Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Iconic Los Angeles - Boardner's

Good Evening Lovelies, I hope everyone is doing well!

I've been lagging a bit with my posts and before I move onto any other topics, I wanted to finish sharing with you the "Classy Hollywood Night" that Bridget and I had two weeks ago.  I've already shared the first half of the night at Musso & Frank with you, now for the second half...

After a fabulous cocktail, a spectacular dinner, and a tour, Bridget and I took a short walk across Hollywood Boulevard to another iconic spot, Boardner's, for a few after dinner cocktails before calling it a night.

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Like Musso & Frank, Boardner's is a Hollywood institution.  Due to Prohibition, there is no real way to determine what the oldest continually running bar in Los Angeles is (as there were obviously no records kept of bars operating illegally), but this is definitely one of them.  While Boardner's did not start doing business under that name until 1942,  the location at 1652 North Cherokee Avenue has been serving drinks since 1927.  Crooner Gene Austin, who was known as "the voice of the southland" purchased the space and named his bar after one of his songs, My Blue Heaven.

After Austin vacated the spot, it became The Padres Club and then what was perhaps the first gay bar in Los Angeles, The Cherokee Men's House.  In the early 1930's, it opened as Morressey's Hair Salon which served as a front during Prohibition for a speakeasy and illegal card house.  In 1942, a young golf caddy from Akron, Ohio named Steve Boardner bought the space, put his name out front, and the rest is history.

While the back part of the venue is now the B52 Club and hosts different clubs every night of the week aside from Sunday, Boardner's is still one of city's (somewhat) hidden gems.  Just as with Musso & Frank, Boardner's has been a Hollywood Haunt for the better part of a century.  This was a regular stop for the likes of Errol Flynn, Peggy Lee, and it is widely accepted that this was where Elizabeth Short had her last drink before the fateful night she became known as The Black Dahlia, the victim of arguably the most infamous unsolved murder of all time.

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Boardner's has even created an incredibly yummy cocktail as a nod to this piece of Hollywood lore, appropriately named The Black Dahlia.  If you stop in, I highly recommend it!

I got a swirl and Bridget got a heart.  You know, 'cause she's getting married...

Right above The Black Dahlia on the menu is The Crooked Cop, a nod to the fact that our beloved L.A. Confidential filmed a scene here.  It seemed we couldn't do anything that day without it somehow being tied into the July Book Club selection!  While the bar still very much has a swanky throwback feel, before it was remodeled a few years back, it looked a lot more like Musso & Frank - dark wood and red leather booths.

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I truly love this spot!  As if the L.A. Confidential connection wasn't enough, there have been many other things filmed here...this is actually the spot where Nicholas Cage starts drinking himself to death in Leaving Las Vegas, and was most recently used in Gangster Squad, which I always wanted to see, but just never got around to it.  Another tie-in for the night was that Tim Burton's Ed Wood has a scene filmed here as well as inside Musso & Frank.  This should not be a surprise since the real Ed Wood, Jr., the man who is still considered by many to be the worst filmmaker of all time, frequented Boardner's throughout his lifetime.

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After a truly fabulous time, we finished the night off with Sparkling cocktails, ordered our Uber, and headed back home.

If you ever find yourselves close to the intersection of Cherokee and Hollywood, I suggest dinner at Musso & Frank and drinks at Boardner's.  I guarantee you will not be disappointed with your Old Hollywood Night!

Cheers, Lovelies!!  

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