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The World Famous Brown Derby Restaurant

            ** Click Here To View Photos **

If you have ever been interrupted during meal time by a telephone call, then you can blame the Brown Derby Restaurant. The Brown Derby was a chain of restaurants, owned by Robert Cobb. The original restaurant was shaped like a brown derby, which is considered by many to be an iconic image of the Golden Age of Hollywood.

The second Brown Derby restaurant was opened on Valentines Day, 1929, at 1628 N. Vine Street, in Hollywood. Despite its less distinctive Spanish Mission style facade, this Brown Derby, was the restaurant that played the greater part in Hollywood history. On account of its proximity to nearby movie studios, it became the place to do deals and be seen. Clark Gable is said to have proposed to Carole Lombard there. Rival gossip columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper are said to have been regular patrons.

Many of Hollywood’s elites and celebrities were “regulars” at the Hollywood restaurant.  It wasn’t uncommon to see George Burns and Gracie Allen, Douglas Fairbanks, Ronald Reagan, Robert Taylor, Dorothy Lamour having lunch or dinner at the famous eatery.  Hollywood real estate developer, Charles E. Toberman and his wife, Josephine had dinner there two or three nights a week. 

The reason you can blame the Brown Derby the next time your meal is interrupted by any sort of phone call is because Mr. Cobb had phones installed at the many tables so busy executives could take and receive calls while eating out. This was a successful ploy that brought a lot of business to the restaurant.

The largest collection of Brown Derby photos and images can be seen on the hollywoodphotographs.com web site.  All the photographs are available for purchase.

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