Showing posts from February, 2015

Beverly Hills Most Famous Gas Station

As Burton Way becomes “Little Santa Monica,” an unlikely landmark welcomes people to the heart of Beverly Hills. It’s a gas station.

Originally intended to be part of the Los Angeles International Airport, the curved modern structure that looks like more like a spaceship or a ride straight out of Tomorrowland with palm trees than a place to fill the tank was installed instead at the center of Beverly Hills. Its red, boomerang-shaped roof is hard to miss, but for those who don’t pass by often, Jack Colker’s 76 Station is catty-corner to Beverly Hills City Hall and across the street from the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

As a child I used to love gazing at the station’s fluorescent neon lights as my parents drove us past on our way to Ah Fong’s or the Luau; It was like the North Star calling out to us from the future. Unlike most Southern California space-age structures that were popular during ’50s and ‘60s, such as Tiny Naylors or Ships Coffee Shop—two spots which exi…

Clifton's Cafeteria

(Photo taken by a total stranger! Thank you kind Stranger!)

Clifton’s Cafeteria is Coming Back to Life at Long Last!

The iconic restaurant’s new retro neon sign lit up Broadway this weekend
February 2, 2015 Alison Martino Architecture, Dining, L.A. History Add a comment

The once busting Clifton’s Cafeteria has been sadly quiet, closed for renovations for three years. Saturday night, the restaurant showed a big sign of life. Stephen Russo, a member of Vintage Los Angeles, tipped us off by posting a photograph of workmen installing a new retro neon sign to the page. Hundreds of VLA fans reacted by sharing and commenting on the post. Me? I bolted downtown to see the sign in person.

              Photo: Stephen Russo

I speculate Clifton’s owners moved now so that the beloved destination to be included as one of the top attractions during Saturday night’s Bringing Back Broadway event, which brought more than 30 thousand people to downtown’s theatre district. Seeing the iconic structure light up…

A Cast of Caricatures

Vintage Los Angeles is back with a new episode produced by the Ebersole Hughes Company! This time we take you inside the Palm’s west Hollywood location before their big move to their awesome location. I’m sure many of you have also been wondering what happened to all those caricatures that have graced the walls for over over 40 years. Well, VLA was there to capture all the excitement with Angie Dickinson, Mamie Van Doren, Shecky Greene and other dedicated customers!!  We also reveal the back story of the Palm with owners, Bruce Bozzi, and Wally Ganzi! Enjoy!

We were thrilled to interview Angie Dickinson who just happened to be there on this historical evening. I was even more blown away noticing our outfits were so similar!

With Mamie Van Dorren. Picking up her caricature on October 6th, 2014!

My father, Al Martino was one of the first caricature's to go up in 1975. What an honor to have it. As a collector of Vintage Los Angeles artifacts, this just became my most prize…