1930s: NEVER DOUBT YOURSELF
In 1931 a California bungalow house across Western Avenue at 1121 became available and against the advice of almost everyone my Dad bought it and moved El Cholo. That was a big time move at the time and that story more than any other has been an inspiration to always be looking ahead to get better and not doubt yourself. The living room, dining room and the 2 bedrooms became the dining rooms. The kitchen obviously the new kitchen. As a result there was no where for people to wait so they formed a line down walkway and then turning along the sidewalk on Western. This was the best advertising ever. My dad then purchased the vacant lot next door for $2500, putting gravel over it for a parking lot. The only problem was that it was so narrow that anyone entering had to wait for someone to pull out onto Western before they could pull in. On occasion Perez Prado, also known as the “mambo king” would pull his Cadillac convertible and park it in the middle of the lot. Then no one could pull in or out. He also stood about 5’2” and always has very statuesque Latin women with him. Western Avenue derived its name as it was the western boundary of the city of Los Angeles. Now a days it is almost considered downtown. Downtown also contained ALL of the retail stores. Shopping always meant going downtown. I remember the first “shopping mall” not downtown. It was revolutionary. The 10th Olympic Games also came to Los Angeles in 1932. 10th Street which was a block the north was renamed Olympic Blvd. in its honor. Crime, homelessness and so many current problems barely existed at the time. It was in the new home that a friend if my Dad’s who worked at Weber Showcase designed and has constructed the famous high back wooden ( oak ) booths that became part of our trademark. In those days restaurant equipment companies did not exist so my Dad invented a cheese melting oven far superior to any made today as he lined it with bricks causing it also the take on some of the benefits of an oven. A new company, Hobart equipment, invited my Dad down to see if their new chopping machine had any benefits for him. When the original items didn’t work out my Dad went to the market brought onions (which we laboriously cut by hand) and raw beef for hamburgers, and found the machine was a god send. We had four male waiters. They would come to the dining room with a full tray of hot food in each hand. Would bus their own tables and wax the floors, cleaned the rest rooms, cut the butter in pats and chopped ice for drinking glasses from big blocks of ice that the ice man delivered daily.