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The Brown Derby's Long-Gone Neon Sign Shines Once Again Next Weekend in LA

One of LA's most iconic restaurant signs has found new life after 85 years

The Brown Derby sign
The Brown Derby sign
Museum of Neon Art
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

There are few bygone restaurants around Los Angeles more beloved than The Brown Derby in Hollywood. Not only was the iconic Vine Street restaurant a longtime staple for the growing community there, it was also a visual symbol of a certain type of mid-century restaurant — like the Tail O’ The Pup cart or East LA’s tamale building —that married form with function. The Brown Derby was a place for bowler-wearing folks to down cobb salads (it was reportedly invented there by owner Bob Cobb) all year long, and the neon signage that hung above the restaurant certainly made that clear.

Now, as NBC LA reports, a whole new generation of diners will be able to experience that famous neon sign once again. In a collaboration between The Museum of Neon Art and the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, a planned fundraiser on Saturday, August 13 at the museum in Glendale will offer a relighting of the 1930’s era sign, which hasn’t been put to real use in decades.

The party is being dubbed Hats Off to Hollywood, and will include other neon signs from days gone by, plus some food and drink and live music. Tickets run $40 for anyone who isn’t already a member of the Museum of Neon Art.