Los Angeles’ triumvirate of golf establishments were the Wilshire Country Club, the Los Angeles Country Club and the Bel Air Country Club. (78/41)
Writer’s Club – corner of Sunset and Cherokee. (75/125) Within a month, I was elected to membership in the Writer’s Club. In addition to quarters on Sunset Boulevard housing a bar and a little food where the members could congregate at will, the club had regular Wednesday luncheon meetings of the Corned Beef, Cabbage and Culture Circle, which I much enjoyed. It was a club for men only, of course, with invitations extended to the ladies on special occasions. Among the active members who became my friends were Rupert Hughes, Doug Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Irving Thalberg, Ernst Lubitsch, John Gilbert, and Will Rogers. – Preston Sturges (65/159)
Yamashiro – 1999 North Sycamore – Built between 1908 and 1912 by the Bernheimer brothers, Oriental antique dealers. It began its connection with Hollywood in 1923 when it became the clubhouse for the “Club of the Hollywood Four Hundred”. This organization of the Hollywood film elite was formed partially as a response to the cool reception motion picture people received at Los Angeles old-moneyed and very restrictive private clubs. (25/24)
In the late 1920’s Yamashiro served as headquarters for the ultra-exclusive “400 Club”. Created for the elite of Hollywood’s motion picture industry during its Golden Age, Yamashiro gave Hollywood its first celebrity hangout. Here Bebe Daniels, Frank Elliott, Lilian Gish, Ramon Navarro, and the Who’s Who of actors, writers, directors and celebrities in Hollywood formed their first social institution as a monument to their achievement. At the outbreak of World War II, anti-Japanese sentiment spread rapidly in Hollywood and throughout the country. In the post Pearl Harbor paranoia, Yamashiro was mistakenly rumored to be a signal tower for the Japanese. Much of the beautiful landscaping and decorative elements of the palace itself were stripped by vandals. Yamashiro’s distinctive Asian architecture was disguised, the beautiful carved woods covered with paint, and the estate became a boys’ military school. At the end of the war with Japan, a builder bought the property, added a second story, and converted Yamashiro into 15 apartment units. Then in 1948, the estate, unrecognizable and in disrepair, was purchased by Thomas O. Glover, who originally intended to tear down the structure and develop a hotel and apartment units on the seven acres of property. While preparing to demolish, he discovered the treasure of ornate woodwork and silk wallpaper hidden under layers of black paint. He realized that this was too important to destroy and decided to restore the property. This became a 20-year project which continues even today. http://www.yamashirorestaurant.com/history/
The gardens below the building were known as the “Hollywood Scenic Gardens” (LAiM – 1940 map)
Zamboanga South Seas Club – 3828 W. Slauson. Popular tropical themed bar. http://nfo.net/usa/niteclub.htm (40/157) All through the 1930s and ’40s, Sunset Strip was Ground Zero for night time excitement. The Strip, a 1.5 mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard between Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Doheny Drive, came to symbolize the Glamor and Glitz of Hollywood. The Clubs usually had a ‘tropical’ theme; among which were the ‘Zamboanga South Seas Club’ (3828 W. Slauson), ‘Don’s Beachcomber’, and Don Dickerman’s ‘The Pirates Den’ (see 61/74). These places were populated by press agents, newspaper and magazine reporters, Power brokers, Stars and Starlets, and those who got a vicarious thrill by associating with the famous. http://nfo.net/usa/niteclub.htm
My father, Joe Chastek, first was introduced to Polynesia when he and a high school buddy stowed away to the Philippines when they were both 17. After that, he became so immersed in the culture that it literally became his whole life until he died in 1995. He was one of the first to open a nightclub with the South Seas motif. His first was the Zamboanga, where he entertained movie stars and sports celebrities. The Zamboanga was featured on the TV Biography series that discussed early 1940’s South Seas nightclubs in Los Angeles. His second nightclub was the Tradewinds. His third, the Vagabond’s House was on Wilshire Blvd in LA, and was incredibly popular with, again, movie stars and sports celebrities.
Zebra Room – at the Town House Hotel on Wilshire. Opened 1937 or 38. (40/163)
The Town House is a large hotel property built in 1929 on Wilshire Boulevard adjacent to Lafayette Park in Los Angeles, California. Designed by Norman W. Alpaugh, the building was once among the most luxurious hotels in Southern California.
As listed in the ‘Los Angeles Guide, 1941’ : “The Zebra Room is frequented by the young set. A more conservative atmosphere is in the Wedgewood Room.”
Zardi’s Jazzland was in the old Sardi’s building at 6315 Hollywood Boulevard.
Zenda Ballroom Café – 936 W. 7th, Los Angeles, a very spacious venue locatedwas downtown L.A on the corner of 7th and Figueroa. (8/147) (40/142)
The Zep – at Florence and Figueroa, was a famous cocktail lounge built in the shape of an airship. (41/14)
Zindabad Pub in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (1940s)
The Zulu Hut – 11100 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City. Opened 16NOV1924, closed 01MAR1931when a massive fire broke out.
1920s hot spot on Ventura Boulevard in Universal City where black-faced waiters dispensed somewhat incongruous corn-pones (Cornmeal bread usually shaped into a flat cake and baked or fried on a griddle), squab and fried chicken in thatched huts. (40/43) Sometimes called Zululand, this open-air stand with an African jungle theme advertised as “half-mile beyond Universal City on Ventura Boulevard.” Proprietor Raymond McKee dubbed himself the Zulu Chief and waiters in black-face served squab and fried chicken under rustling palms. Open until 2 a.m., the Zulu Hut was something of a roadhouse sensation in the 1920s.
Zucky’s Restaurant and Delicatessen – Wilshire Blvd and 5th St, Santa Monica, Phone EXbrook 5-3623
The 365 Bar – By the late 1950s, despite continuing hostility and harassment of the LAPD, a number of gay establishments had sprung up: the House of Ivy, the Cherokee House, Maxwell’s, The Black Cat, the “356” bar downtown. Most gay bars had existed outside Los Angeles city limits where county sheriffs were traditionally far more tolerant. (10/346)
And if you looked at the downtown bars like the Waldorf, the Cellar, the 326 – it was so goddamned open. (11/36)
833 South Spring Street was built in 1924 as the headquarters of the City Club, a Los Angeles civic organization with a membership of 2500 leaders of business, industry, and finance. But after less than 10 years, the City Club was gone. For the next 60 years it was home to numerous taxi-dancehalls. It was the Roseland Roof, circa 1939, then became the 41 Club, The Swanky, and the 833 Club.
Agua Caliente Casino and Hotel – opened 1926 a Mexican gambling resort popular with the Hollywood crowd in the 1930s. (15/114) (40/53) According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agua_Caliente_Casino_and_Hotel it opened June 1928 and closed in 1935 when the Mexican president outlawed gambling. However the racetrack, which opened in DEC 1929 remained open.
Salon de Oro – a casino that only permitted gambling with gold coins. (40/54)
Jockey Club – at the race track. (40/54)
Foreign Club Bar, Tijuana