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It’s True: Hollywood’s Fabled 101 Coffee Shop Has Closed Forever Because of the Pandemic

Twitter rumors about the end of one of LA’s best diners, made famous in the film Swingers, are true says ownership

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.

Twitter was abuzz over the weekend with rumors that the 101 Coffee Shop in Hollywood had closed permanently. A slew of entertainment industry types from Jensen Karp to Patton Oswalt (who has nearly five million followers on the platform) shared goodbye stories and added to the speculation that the longtime diner was done for good, in part because Google now lists them as closed permanently.

Now, in a statement to Eater, co-owner Warner Ebbink has confirmed that the 101 Coffee Shop is indeed the latest permanent COVID-19 related casualty, ending a storied run for the famed diner. The decades-old space, which has been known as the 101 Coffee Shop since 2001, had acted as a backdrop to countless pop culture moments over the years, though it is most famous for its placement in the film Swingers.

“Because of the ongoing pandemic, the temporary closure of the 101 Coffee Shop has become permanent,” says Ebbink. The restaurant had attempted to pivot to takeout orders at the start of the pandemic, but hadn’t served a meal since early spring. Curious fans who tried to call the restaurant over the weekend for more information on the possible closure found that the phone had already been disconnected.

“This was a tough decision, but we believe there is a silver lining. It allows us to shift focus to Little Dom’s, which has become an institution in and of itself over the past 13 years,” the statement continues. “After almost 20 years of the 101 Coffee Shop, this closure defines the end of an era. We’ll always be grateful for the shared moments and what the restaurant brought to the LA food and beverage community.”

Ebbink and partner Brandon Boudet restored and reopened the 101 Coffee Shop — known for decades as the Hollywood Hills coffee shop — back in 2001, followed by a small upstairs bar at the Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills hotel called MiniBar in 2015. The group also owns Little Dom’s in Los Feliz, and recently opened a Little Dom’s offshoot up in Carpinteria.

The loss of the 101 Coffee Shop, meanwhile, means one less longtime diner around Southern California, though other attempts through the years to save Swinger’s on Beverly and the Googie favorite Norm’s on La Cienega have proven successful.