Images courtesy of Alison Martino of Classic Los Angeles
Again within the Golden Age of Hollywood, in the course of the 50s by way of the 70s, a number of big-name stars determined to get into the restaurant enterprise. Members of the Rat Pack, Jerry Lewis, and even famed Archie Bunker actor Carroll O’Connor all acquired in on the motion. Cinema Students takes a glance again at these institutions.
Positioned on the Sundown Strip at 8524 Sundown Boulevard, Dino’s Lodge was a restaurant owned by Dean Martin and his enterprise associate Maury Samuels. Martin, a Hollywood legend, was in monetary hassle when he was approached in 1958 by the house owners of the then-named Alpine Lodge, Paul Wexler, Alex Wexler, and Harvey Gerry to lend his likeness and title to the institution in trade for 50% of the income. When the settlement had been agreed to the “Alpine” portion of the title was dropped and changed with “Dino’s.” They saved the “Lodge.”
“Dean Martin doesn’t personal the restaurant on the Strip…They simply use his title and provides him a share.”
-Los Angeles Instances, April 1958
When the restaurant opened as Dino’s Lodge, Martin would herald his Hollywood associates comparable to Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine to the leather-based boothed restaurant with darkish wooden paneling (together with the after-party for the premiere of Some Come Operating starring Martin, Sinatra, and MacLaine). Martin himself would hobnob stopping from desk to desk and greeting patrons.
The most important change to the restaurant was the set up of a big neon signal which featured a caricature of Dean Martin’s face. Quickly after the signal was put in Warner Brothers tv reached out to the restaurant to make use of a shot of the signal within the credit of their sequence, 77 Sundown Strip. On the Warner Brothers studio misplaced an actual reproduction of the facade of Dino’s Lodge was constructed as one of many characters, Kookie (Ed Byrnes), labored as a valet there. This signal was additionally seen in episodes of Dragnet and The Andy Griffith Present. These tv appearances made the restaurant a vacationer lure and induced any movie star appearances to stop, together with Dean’s.
Dino’s Lodge grew to become recognized for its dwell leisure. One of many stipulations was that solely feminine singers might seize a mic and belt out tunes. Most of those singers had been b-movie starlets of Hollywood, and a few weren’t even that. Among the extra notable singers included Gigi Galon, a secretary at CBS, and Michelle Tribola, who was employed as a result of she was Lee Marvin’s girlfriend. After about 16 months put up title change Martin, who was proud of the enterprise, renegotiated his contract to get his brother appointed as basic supervisor of the Lodge in addition to an extra $1,000 per thirty days for using his title and likeness.
Nevertheless, quickly after this transpired issues turned bitter when Gerry and the Wexlers reneged on the extra month-to-month cost. Martin sued them in August 1961 for the $24,000 he was owed and to have his likeness faraway from the enterprise. Martin misplaced and his brother was fired. As a result of all of this hassle, the partnership between Martin and Saunders additionally got here to an unamicable finish on October 15, 1961 (maintain studying for the small print beneath). Martin severed all ties with the restaurant in February 1962. Nevertheless, Dino’s Lodge used Martin’s title and likeness for practically 3 many years after Martin left the enterprise.
“Any actor that opens up a restaurant ought to have his head examined”
– Dean Martin
Jerry Lewis and Maury Saunders had one main factor in widespread; a relationship with Dean Martin that began extra promisingly than it ended. On October 15, 1961, Saunders was approached by Lewis to ditch Dino and staff up with him in his restaurant. Saunders agreed and Jerry’s was born.
Simply down the road from Dino’s Lounge, at 8846 Sundown Boulevard, Jerry’s was like a jealousy-induced fever dream of a restaurant. So as to present up Dino’s Lodge, Lewis had a caricature of his face become a fair bigger signal. This one revolved 100 ft above the constructing. Subsequent, Lewis stole Dino’s head chef Rene Robbin, assistant chef Rafael Shapiro, and the maître d’, recognized by solely his first title of Luigi, for his new institution.
Regardless of stealing these individuals from Dino’s Lodge, Jerry served fully totally different meals and had a extra low-brow ambiance than the restaurant that bared Dean Martin’s title. Whereas the Lodge served Italian meals and high quality steaks, Jerry’s served “American and Hebrew viands”. In the meantime, the inside of Jerry’s was crammed with purple velvet with silver accents (together with the menus) and absurdly massive chandeliers.
By February 1963, Jerry’s was in dire straits. He had misplaced over $250,000 on the enterprise and was nicely on its approach to going out of enterprise. The doorways to the institution had been shuttered in 1964. Quickly after, the situation grew to become a strip membership known as “The Traditional Cat.” This unique dive was a hangout for stars comparable to Jim Morrison, Robert Conrad, and Adam West.
Dean Martin wasn’t the one Rat Packer to get into the Los Angeles restaurant sport within the late Nineteen Fifties. The Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra partnered up together with his buddy Peter Lawford to open an Italian eatery known as Puccini’s. This institution opened on April 2, 1959, at 220 S. Beverly Boulevard in Beverly Hills.
One of the frequent patrons of Puccini’s was notable mobster Mickey Cohen. The underworld legend had Hollywood connections with each Lawford and Sinatra for a few years. Cohen would usually get belligerent with different prospects at Puccini’s. He even as soon as, actually, threw out Crimson Skelton’s supervisor on one event and threatened George Raft when he tried to intervene within the altercation.
The Ginger Man/Carroll O’Connor’s Place
Carroll O’Connor opened The Ginger Man, his saloon-inspired restaurant in 1978 at 369 N. Bedford Dr. in Beverly Hills. Twelve years later he lightened the partitions with a recent coat of paint and adjusted the title to Carroll O’Connor’s Place.
O’Connor’s institution was basically the bar from his tv sequence Archie Bunker’s Place if Archie hit the lotto, moved to Beverly Hills, and charged $11 for a hamburger in the course of the Reagan Administration years.
Casa Cugat and The Lobster Barrel
Casa Cugat and The Lobster Barrel had been each on La Cienega in West Hollywood. They had been so shut in proximity that they marketed collectively in the identical newspaper adverts. The previous was at 848 N. La Cienega. The latter was down the road at quantity 826.
Casa Cugat was owned by Xavier Cugat. The Spanish-Cuban bandleader and husband to Charro would typically carry out there. Sometimes two guitar gamers roamed the restaurant from desk to desk taking requests from the diners. Casa Cugat opened within the Nineteen Forties and was in enterprise till 1986 when it closed its doorways.
TVs Skipper from Gilligan’s Island, Alan Hale Jr. opened The Lobster Barrel within the Seventies. It could keep open for about fifteen years, closing within the Eighties. The waiters at The Lobster Barrel wore tuxedos and the primary entrees had been steak and lobsters.
Hale would gown because the Skipper and mosy from desk to desk greeting prospects and signing autographs. He particularly took time to converse with kids who dined on the restaurant with their mother and father. One buyer, actor David Carradine (Kung Fu), wasn’t very taken with Hale’s Skipper schtick. Whereas drunk, Carradine proceeded to trash the place. Hale needed to personally throw the actor out with the help of a baseball bat.
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