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Where were the first delis, coffee shops and family restaurants located in Studio City in the 1930s and '40s?
A few weeks ago we had a with some present residents of Studio City, who had a very limited historical knowledge about the best restaurants of years past , such as the , and
Now, we will go way back to eateries for kids, family restaurants and ethnic food establishments. I hope some folks who have an appreciation of things past, will join our discussion, by posting a comment at the end of my piece.
My specialist is a friend of mine, who is also an alumnus of (now ). He has lived in Studio City since 1943, and has a home off of Coldwater Canyon Boulevard. He is a North Hollywood family law attorney by the name of . Every few years, he and his wife host a reunion party at their home for the Carpenter Avenue School class of 1957. More than 100 school chums attend this affair.
Hugh and his family came to Studio City in 1943. Hugh’s father was a jeweler and Russian immigrant who loved to eat. Hugh has an older sister. Every Sunday Dad would take the family to a new restaurant in Studio City, and sometimes way out to Sherman Oaks. As a young boy, Hugh began to become a food specialist for lots of varied dishes.
Let’s start with the predecessor to . Yes, there was a deli at that site before It was called Farber’s Deli. It was run by Mr. Farber and his wife. It only had a counter area, with no tables and chairs. It must have not done too well, since Art made him an offer he could not refuse. In the middle 1950s, Harber’s was history, and Art became a work of Art’s for the next 50 plus years (53 to be exact!)
We seem to forget, that Studio City was a family town. Following WWII, many families moved to Studio City and purchased their first home. Thus many restaurants came to Studio City to service these families.
We had Harry’s Diner, which was across from the on Ventura Boulevard. It basically served hamburgers and hot dogs. Another family restaurant was Scoops, on Ventura just west of the Studio City Theater.
The best name for a restaurant in Studio City, was the House of Murphy. Hugh Lipton remembers it as a regular American restaurant, located where the is now situated at Radford and Ventura Boulevard. It died when the center was built adjacent to
Lipton remembers the Chinese restaurants to be of a special variety. Nicely kept up and known for good drinks, i.e. strong—not watered down. The Far East Terrace was located on Lankershim Boulevard, north of the present 134 Freeway.
Joe Woo was the owner, who was a part-time actor, and magician. The best known Chinese restaurant was outside of Studio City, in Panorama City. It was called Phil Ahn’s Moongate restaurant. Phil Ahn was a well known actor in Hollywood.
The chain coffee shops came to Studio City with on Ventura Boulevard adjacent to the Pat Galati Union station, and car wash. Tiny Naylors was a chain coffee shop. Many high school kids hung out there at night after going out with the boys or the girls. It was good reasonably priced food. It was taken down when the new center was built.
Across the street was the It had a 50-person food counter, and served a range of food. Kids would order cherry cokes and fries, and Gary Lipton remembers the first “plate of spaghetti with a topping of chili.” That is the only time he saw that that kind of dish of food. I loved to order their apple cobbler. It came with vanilla ice cream, and a creamy sauce to die for.
The most ethnic restaurant in Studio City was the Moskva Cliffs restaurant in the Coldwater Corners area of Ventura Boulevard. There were not many Russians in the area, and we looked at them as the “Communists” in that post WWII era. Gary went to the restaurant, but not on a regular basis. The building still stands today.
Many businesses patronized the kids of Studio City. We had a Kiddyland on Ventura Boulevard, pony rides, miniature golf on Laurel Canyon, where is now located. The Hot Dog Stand was doing business at Coldwater and Ventura Blvd, with its unique dog design.
These eateries were successful because of all the families in the area. Besides the public schools, , and were in the Studio City area. There were many types of restaurants to choose from.
Hugh Lipton, his sister, and Mom and Dad went out on average three nights a week. Hugh’s Mom liked the idea of not cooking, his Dad just liked food, and Hugh and his sister always thought it was a thrill to go out in the family car to a new restaurant.
We now have more chain restaurants in Studio City. The chain restaurants do a large business. The new restaurant, always seems to have a waiting line, and new restaurants always seem to be coming to Studio City, but some only last a year, before competition forces them out of business. The family restaurant is not what it was, and Studio City is not just a family area.
There are many young single men and woman, who live, work, or patronize Studio City. It is a community always growing and changing with the times.