Remember celebrating an anniversary at The Windsor: or bringing an out-of-town visitor to The Brown Derby?
Here are some bygone restaurants to bring you down memory lane.
The plush booths, copper cove ceiling and chandeliers gave Perino’s a sophisticated elegance that drew both business executives and society matrons. After a fire destroyed the first Perino’s, the restaurant moved to its longtime location at 3927 Wilshire Blvd. Architect Paul Williams designed the new location with oval-shaped rooms, wood paneling and a spiral staircase leading to the Gold Room.
The Windsor, at Seventh St. and Catalina Ave., was opened in 1945 by Bernard Davis. Diners will recall its red leather booths, English prints and plaid papered walls.
Happy hour drew patrons to its horseshoe-shaped bar. Later Ben Dimsdale purchased the restaurant and operated it until the closure in 1991 (and is now The Prince).
Customers could get a reasonably priced steak at Ollie Hammond’s day and night at 3683 Wilshire Blvd. Hammond was a refrigerator salesman but ended up owning a restaurant when his client couldn’t pay the bills.
Said one customer, “I was working across the street and would go in to grab a burger and fries to go—the fries were fresh-cut and salted in a brown paper bag to absorb most of the grease and keep them fresh and crisp. I think they made their own sweet pickles for the burgers.”
In 1926, the original Brown Derby restaurant was opened by Herbet Somborn, the year his divorce from Gloria Swanson became final. A friend told him, “If you know anything about food, you can sell it out of a hat.”
Lucey’s, at 5444 Melrose, not be to confused with Lucy’s El Adobe one block west, offered complete luncheons at $1.75 in 1949. Its authentic Spanish architecture and its celebrity patrons drew tourists and nearby residents to its doors. Neighbors across Melrose were RKO Pictures and Paramount Studios. Specialties were veal scallopini and chicken cacciatore.