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Vintage Hollywood Restaurant Photographs

Montmartre PhotoVintage Hollywood Restaurant Photos

The largest collection of Hollywood restaurant photos can be found on Bruce Torrence’s website.  There are hundreds of photographs covering more than 50 Hollywood restaurants.  

Montmartre Club

For years, Hollywood was known for many of the countries finest and most popular restaurants.

In addition to the increased retail business on Hollywood Boulevard, several fine restaurants and nightclubs have been established. One of the most popular, especially with the motion picture colony, was the Montmartre Cafe. Founded by Eddie Branstader in 1923, it was located on the second floor of the C. E. Toberman Building  on Hollywood Boulevard, just east of Highland Avenue. It immediately became the Mecca for every celebrity in the entertainment business and as inevitably as night follows day, for the tourist who would stand in line on the street outside, on the stairway, and even in the Foyer of the restaurant itself, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite star and perhaps even get an autograph.

Large numbers of movie fans also patronize the famous supper club. Aside from dining on superb cuisine, the guests danced to the Montmartre  orchestra, into the wee small hours of the morning. It was also a place where many of Hollywood's most lavish, and often wild, parties were held.

Finally in 1929, the stars began to complain about being stared at an even mauled by the more aggressive fans. The restaurant company passageway through to than adjoining building and open the very private Embassy club where the cars could gather for their gala evenings with out being annoyed by the fans who made them stars in the first place.

Branstatter’s attempt to secure privacy for his celebrated clientele proved to be a grave mistake and brought about the downfall of both the Montmartre and Embassy club, because without the stars, it lost its appeal to tourist and without tourist, business dropped in the restaurant failed.

Clover Club

 Located at 8477 Sunset Boulevard, the Clover club’s four year existence began in 1934. Many top entertainers went there to perform as the Sunset strip gradually became synonymous with grandeur. Among them was a young man named Maurice Rocco, who managed  with considerable flamboyance, to play boogie-woogie on the piano, singing and dance, at the same time and all while standing. The small club had been raided numerous times for gambling and liquor violations, and this may have been one of the contributing factors for its closing only four years after it opened.

Musso Frank photo

Musso & Franks Grill

Musso & Franks Grill was originally located at 6669 Hollywood Blvd., and was founded in 1915 John Musso and Fran Toulet. They operated the small restaurant for six years, however, the partners didn't get along well, so they sold to Joe Crissimi & John Mosso, a former Olympic marathon champion. 

For a while, Musso’s was just about the only find restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard. The movie people came, and still do but without the glamour deemed necessary and other restaurants. It also became very popular with the local businessman and merchants. In need for more room, the restaurant is located in 1936 to 6667 Hollywood Blvd., where it continued to increase in popularity, due to its extensive menu, well-prepared food, and find service. Today, it is the oldest restaurant in Hollywood and considered by many to be the finest restaurants in the area.

Other Hollywood Restaurants

Other popular Hollywood haunts included the Hollywood rooftop ballroom at 1549 North Vine St.;  Pig ’N Whistle Café at 6714 Hollywood Blvd.; Henry's delicatessen at 7050 Hollywood Blvd.; and the Armstrong Carlton Café at 6600 Hollywood Blvd.

Clara Bow’s It Cafe

 In addition to the above mentioned restaurants, there was the plush It Cafe named for its owner, silent screen star, Clara Bow, who was one of Hollywood's premier celebrities. The popular restaurant had dancing and floor shows every evening. Located at 1637 Vine St., the famous club was popular with both local residents and tourists. 

Just around the corner, at 6160 Hollywood Blvd., was the toad in the hole, a favorite with Hollywood socialites. Other well-known places included Al Levy's Tavern,, Café Lamaze, tick tock tea room and Mike Lyman's Hollywood Grill.

Please visit the website to view vintage Hollywood photos. There are more than 12,000 vintage photographs covering over 90 subject categories. All the photos in the collection are available for purchase.

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