Readers React

At Victor's Square Restaurant, it wasn't just about the food

To the editor: Thanks for giving front-page treatment to a Hollywood neighborhood treasure, Bill Gotti and his Victor's Square Restaurant. I found Victor's when I moved to the area 20 years ago, and it became my go-to place. Reporter Nita Lelyveld got it right: It was not just the food. ("Hollywood bids a tearful farewell to Victor's Square Restaurant," May 18)

A few years ago, electricity failed in the area and, stranded in the dark, I headed for Victor's. Candles were lit, Bill was serving up food, and neighbors became friends as we took refuge at this port in a storm. Bill made it fun.

I held birthday parties there and an impromptu gathering after a memorial for our mutual friend Theo Wilson, another regular. Bill made room for us, and after we were served he cried with us. When I fell ill last year, friends sent Victor's chicken soup.

If Cheers was the place where everyone knew your name, Victor's was the place where Bill knew your name and cared. What a loss.

Linda Deutsch, Hollywood

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