Wilshire Brown Derby Restaurant Coffee Shop

A 1954 Menu from the BROWN DERBY COFFEE SHOP in Los Angeles, now long closed, has turned up on eBay. For collectors and those interested in the bygone days when movie stars frequented the famous Brown Derby restaurants this is a gem. bdcoffee
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See more scans of Brown Derby Menus from lapl.org:


Restaurant Cuisine City Menu Cover
The Brown Derby American Hollywood
Brown Derby American Hollywood
The Brown Derby American Los Angeles
The Brown Derby American Hollywood
The Brown Derby American Hollywood
The Brown Derby American Hollywood
The Brown Derby American Hollywood
The Brown Derby American Hollywood
The Brown Derby American Hollywood
The Brown Derby American Los Angeles
The Brown Derby American Los Angeles
The Brown Derby American Los Angeles
The Brown Derby American Pasadena
The Brown Derby American Pasadena
The Brown Derby American Pasadena
The Brown Derby American Pasadena
The Brown Derby American Pasadena
The Brown Derby Car Cafe American Los Angeles
The Brown Derby Coffee Shop American Los Angeles
Brown Derby, The American Hollywood

 

Opening of Desi Arnaz Western Hill Hotel April 1957

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April 1957
April 1957

ENJOYING THE FESTIVITIES at the at the press preview Friday night was Mrs Dolores Arnaz, Desi's mother. She watched the events of the evening with interest, and on being asked how she liked the new hotel, said. "I really like it. 1 think it’s very beautiful.”
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DS19570402.1.16-419w-call-248-1999-838-172DS19570402.1.16-402w-call-1061-1999-803-172

LT. OOV. HAROLD Powers, al right. standing, chats with Lucille 'Ball' Arnaz during the opening of the fabulous new Desl Arnaz Western Hills Hotel at Indian Wells. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bogert join in the discussion. Hundreds of TV and movie personalities and newspaper people were flown into Palm Springs airport, where they were taken by helicopter to the hotel. (Desert Sun Photo).

Desert Sun, Volume XXX, Number 158, 2 April 1957

Today the Desl Arnaz Western Hills Hotel is called the Indian Wells Resort Hotel

Frank Bogert Named Desi's Hotel Manager Desi Arnaz. star of stage, screen, radio and television, announced last night that Frank Bogert, manager of El Mirador Hotel, has signed a contract with Western Hiils I-odge to run his new luxury hotel which is currently nearing completion near the Indian Wells Country Club. Bogert will be managing director of the hotel—Desi Arnaz-Western Hills Lodge—which will be open to the public late in March AT THE SAME time, Arnaz announced that he ha* signed a contract lease with H S. tHanki Green, presirddnt of Western Hills Hotels, to take ever the operation of the new hotel. Green is from Ft Worth. Texas, where the main office of Western Hills is located The new hotel at Indian Wells will have 36 units completed in March, with immediate plans for another 30 units to gel underway this coming summer The hotel faces Highway lit, and Is harked by the beautiful Indian Wells Golf Course. BOGERT CAME to Palm Springs in 1326. and except for four years in the U. S. Navy, has held important positions In the community. He was manager of the famed Racquet Club, Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, Thunderbird Country Club and El Mirador Hotel. One of the most active civic workers in this community, he Is vice president of the Desert Riders Association, member of the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce president of the Desert Turf Club, president and publisher of the Villager Magazine, presiden of the Palm Springs Polo Association, executive vice president of the Palm Sprl ,gs Capital Company, and a member of the Naval Order of the United States Bogert resides in Palm Springs with hi* wife Janice, and three daughters Denni. Cindy and Donna.
Frank Bogert Named Desi's Hotel Manager
Desi Arnaz. star of stage, screen, radio and television, announced last night that Frank Bogert, manager of El Mirador Hotel, has signed a contract with Western Hiils I-odge to run his new luxury hotel which is currently nearing completion near the Indian Wells Country Club. Bogert will be managing director of the hotel—Desi Arnaz-Western Hills Lodge—which will be open to the public late in March AT THE SAME time, Arnaz announced that he ha* signed a contract lease with H S. tHanki Green, presirddnt of Western Hills Hotels, to take ever the operation of the new hotel. Green is from Ft Worth. Texas, where the main office of Western Hills is located The new hotel at Indian Wells will have 36 units completed in March, with immediate plans for another 30 units to gel underway this coming summer The hotel faces Highway lit, and Is harked by the
beautiful Indian Wells Golf Course. BOGERT CAME to Palm Springs in 1326. and except for four years in the U. S. Navy, has held important positions In the community. He was manager of the famed Racquet Club, Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce, Thunderbird Country Club and El Mirador Hotel. One of the most active civic workers in this community, he Is vice president of the Desert Riders Association, member of the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce president of the Desert Turf Club, president and publisher of the Villager Magazine, presiden of the Palm Springs Polo Association, executive vice president of the Palm Sprl ,gs Capital Company, and a member of the Naval Order of the United States Bogert resides in Palm Springs with hi* wife Janice, and three daughters Denni. Cindy and Donna. Desert Sun, Volume XXX, Number 117, 2 February 1957

1936 Headwaiter At The Brown Derby, Recalls His Experiences Serving The Stars

September 1936

Some Wait For Fame And some Wait On Tables

"Nick' Formerly Headwaiter At The Brown Derby, Recalls His Experiences Serving The Stars.

As told to Muriel Babcock

silverscreen-sept-1936

ALL head waiters have nervous indigestion—particularly those who work in Hollywood. But that's natural. By the time you take an order for a rare steak without any seasoning and a glass of grapefruit juice, for Suzie Blotz, one for raw vegetable salad with non-fattening mineral oil dressing forSadie Glutz, rush through a couple of lobsters for Gary Cooper, and get Papa and Mama Tourist satisfied with a 40-cent plate of scrambled eggs, you don't care much about eating. You have indigestion from trying to keep other people's digestions working well.

People are always asking me what movie stars like to eat. Why, I don't know. They are just like everybody else with their food preferences. Some like cold, some hot food. Jean Harlow likes sour cream and cottage cheese salads and always a glass of claret wine with a meal. James Cagney likes sea food salads, while Pat O'Brien enjoys stews and Irish bacon and eggs. Continue reading 1936 Headwaiter At The Brown Derby, Recalls His Experiences Serving The Stars

The Brown Derby scene in George Cukor’s movie What Price Hollywood? 1932

Constance Bennett in a scene at the Wilshire Brown Derby in George Cukor's What Price Hollywood?


Constance Bennett plays a star-struck waitress in a scene at the original Wilshire Brown Derby restaurant in the 1932 movie What Price Hollywood? The story line is loosely based on the experiences of actress Colleen Moore and her husband, alcoholic producer John McCormick.

The above clip opens with a view of the exterior of the derby hat shaped restaurant.
The following clip takes place on a set based on the interior the very first Brown Derby building that soon had to move to another Wilshire location  to make way for construction of the women’s village for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games .

A photo of the interior of original brown Brown Derby for comparison above ( Thanks to the commenter below - Link to Source).

. The Brown Derby initiated the use of phones for guests at the restaurant tables as can be seen in the clip below.

What Price Hollywood1932
Constance Bennett wears the Brown Derby waitress uniform.

Constance Bennett is seen wearing a Brown Derby waitress uniform in the movie. This was the famous starched bell shaped short dress that showed off the waitresses legs.
Florence Knapp a former waitress at the Brown Derby recalled applying to an ad, “Waitress Wanted,” in the newspaper for the position at the Brown Derby in 1936. The manager selected 18 women out of 263 applicants for interviews, and she was one of them.

“The first thing we had to do was raise our skirts so he could see if we had shapely legs, as the uniform skirts barely came to our knees,” she said.
"It was hard work, 5-1/2 days a week. The uniforms had to be spotless, and waitresses could wear no jewelry. They had to be polite and do everything just right because of the shining stars frequenting this famous eatery."

Florence was paid $2 a day plus tips which could be as much as $12.50 a night, more than a week’s wages ( ref: http://www.reminisce.com/1930s/brown-derby-was-a-hot-spot-for-hollywoods-elite/)

The Original Brown Derby

The  Brown Derby restaurant seen on the movie was the very first one in the shape of a derby  located on Wilshire between Alexandria and Mariposa  It had to move when the land was requisitioned for the women’s village for the 1932 L.A. Olympic Games. So the  Brown Derby moved to a temporary location at 3927 Wilshire (photo: http://bit.ly/1thC7Fg) until a new hat shaped building was constructed at the famous location at Wilshire and Alexandria next to the Gaylord. The original site of the first Brown Derby was later used for the Chapman Hotel (http://www.martinturnbull.com/?p=4788)
Recommended Reading
Two good books to evoke the era - must have for anyone interested in the golden years of Hollywood:

I Love MY Lucy by Desi Arnaz 1952

I Love MY Lucy
Screenland Plus TV-Land Nov 1952

"Lucy is quite a girl. She's been my
wife for ten years and I should know."

IT DOESN'T surprise me at all that so many people seem to
love Lucy. After all, Lucy — also known as Lucille Ball Arnaz
— is quite a girl. She's been my wife for over ten years now
and I should know.

Lucy and I have had a strange kind of life together. It's been
full of laughs — and some disappointments. But we wouldn't have
wanted it any other way. We're both glad, however, that a
certain TV show called "I Love Lucy" came along and was
lucky enough to be a hit, for it was this that finally gave us the
chance to be a family. Continue reading I Love MY Lucy by Desi Arnaz 1952