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Lucy Casado, Owner of 53-Year-Old Celebrity Spot El Adobe Cafe, Has Died

Don Henley, Governor Jerry Brown, and many others pay their respects

A wall of celebrity headshots inside Lucy’s El Adobe Cafe on Melrose
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.

Lucy Casado, the longtime owner of Melrose restaurant Lucy’s El Adobe Cafe, has died. Casado was not only the namesake of the under-the-radar restaurant, she was perhaps its most permanent fixture, and could often be found mixing it up with locals, regulars, and the many celebrities that frequented the place.

If you’re unfamiliar with Casado or her restaurant, that’s partially by design. The Melrose eatery kept a surprisingly low profile despite a history of playing host to endless celebrities over the years. El Adobe Cafe’s address across from the Paramount Pictures lot made it a beacon for quiet celebrity sightings from time to time — much like during the heyday of Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood.

Over the years, everyone from Linda Ronstadt to The Eagles to John Belushi to Jack Nicholson reportedly spent time inside the place. A 2011 profile on Casado over on Patch tells the full story of the owner’s life, befriending the likes of Governor Jerry Brown, Jackson Browne, and many others in the decades since opening the restaurant in 1964.

The 91-year-old Casado reportedly died on Tuesday night in her mid-Wilshire home, a decade after receiving a commemoration from the city of Los Angeles that renamed the intersection near the restaurant I Love Lucy Square. She will be missed.