A Final Tip of the Hat to a Hollywood Landmark


Valentine’s Day will bring heartache to Hollywood, where funeral services are scheduled at 10 a.m. for the famed Brown Derby Restaurant.

The landmark eatery at 1628 Vine St. was damaged in the Jan. 17 earthquake. Demolition of the restaurant, which has been closed for nine years, began Jan. 24 and is still under way.

The funeral at the restaurant site--on what would have been the Brown Derby’s 65th birthday--is being organized by Hollywood Heritage, a preservation group, and will include a motorcade, roses and a casket.


Decades ago, within the Brown Derby’s distinctive wood-paneled interior, Clark Gable proposed marriage to Carole Lombard, Irish mafia members Spencer Tracy, Ralph Bellamy and Pat O’Brien tippled into the wee hours, and restaurant owner Bob Cobb invented the Cobb salad after rummaging through the refrigerator to feed some pals.

“It’s ironic that Disney World just contacted us about building a replica of the Brown Derby in Tampa,” said Christine O’Brien of Hollywood Heritage. “The original restaurant here will now only exist in fantasy--and isn’t that Hollywood?”


PARTY’S OVER: Just when you thought it was safe to ignore the parking meters, Santa Monica’s curb cops are again on the prowl.

Because many parking garages were closed after the earthquake, the city stopped issuing tickets.

Temporarily. As of last week, the dreaded ticket-writers were back on the job.


SPIRIT OF ‘76?: State Sen. Tom Hayden’s announcement Wednesday that he will seek the Democratic gubernatorial nomination may have brought back bad memories to some of his fellow party members.

The last time the Santa Monica Democrat ran a statewide campaign was 1976, when he took on then-U.S. Sen. John V. Tunney in that spring’s Democratic primary.


After a slow start Hayden gained ground, aided by contributions and loans from then-wife Jane Fonda. But then Tunney attacked Hayden’s proposals for a “new democracy of participation.” Tunney won with 54% of the vote to Hayden’s 37%.

Hayden gave little help to Tunney during the general election campaign. Pollster and political analyst Mervin Field said last week that Hayden’s primary challenge to Tunney was instrumental in Tunney’s general election loss to Republican S.I. Hayakawa.