Thursday, September 24, 2015
Clifton's Cafeteria Re-Opens in Downtown L.A.: Don't Miss the Details!
The re-opening of Clifton's in downtown L.A. is one of the biggest events of the year, for everyone from tiki cocktail aficionados to historic preservationists to downtown revitalization advocates (ok, there's a lot of overlaps in those groups.)
Photos of Clifton's Cafeteria's wonderful restoration and re-opening after four years of rebuilding are everywhere. The stuffed bears! The rock walls! The giant tree!
The first and second floors will open (hopefully) this week including a cafeteria with much-improved food, seating area and bakery on the first floor and woodsy bar and cozy lounge on the second floor. Eventually there will be a tiki bar on the fourth floor with decor from the late Bahooka Polynesian restaurant in Rosemead, a sit-down steakhouse from chef Jason Fullilove and a speakeasy style bar in the basement, near the still-illuminated neon that was discovered during renovation and hadn't been turned off in decades.
"Edison" owner Andrew Meieran acquired the 1932 gem and has been laboriously restoring and redecorating for four years, but thankfully, he saved many of the vintage kitchen items that are now on display along with critters from the Natural History Museum and the giant tree in the middle of the restaurant.
Owned by a devoutly religious family since the beginning, Clifton's had never served alcohol, but a woodsy new bar on the second floor will now dispense classic cocktails from behind an antique bar with a burl wood counter.
When you go to sample a Moscow Mule and hand-carved roastbeef sandwich, don't miss all the period details that were kept and polished up, like the slicers, orangeade dispensers, art deco coffee urns and more. And don't forget to look down at tiled floors and ground-level dioramas, sure to be a hit with the kids. And finally, the jello. It's back, but in gourmet form, with lavender mousse and edible flowers this time around.
at 9:15 AM