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Any Clifton's Cafeteria Reopening News?

Clifton's in downtown LA has now been closed for it remodel since September 26, 2011, it was then planned to last three to six months, while the restaurant gets a new kitchen and a redesigned serving area. In February 2012, the remodeling process continued with the "unveiling" of the original 1904 building facade, with the removal of the 1963 aluminum facade. They estimated that the cafeteria would reopen in about 18 months. This is taking forever…..

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  1. Photo's of the Clifton's remodel..

    1. A building that old will have many hidden surprises I guarantee you. Plumbing, gas, electrical codes or regulations that may or may not have been updated over the years.

      If the owners are serious they will do it all from scratch to make it last another 100 years. Better to it right once and have to do it twice.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Johnny L

        Don't forget the concern with bringing old buildings like this up to current seismic retrofitting standards. This is a very time (and financially) consuming effort.

        1. re: Johnny L

          They did find a neon sign that had been sealed in the wall and had been left turned on for 70 years that they didn't know about.

          1. re: wienermobile

            The 70 year old hidden neon sign. Neon experts told Meieran it must be the "oldest existing, continually operating neon in the world."

            1. re: wienermobile

              this should be on the history channel or something

            2. re: wienermobile

              That is amazing! I hope someone is documenting all the things they are discovering during the remodel.

              1. re: Jase

                Geraldo is champing at the bit to open up the vault (Capone's?) they found...

                1. re: Servorg

                  It's LA so it must be Bugsy Siegal's vault.

          2. are owners same family since 1904??

            3 Replies
              1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                wow "The Clinton family's five generations[6] as California restaurateurs began when David Harrison Clinton came to Los Angeles from Missouri in 1888"
                maybe this is the oldest

                1. re: csh123

                  The Clifton family sold Clifton's Brookdale to nightclub operator Andrew Meieran on September 21, 2010 and has been under construction since Sept 2011

            1. Yeah, i walked by a couple of days ago and it was a little depressing seeing the building still boarded up.

              1. Let me know when you find out.

                1. Any possibility / chance in hell that Clifton's might reopen it's doors by July 4th weekend, when I swing back down south with the missus?

                  14 Replies
                  1. re: OliverB

                    Supposedly it's going to reopen on Flag Day (June 14th) this year (2014) but who knows what the reality of that ETA is.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      Wow, that'd be amazing... After 2+ years under renovation, I'd make the trip for Clifton's alone! I can't wait and really hope it happens!

                      Any idea whether they'll be operating under normal weekday hours... or what the schedule will look like? I'll rearrange my whole itinerary if need be, but as it stands, we have a Monday morning to fill. : )

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Servorg thanks for the info. I have found it very had to find anything out about opening dates or even construction updates. Please keep us posted we've all been waiting a long time for this...

                        1. re: wienermobile

                          what foods there are you guys most craving?

                          1. re: jessejames

                            Lime Green Jello with cut up pears - obviously. (g)

                            1. re: Servorg

                              is it like bluto going down the cafeteria line at faber?

                              1. re: jessejames

                                One scoop of cottage cheese (or it may have been a hard boiled egg) and one popping zit imitation, coming right up...


                                1. re: Servorg

                                  comedy gold
                                  cliftons sounds fun to me...never had the chance to go before they closed

                                    1. re: jessejames

                                      I went a few years before the close. I have to say the Twin Peaks woodsy decor far exceeded the food which was maybe a step above school cafeteria. Maybe.

                                1. re: jessejames

                                  Mine is the turkey dinner wit all the trimmings and creamed corn, and for desert cherry pie, I just can't wait for opening day

                                  1. re: angiestrada

                                    You must be my brother from another mother…right down to the pie.

                                    1. re: wienermobile

                                      oh, cherry pie, canned or not ????

                                      who am i kidding ???????

                                      canned is mo betta.

                          2. CLIFTON’S RENOVATION: The restoration of the 1935 Clifton’s Cafeteria, at 648 S. Broadway, is on track for completion by the end of August, said property owner Andrew Meieran. The long-awaited renovation of the four-story building includes several eating and drinking establishments, as well as a new name: Clifton’s Cabinet of Curiosities. The first two floors will be a restored version of the classic cafeteria, serving up comfort food dishes. Other options will include a tiki bar and steakhouse-style eatery on the fourth floor, as well as a butcher, a specialty grocery and a bakery, according to the project’s website. Meieran acquired the building in 2010, but the project has seen both substantial delays and a swelling budget. The developer is now spending about $7.5 million on the renovation. At cliftonscafeteria.com.


                            6 Replies
                            1. re: CharlesDarwin

                              With a $7.5 million dollar renovation cost won't they have to charge $88 dollars each for a Turkey dinner with gravy, stuffing and cranberries that used to cost $10?

                              1. re: wienermobile

                                As I understand it they are going to be officially named "The Clifton's-Hakkasan Cafeteria" with a slogan of "Where the cost of the Peking Duck is Peaking if you're not afraid of Peeking at the menu prices"

                              2. re: CharlesDarwin

                                Rats, so now it's August? No more June 14th?

                                I'm going to be in LA over July 4th weekend and was dying to go... is there any chance of just the cafeteria being opened by that date? Surely that's gotta be completed by now as it was undoubtedly the least effort of the whole ongoing restoration. I'll be so disappointed if it's not open by July 4th.

                                1. re: OliverB

                                  They will need a Certificate of Occupancy, and that is for the entire building as far as I know. Until that's granted by the city no one is going to be eating there, so I doubt it will available during your trip.

                              3. FYI to all....

                                I called Clifton's today (5-27-14) and was told the opening is scheduled for "late summer this year"

                                Let's hope

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: sbell101

                                  Good news thanks! Keep us posted. Chowhound event at opening????

                                  1. re: wienermobile

                                    WM, take JL's cue and set it up.

                                    That's all you.

                                  2. It will be worth the wait. And you have no idea what is in store for you

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: gregisroark

                                      Tell me more please……..Do you know an opening date?

                                      1. re: wienermobile

                                        Sorry, we have gone to great lengths to keep everything a secret. So anything you will get out of me will only leave you with more questions

                                        1. re: wienermobile

                                          I just want everyone to know that it is going forward 150% full steam ahead and you will not be disappointed

                                          1. re: gregisroark

                                            Ok…..but how about just an opening date to look forward to?

                                            1. re: wienermobile

                                              He would need a Ouija board and a magic 8 ball to come up with that information. The P's that B don't give you much to work with in terms of a "date certain" as far as I can tell.

                                      2. Please open soon. Clifton my favorite restaurant! Please open soon!

                                          1. re: wienermobile

                                            That's a misleading wish (since in written form we can't hear the pleading in your voice and this might be an announcement of joy!). (g)

                                            1. re: wienermobile

                                              If u t jonesing for a thanksgiving plate try greenblatts. Great dark meat. Gravy. Cornbread stuffing. Looking forward to Clifton's too

                                              1. re: jessejames

                                                The Pann's Turkey Dinner has been holding me for now…

                                            2. I must confess: the only appeal of Clifton to me is the fact that it's located in the middle of LA's jewelry district. That is, 21st century Ali Baba's destination. And I don't mean (with all due respect) the wholesalers' website.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: CharlesDarwin

                                                Surely you Charles can appreciate the concept of evolution in the history of restaurants. Let's wait and see how it evolves.

                                              2. Does anyone have a child I can borrow?

                                                When Clifton's re-opens, I'm all about The Treasure Tray...


                                                "At Clifton's we have a special meal for kids under 12 called "The Treasure Tray". It is well balanced and very popular, served on a special tray. The Treasure Tray features an entree like a chicken leg, spaghetti or beef patty with a vegetable, mashed potatoes or macaroni, and jello or pudding. Kids also get to choose a toy from our "Treasure Chest."

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: spoonlicker

                                                  i can be your kid if i can devour those three plate lunches.

                                                  1. re: kevin


                                                    Show up in your Angus Young schoolboy outfit, and I think we'll be able to fool 'em.

                                                    I get to keep the toy prize, though.

                                                    (And is it just me, or does little-kid food look like it might be the best hangover meal, ever? Booze ain't my jam these days, but I couldn't help but notice...)

                                                  1. re: wienermobile

                                                    it's open now ????????

                                                    W, you should be there then,

                                                    post as soon as you can.

                                                    thanks man.

                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                      No still not open. Just wishing out loud. Should of used all caps.

                                                  2. does anyone know where parking could be if it opens up? Just private lots?

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: csh123

                                                      Nothing to worry about. By that time, we'll all be traveling via our private PUADODs. (Pick - Up - And - Drop - Off - Drones).

                                                    2. Any news on Clifton's return? It's been almost 3 years!

                                                      1. Wonderful photo of the original exterior on Broadway in the 1930's

                                                        1. I love everyones comments...I cant wait either YUMMMMM!!!!!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: anim1030

                                                            Any updates??

                                                            I'm blowing back into town over the holidasy (December) and Clifton's tops my list!

                                                            What's the latest??

                                                          2. I'm afraid that it will never open