Saturday, June 3, 2006

Mark Your Calendars: Rate-A-Restaurant 100 at Cole's!

Celebrate the 100th review on Franklin Avenue's Rate-A-Restaurant!

SATURDAY, JUNE 10, 2006 -- 3 P.M.

Cole's P.E. Buffet

118 East 6th Street
Los Angeles, California, 90014
Historic Core District

RSVP to mikemaria(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

Cole's is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Los Angeles, and the birthplace of the French Dip sandwich. Some history, from Cole's website:

In 1905, the Pacific Electric Building was completed. At ten stories, the new building was the tallest business building west of the Mississippi. It wasn't until the mid-20 that it lost it's title to the buildings one block east in the booming financial district. The building served as the main terminal for the Pacific Electric Railway 'Big Red Cars' and eventually became the largest inter-urban Electric Rail System in the world. Later, the System was purchased by companies with interest in the automobile industry and eventually dismantled.

In 1908, Henry Cole took over a terminal for horse-drawn streetcars that the 'Big Red Cars' were putting out of business, sprinkled some sawdust on the floor and opened Cole's P.E. Buffet. To attract the Red Car commuters, Cole commissioned 3 Tiffany Co. glass lampshades and hung them over a massive I mahogany bar and built tables from the sides of the old horse-drawn trolley cars. Signs behind the bar which still hang there today read: " AVOID SINFUL ENTERPRISES," "WE DO' NOT EXTEND CREDIT TO STOCKBROKERS" and "LADIES, KINDLY DO YOUR SOLICITING DISCREETLY."

Cole's became a hangout for stockbrokers, cops, bankers, attorneys, reporters, politicians and even world class prizefighters. Cole's regulars even included gangsters like Mickey Cohen (who's own private table still stands in the back corner) and, when he came in from the desert, Walter Scott, known as Death Valley Scotty.

Not long after opening Cole's, in the summer of 1908, a fellow came in and asked Jack Garlinghouse, the chef at the time, if he would dip the sandwich bun into the juice of the meat explaining the buns were too hard on his gums. Jack, being the adventurous chef that he was, did so, and gave the man a 'dipped' sandwich. Pretty soon the sandwich caught on and everyone was asking Jack for a 'Dip Sandwich'.

Please come and join us, meet other bloggers (and blog readers) and perhaps even ask Blogger Baby for his lotto picks. We'll see you next Saturday, June 10!

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