Hollywood’s Iconic “Formosa Cafe” Has Reopened! Finally, A Great Hollywood Story!

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The Answer Is “YES YES YES”! Hollywood’s Legendary Formosa Cafe Has Been Saved!

Finally, some GOOD news about Hollywood’s legendary haunts!

Here’s the great news about the future of the iconic Formosa Cafe, which shuttered abruptly two years ago – it was refurbished and is now re-open again!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here was the original reporting from the Los Angeles Times:

“The Formosa Cafe, a legendary celebrity haunt dating to Hollywood’s Golden Age, will reopen next year under management by local bar operators who specialize in reviving historic properties.

Humphrey Bogart enjoyed his scotch and Frank Sinatra reputedly pined over Ava Gardner at the Formosa in West Hollywood, which closed in December.

Los Angeles bar operator 1933 Group has leased the red-and-black, Asian-themed establishment and vow to revive its historic flair.

“We want to bring it back to its heydays of the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s,” said Dmitry Liberman, co-owner of 1933 Group.”

Well, those updates have been done, and the Formosa is now open again, looking better than ever…

formosa-cafe-closed

Hollywood’s Legendary Formosa Cafe!

Here’s the history of the restaurant, according to wikipedia:

“The Formosa was founded in 1925 by 1920s prize-fighter Jimmy Bernstein. Bernstein operated his establishment initially in a Red Car trolley located just east of The Lot Studios.

formosacafe

Generations of movie stars such as Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable have eaten meals at The Formosa. Frank Sinatra is reputed to have spent many nights at the Formosa in the 1950s, pining over Ava Gardner.

In the 1991, the restaurant was threatened with demolition when its lease expired as plans evolved for, first, The Lot, the soon-to-be renamed Warner Bros studio lot parking lot, and later what would become The Lot shopping center. Due to concerted citizen and preservationist efforts, the restaurant was preserved in its present location as a landmark.”

Unfortunately, that didn’t help save this landmark, which was used brilliantly in the film “LA Confidential.”

formosa-cafe-al-confidential-scene

In that classic scene, Guy Pearce confronts Lana Turner in the bar, thinking she is a prostitute “cut” to look like a movie star…

la-confidential-formosa-2

This scene was shot at The Formosa, so at least we will always be able to go back one more time to see this classic location…because it has been designated a historic landmark, the building may not be at risk, but a ill-advised interior remodel had destroyed much of what made the space unique…we’ll see what happens now that the new owners have carte blanche to turn it around…

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Destroying Hollywood’s Past…

This was just the latest example of a classic Hollywood institution closing its doors…in 2015, Dominick’s in West Hollywood closed up, to be reopened as just another generic LA restaurant…

Dominick's Hollywood landmark

Here’s a look at that legendary celebrity haunt:


https://johnrieber.com/2015/12/15/destroying-hollywoods-soul-goodbye-dominicks-vintage-los-angeles-alison-martino-fights-to-save-tinseltowns-iconic-past/

Luckily, the Formosa has dodged that bullet…so make sure to get in and enjoy the new digs!

You can still see other landmark Hollywood locations of course, like Hollywood’s “Hightower” apartment…

Hollywood Hightower building

This location has been used in many films, see them here:

https://johnrieber.com/2014/09/14/hollywoods-hightower-movie-past-vintage-los-angeles-climbs-these-legendary-stairs/

Looking forward to eating soon at the newly revitalized Formosa Cafe!

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Categories: Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Food, food blog, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Recipes, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized

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8 replies

  1. Thanks for the update, John. Great to hear that it has been saved.
    Best wishes, Pete.

Trackbacks

  1. Lana Turner’s Mobster Mystery! A Beverly Hills Mystery & Scandal! The House Still Stands Today! – johnrieber
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  3. Another Hollywood Landmark At Risk! The Warner Hollywood Theater – An Inside Look! – johnrieber
  4. The Legendary “Nate ‘n Al” Beverly Hills Deli – Has It Been Sold? Will City Step Up To Save It? – johnrieber
  5. Hollywood’s Legendary Musso & Frank! 100 Years And Still Growing! Celebrate Tinseltown’s Best Martini! – johnrieber
  6. The “Beverly Hillbillies” Mansion Has A Fire Sale! $350-Million Price Tag Slashed! – johnrieber
  7. Hollywood’s Legendary Musso & Frank Gets A Star On The Walk Of Fame! Iconic Restaurant’s 100th Birthday Celebration Is On! – johnrieber

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