Chasen’s memorabilia (and some furniture too) up for auction

Nostalgic for Chasen’s? Maybe a memento would help. Like maybe the ladies’ room door? Or a wall sconce? You can buy them, and many more salvaged items, when Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills runs its “Hollywood Legends” event April 11-12.

For those too young to remember, Chasen’s was the legendary Hollywood restaurant that closed 18 years ago. The original facade lives on as part of the Bristol Farms at the corner of Beverly Boulevard and Doheny Drive in West Hollywood.

Opened in 1936, it was a chili palace that catered to everyone who was anyone in Hollywood at the time -- Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor and, of course, Ronald Reagan.

Now, just think of it. You can bid on what the auction house is calling “remarkable artifacts from the Hollywood legend,” including Chasen’s dining chairs. Picture a post about your dining room on Remodelista. It could happen.

Wall sconces, serving items (maybe one of the huge platters that were once piled with ice and oysters and crab and lobster). Wooden shutters (less sexy, to be sure). Chasen’s Yamaha piano? Maybe not.


But what about this? A pair of two matching panel oak restroom doors with a brass plaque marked “Ladies.” Through those doors, the women’s restroom was the site of “countless celebrity nose powdering sessions” per the press release. This, we could have surmised. But the fact that Donna Summer penned the notes for her hit song “She Works Hard for the Money,” there and that the song was inspired by longtime Chasen’s bathroom attendant Onetta Johnson, that’s a surprise to me.

If shutters or dining chairs or serving platters or even that iconic bathroom door doesn’t float your boat, well, the auction has some other celebrity tchotchkes to tempt you to raise that paddle.

How about Marilyn Monroe’s Mexican tapestry from her Brentwood home or a “Wizard of Oz” test dress, though the latter does sound decidedly less glamorous than the ruby slippers. Harry Houdini handcuffs, anyone? Now there’s a desirable item. Or a Norma Shearer dressing gown from the 1938 film “Marie Antoinette.” And who wouldn’t want to toss Clark Gable’s “Misfits” script on the coffee table when Architectural Digest comes calling?

You can take a peek at everything at the public exhibition April 7-11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Julien’s Auctions Beverly Hills Gallery, 9665 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. For more information or to register to bid online, go to


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