One of the most anticipated restoration projects in Downtown LA — the historic Clifton’s Cafeteria on Broadway — finally showed some very exciting activity that points to a possible opening date in the near future. Workers on a mechanical lift were seen over the weekend testing and installing new signage on the facade. Upon closer inspection, one can see that four blank white spaces are reserved for new signs that will be installed on the facade above the front entrance. Workers installed part of the new neon sign that reads “Established 1932” with a font obviously inspired by historic photos of the restaurant (see below).
Clifton’s new owner, Andrew Meieran (The Edison bar), took over the restaurant in late 2010 and planned on spending $5 million to restore and enhance the 4-story venue. Meieran will not only restore Clifton’s by giving it a slight upgrade and keeping the traditional charm intact, such as the redwood forest theme, but will also add multiple new bars on the upper floors. In addition, a former defunct bakery on the fourth floor is supposed to make a come back as well.
So why has it taken this long (4 years) to finally see what looks like the finish line in the distance for this amazing project? The answer is how many unforeseen challenges and surprises there were inside the historic building (remember the hidden neon light that’s been on since the Great Depression?!) that made the project not only more infinitely complex, but obviously more expensive. Those close to the demure Meieran know he’s a perfectionist who has worked his butt off to make Clifton’s a place all Angelenos can be proud of.
I can’t wait to see inside!
Check out a video taken in early 2012 of Clifton’s Cafeteria unveiling its dilapidated facade for the first time in decades! (click here)