downtown los angeles, historic core
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Clifton’s Cafeteria Installing New Signage on Facade in Downtown LA

Workers seen this past weekend testing and installing new signage on Clifton's facade

Workers seen this past weekend testing and installing new signage on Clifton’s facade

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

What looks like four slots are reserved for new signage on the facade

What looks like four slots are reserved for new signage on the facade

Workers were testing the neon sign "Established 1932" for size and fit

Workers were testing the neon sign “Established 1932” for size and fit

An historic photo shows the signage once installed above the front entrance

An historic photo shows the signage once installed above the front entrance

6 Comments

  1. faboomama says

    The anticipation is killing me. I hope the prices don’t skyrocket, though I know they probably will. I can’t wait to go back. It was a great after-school place to take my kids.

  2. I’m not in construction but shouldn’t they finish the facade before installing new signs? Or are they going for that urban decay look like the Ace did?

  3. Great post! Too bad LAObserved quotes the whole thing, top to bottom, and steals your traffic.

  4. I believe that There’s actually going to be 3 restaurants including Clifton’s. The other will be a fine dining restaurant on second floor and a re-creation of Clifton’s pacific seas restaurant on the 3rd floor. I believe he’s re-branding the whole project “Clifton’s Cabinet of Curiosities”

  5. Andrew, you may not remember but you bought me the first Manhattan ever served at Clifton’s four years ago, It was just after you got the liquor license from ABC. You had a small photo show up for Art Walk.

    You said, :Don’t forget to tip the bartender.” I said, “Of course.”

    Here to many more tips for the bartenders at the “new” Clifton’s. Next one’s on me. Thanks for a great job. – TK

  6. Virginia says

    So interesting that liquor will be served — that NEVER would have happened in those early days! Still going to have religious tracts on the tables too? And The Garden Room with Jesus praying?

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