Lucy Casado influenced musicians, politicians and neighbors

| June 1, 2017 | 0 Comments

MANY POLITICIANS called the Adobe home. Former Sen. Bob Dole with Lucy and Frank.

Locals, celebrities, musicians and politicians went for more than the able-bodied Margaritas and homemade Mexican food served at Lucy’s El Adobe Café, whose namesake Lucy Casado died last month at the age of 91.

Lucy and her husband Frank opened the restaurant in the early 1960s across from Paramount Studios on Melrose Ave., and it drew rave reviews for its heart and warmth.

A glance at the Adobe’s photograph-laden wall shows its Hollywood and political connections. If there were a guest book, signatures of Mid-Wilshire dads and moms also would be prominent.

Jerry Brown dined here when he was candidate for the Los Angeles Community College District. Linda Ronstadt, who reportedly met the future governor at the café, was among a group of singers who frequented the site, including The Eagles’ Don Henley.

Jackson Browne visited Lucy in Good Samaritan Hospital May 2, the day she died after battling cancer, according to her daughter Patricia.

EARLY SUPPORTERS of Jerry Brown, Frank and Lucy Casado.

Born in El Paso as Maria de la Luz, (Mary of the light, shortened to Lucy), Lucy became involved in political fare as well, and community service has always been part of the Casados’ agenda. Fundraisers at the restaurant benefited St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, Griffith Observatory and political issues and candidates.

When a reporter was killed by police while covering a protest in East L.A., the Casados became one of the founders of the Mexican American Political Assoc. Frank frequently hosted meetings at the restaurant.

Democratic office-seekers from Tom Bradley to Hubert Humphrey dined at the restaurant (even a few Republicans).
When Frank died of cancer at age 66 in 1990, Jimmy Webb donated a baby grand piano that decorates one of the several rooms added on over the decades. The owners served the writer of “Up, Up and Away,” free meals until he hit it big. “They knew he would,” said Patricia.

Patricia started to work at the restaurant when she was 13, and longtime employees like bartender/waiter Ricardo Arias (45 years) contribute to the family atmosphere. Son James has expanded Lucy’s, adding the outdoor bar and more. A second son, Darryl, is disabled and lived with Lucy in her Wilshire Park home.

Councilman Tom LaBonge named an area on Melrose “I Love Lucy” square, an honor shared with Lucille Ball, of Desilu Studios across the street.

A Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated May 20 at Saint Victor Catholic Church.

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Category: People

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