In 1995, Chasen's closed its doors after 60 years of serving chili to movie stars and visiting dignitaries, Presidents and the Pope. During its two final weeks, Chasen regulars (actors and ...
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In 1995, Chasen's closed its doors after 60 years of serving chili to movie stars and visiting dignitaries, Presidents and the Pope. During its two final weeks, Chasen regulars (actors and producers), staff, and management sat for interviews. There's an Oscar party for 1500, footage and photos of famous diners, and time with Tommy Gallagher, the ebullient head waiter until retirement in 1994, his son Patrick, catering head Raymond Bilbool, general manager Ronnie Clint, hat check girl Val Schwab, ladies' room attendant Onetta Johnson, and foreign- born waiters, including Jaime. When he started in 1970, like other Latins, he wasn't allowed out of the kitchen. It's a family farewell.Written by
My late father was in "the business" and I had some exposure to the Hollywood crowd in the 60's. I was never lucky enough to dine at Chasen's, but wish I had been. This eatery, along with Scandia, The Brown Derby and Cyrano's have all closed now, victims of neglect. The current clientèle are too health conscious to ever want the truly delicious fare and wonderfully elegant ambiance of a Chasen's. The closest thing we still have to such a place is Musso Frank's on Hollywood Blvd. I have eaten there and am very glad it's still around. You can enter that place and suspend disbelief: it becomes the 1940's and Boogie or Grant or "Stanny" (Barbara Stanwyk) might come walking in at any moment....or so I began to believe after savoring a truly fine vodka martini at the bar.
So this documentary did bring back a feeling to me and a longing for those times, my now deceased parents and a sense of loss of a Hollywood that had some real class.
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