Los Angeles loves a good makeover story, and this morning Clifton's Brookdale Cafeteria owner Andrew Meieran drew a crowd of about 50 press and pedestrians when he revealed the eatery’s long-hidden historic facade and talked about more nips and tucks to come.
The downtown landmark, which dates back to the Great Depression, has been hidden by metal grates since the ‘60s, and the removal of the braces marks the first step in preparation for its multimillion-dollar restoration.
Meieran, who owns the not-too-far away Edison lounge, also saw the facade for the first time today. "I have a feeling it will look a little like Rocky Balboa from the end of ‘Rocky,'" he joked, "with a swollen eye ? but a glimpse of hope to come."
The big reveal also marked Meieran’s birthday and the crowd serenaded him with "Happy Birthday" when the several-story curtain was pulled back.
"This is the first major project dedicated to the revitalization of Broadway," said Councilmember Jose Huizar, who has been spearheading the Bringing Back Broadway initiative, which includes the Ace Hotel, Two Boots Pizza, and UMAMIcatessen setting up shops nearby.
For the most part, Clifton's has been closed since September for its retro rehab, and Meieran said the soon to be multi-faceted restaurant will reopen in phases every about three months for the next 18 months, including the remodeled cafeteria debuting this spring. Other concepts include an organic salad bar and a mixology-oriented tiki bar.
Clifton's, which has fed 170 million guests familiar foods like pot roast and Jell-O, will keep its comfort food menu and kitschy charm, said Meieran, albeit with a few additions.
·All Clifton's Cafeteria Coverage [~ELA~]
— Jamie Wetherbe