Our Cafeteria line is currently closed while it undergoes it\’s most comprehensive restoration since it was constructed, having served over 170 million guests since Clifford Clinton transformed the Boos Brother\’s Cafeteria into a forest oasis at the heart of the Urban Jungle in 1935.
As the restoration continues you may spot some of its new residents being introduced to the fabled Cafeteria! Please check back for images and a sneak peak at wha tthe Brookdale Cafeteria will have to offer. When was the last time someone saw a bison on Broadway? Our re-imagined Clifton\’s will have many new residents!
We\’ve uncovered all the historic fabric that\’s been buried over the years and have found such treasures as original neon from the 1930\’s (one piece that\’s astoundingly STILL ON and is likely the longes surviving neon light in the world!) We\’ve revealed hand tinted photographs of California landmarks that also date to the 30\’s. And we\’ve found original finishes, nooks and crannies and an array of historic details that were last seen over sixty years ago. A grotto with hand crafted stalactites was found under a staircase.
By the end of the year we\’ll begin the facade restoration in an effort to give Broadway back its sense of wonder and historic texture.
Many have asked why we closed. The vast majority of the equipment and infrastructure dated to the 1930\’s through 60\’s (which created a wonderfully \”nostalgic\” environment in which to work). It did, however, create a health code and efficiency nightmare. A new Cafeteria Line will open in 2014 that takes advantage of modern equipment –while serving a healthy dose of old fashioned quality and comfort fare– just like you remembered it (only made now with organic and sustainably farmed ingredients). It will be the Clifton\’s you remember combined with the Clifton\’s you imagined and hoped existed.
We appreciate your patience and understanding while the systems are overhauled!
Many people also ask what will become of the Clifton\’s they know from their childhood and generations of patronage and wonder. What will emerge from this restoration is Clifton\’s \”The Brookdale;\” a food, entertainment and nightlife destination designed in the spirit of Clifford Clinton\’s original vision. All existing historic fabric will be thoughtfully and carefully retained– including the Chapel, the Waterfall and Brook (what would The Brookdale be without its brook?!), the Redwood trees and Terraces– the elements that have made Clifton\’s an institution for so many decades. Missing fanciful elements like the original Water Wheel, Old Tree Wishing Well, Limeade Springs and the Sherbet Mine will be re-created in a fashion; bringing to life the history Clifton\’s represents.
In addition, guests will encounter an entirely new world of wonder within the same walls. A historic soda fountain, specialty grocery, five distinct lounges and bars, a butcher shop and world class bakery– along with several surprises– will complement the existing Cafeteria in serving our diverse community.
The Pacific Seas, a Polynesian themed Tiki bar, will open in honor of the original Clifton\’s Pacific Seas that originally stood on Olive Street.
Built a full twenty years before Disneyland, Clifton\’s legendary Cafeteria served as the inspiration for many visionaries. From Walt Disney himself to Ray Bradbury, Jack Kerouac, Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Harryhousen and Jerry Leiber (who worked as a dishwasher in the basement where he had the inspiration to write such classics as Stand By Me, Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock), and so many more– Clifton\’s has left an indelible and unsurpassed mark on Popular Culture. Serving artists, families and a vast community of guests since the depths of the Great Depression, Clifton\’s has weathered good times and bad. It is our honor to prepare Clifton\’s for another 75 years.
Please check back on this page for regular updates and images of our progress. We look forward to serving the Southern California community for many years to come! We also look forward to seeing the generations of past guest explore the New Historic Clifton\’s as we re-imagine the wondrous vision that Clifford Clinton had so many years ago– to transport people to a world of imagination, dreams and whimsy– away from the troubles that we hope can be left at the door for just a short while…