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Former Frank Sinatra Hangout in Culver City Gets a Surprising New Owner

The 56-year-old Dear John’s is as old school as they get

Dear John’s
Dear John’s in Culver City
Ricardo P./Yelp
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.

Culver City anchor Dear John’s is heading for some new, unknown territory after being sold off earlier this year. But don’t worry, it seems the legendary Culver Boulevard restaurant — long a haunt of none other than Frank Sinatra — could be falling into perfect hands.

First, some backstory. Dear John’s is a classic American chophouse that has lasted in the same Culver City location for 56 years. The place was first opened by Johnny Harlowe, an actor who was reportedly friends with Sinatra for years, and as the story goes Sinatra loved Harlowe’s cooking. He eventually convinced Harlowe to open his own place in 1962, and the rest is Culver City history — at least until this most recent ownership change.

A peek behind the curtain at the limited liability company that scooped in to snatch up Dear John’s reveals that none other than Ben Myron will be taking control of the property. If his name doesn’t sound immediately familiar, it’s probably because Myron has largely chosen to keep it that way over the years. Instead, he’s been happily in the wings at more than one historic restaurant property, including the 82-year-old Backstage Bar across from Sony in Culver City.

Myron also happens to be involved with La Dolce Vita in Beverly Hills, a true throwback Italian joint that has itself existed since 1966. Inside that restaurant, many of the photos and memories clinging to the walls feature one rather prominent musician: Frank Sinatra.

Eater reached out to Myron through both La Dolce Vita and Backstage Bar, but so far hasn’t heard back. There’s already an ABC license in the window at Dear John’s, though, and the paper trail leads directly to Myron, meaning it’s only a matter of time before things are finalized and Myron steps in to run the restaurant.

As for what that will look like, no one is yet quite sure. A call to Dear John’s confirms the ownership flip, but workers there aren’t sure just what, if anything will change. There’s talk of a temporary closure to clean up the place and possibly tinker with the menu, while leaving everything else, including the name, intact. After all, if anyone is likely to let the legend of Sinatra live on at Dear John’s, it’s Ben Myron.

Dear John’s
11208 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA