Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Clifton's Cafeteria is Becoming Downtown LA's Own 'Museum of Jurassic Technology' - With 7 Bars & Restaurants

First, for those of you who are not familiar with  'The Museum of Jurassic Technology' - on of LA's great cultural treasures - here are several links about it:  California Through My Eyes, ArtInfo, and the New York Times.

Second, as Hayley Fox explains in her blogdowntown column yesterday, the present owner/savior of Downtown's historic Clifton's Cafeteria on Broadway - Andrew Meieran, has always seen Clifton's 'as its own natural history museum'.  That is why he will be preserving - and restoring many of the unique historic features of the building - and the cafeteria - and establishing a museum dedicated to Clifton's history within the building..

But what makes the Museum of Jurassic Technology  allusion so apt is Meieran's plan to - after restoring Clifton's, to then open six other venues withing the historic building - each of which will reference a different time and a different sub-culture of  Los Angeles history - including a 1950's Tiki Bar and a 1920's Speakeasy.

And here are the opening paragraphs of the article:

'I've always seen Clifton's as its own little natural history museum,' says owner
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012, at 10:59AM
Hayley FoxThe first phase of the renovated Clifton's is scheduled to open in five to six months.
 As crews peel back layers of Downtown’s historic Clifton’s cafeteria during the 50,000-sqaure-foot building's retrofit and renovation, owner Andrew Meieran says the space is a gold mine of treasures.

"The wonderful things about Clifton's is that it has the most incredible history and there's artifacts from every era of its history," said Meieran.
In addition to the world's oldest neon discovered in one of the walls, crews have found old playbills from the Orpheum, advertisements for cabarets, medicine bottles, candy wrappers and silverware -- all from the building's many reincarnations over the past seven decades.

"I've always seen Clifton's as its own little natural history museum," said Meieran, and he plans on highlighting these items in an actual museum that's being built inside the renovated space. This "history room" will join the seven bars and restaurants slated for the multi-level Broadway building.

“The space is going to be very, very modular and flexible,” said Meieran, and will include everything from a soda shoppe to a tiki bar. All the locations will be loosely tied together by Clifton's theme which Meieran describes as, “where science meets nature.”
“The idea is to go and not have it be themey but …its going to be stylistically interesting and unique.”

Meieran, who also designed and owns the Edison, said crews are knee-deep in construction at Clifton's, updating the building to current code and opening up a few of the floors to create an internal atrium space. The new space is scheduled to open in phases; phase one will open in about five months and include a 24-hour-cafeteria and a basement bar. The other floors will follow, opening in three month intervals with the top-floor tiki bar slated to open last.

And click here for the rest of the article - and to discover the long hidden ...secret plans .... founder Clifford Clifton had for the building - plans that even members of his own family were unaware of....

1 comment:

Adrian Brooks Collins said...

I tried unsuccessfully five years ago, to get Robert Clifton to consider renovating the cafeteria, and bring in an up to date men, to no avail. I wanted to make it a hub for the return of the red car and the string of pearls theater renovation. It's great to see that it's now finally come about. I love knowing what the future holds!