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Brown Derby Restaurant

Vintage Brown Derby Photos

The Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood was the most popular renstaurant in Hollywood's history. Located on Vine St., it catered to some of Hollywood's most famous celebrities and powerful businessmen and civic leaders.

Brown Derby Photo1977 Burgess Meredith, Carol Channing and John Huston dining at the Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant on Vine St. 

Hermione Gingold photo1977 Radio commentator, Gregg Hunter broadcast his radio show from the Hollywood Broiwn Derby Restaurant, where he interviewed many Hollywood celebrities....

Vintage Brown Derby Restaurant photos

Vintage Brown Derby Restaurant Photographs & History

The website is the largest collection of Brown Derby restaurant photos. With photos of all four restaurants, all photos are available for purchase.

The First Brown Derby Restaurant

Angelenos have always had a fondness for whimsical architecture, including fast food stands shaped like hot dogs and drive through the doughnut snack shops. The original Brown Derby, a restaurant shaped like a hat, was the most famous and popular of them all. It was certainly the most eye-catching place to emerge on Wilshire Boulevard in the 20s. Located across the street from the ambassador for hotel, the Derby Leeward diners with a sign purchased on top of the crown urging them to “Eat in the Hat.”

Many versions of just how and why a derby was chosen have been...

More Vintage Brown Derby Photos

Without question, Hollywood's most famous restaurant was the Brown Derby, on Vine St, just south of Hollywood Blvd. . Actually there were four Brown Derby locations during the restaurants illustrious history.

Vintage photo of Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant

Wilshire Blvd. and Hollywood Brown Derby.

The first was located on Wilshire Boulevard and the building was in the shape of a large derby. It was opened in 1926 by Herbert K. Somborn. Three years later, due to the success of the Wilshire Blvd. Brown Derby, Somborn open the Hollywood Brown Derby,...

Brown Derby Restaurants Photos

Brown Derby Restaurants Photos

The Brown Derby was the name given to a chain of restaurants in Los Angeles. Founded by Herbert K. Somborn, he opened the original restaurant at 3427 Wilshire Blvd. in 1926 and remained the most distinctive due to its derby hat shape. With two years of success under his belt he decided to open a second Brown Derby restaurant, this time in Hollywood.  Many historic photos of the Brown Derby restaurants  and other Hollywood photos can be found on the website.


The Hollywood Brown Derby, was opened on Valentines Day, 1929, at 1628 North Vine St. in a building...

The Brown Derby Restaurants


Original Brown Derby

The original Brown Derby restaurant opened in 1926 by Herbert Somborn (a former husband of actress, Gloria Swanson). The building, located at 3427 Wilshire Blvd., was in the shape of a derby hat.  The fod was good and it was received very well by the residents of Los Angeles.   It served a few simple dishes meticulously prepared from the finest ingredients. The service was swift and flawless. The restaurant stayed open 24 hours a day, which was unusual in Los Angeles and it was a huge success. In the beginning, most of the Derby’s customers were men – actors, writers, artist, etc. It was a clubroom for the old Hollywood circle headed by Wilson Mizner, writer Gene Fowler, and the Barrymore brothers, John and Lionel. Other patrons included C.B. DeMille. Will Rogers, Mary Pickford,...

The Last of The Brown Derby Restaurants

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The last of the four Los Angeles area Brown Derby restaurant buildings — once on the brink of demolition but now a protected city monument — has been put on the market for $10.6 million.

The building at 4500 Los Feliz Blvd. is being sold by the group of investors that attempted in the mid-2000s to build 80 residences and a supermarket at the site of the famed restaurant. Neighbors caught wind of the effort, created the Save the Derby preservation group, and rallied Los Angeles City Council to save the building, which dates to 1928 and was once owned by Cecil B. DeMille.

The 14,000-square-foot building, now home to a Chase Bank branch and Louise’s Trattoria restaurant, was declared a historic cultural...


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The very best collection of Brown Derby photos can be found on the web site.  The collection was started, by Bruce Torrence in 1970, and today there are over 12,000 photographs of which there are more than 7,000 images on the web site.  These wonderful photos of the Brown Derby Restaurants show, not only, the exteriors of these four restaurant locations, but also the many celebrities who dined there.  Clark Gable and Carol Lombard, ...

Brown Derby Restaurants History and Photos by

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The largest collection of Brown Derby photos is  The name Brown Derby Restaurant was a popular name in Hollywood. There is the tendency for any person who does not know about the restaurant to think that there restaurant was just one. The name Brown Derby stood for a chain of restaurants. The first among this chains of restaurants was in the form of a Derby hat for men; and it was the first to be established in 1926 at 3427 Wilshire Boulevard, during the Golden Age of Hollywood.

It was the second Brown Derby restaurant to be established that...

The World Famous Brown Derby Restaurant

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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...

Brown Derby Restaurant Photos

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The Brown Derby restaurants are a major piece of history in Los Angeles that all lovers of Hollywood enjoy. This chain of restaurants was one of the most popular in California, particularly with celebrities. The first restaurant was located on Wilshire Blvd. and was in the shape of a derby hat.  The second restaurant, at 1628 Vine St. in Hollywood opened on Valentines Day 1929.  The other two Brown Derby restaurants were located in Beverly Hills and in the Los Feliz area of Hollywood.  Of all four locations, the Vine Street eatery was, by far, the most popular.  On almost every day or evening, Hollywood celebrities could be seen dining at the restaurant. It wasn’t unusual to see such stars...

Brown Derby Restaurant History And Photographs

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One of Hollywood's finest and most popular restaurants, The Brown Derby, was opened on Valentines Day, l929, at 1628 North Vine Street in a building especially erected by Cecil B. Dellille. Founded by Herbert K. Somborn, he hired Robert H. Cobb as combination steward, buyer, cashier and occasional cook. After Somborn's death in 1934, Cobb was made president and general manager. Shortly thereafter, he became the owner. With ...

Brown Derby Restaurant

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Most people think there was only one Brown Derby Restaurant - the Hollywood Brown Derby.  But actually, there were four. The first was built on Wilshire Blvd and was in the shape of a derby hat. The second one, and certainly the most popular, was located on Vine Street, in Hollywood.  The third was on Wilshire Blvd., in Beverly Hills, and ...