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"Old Palm Springs"

OliverB May 19, 2014 01:02 PM

I'm spending 4-5 nights in Palm Springs with my wife and looking for a taste of old supper clubs, continental dining, meat and martini destinations, mid century cocktail lounges, etc. Is there anything left of 1930s-1960s Palm Springs when it comes to food and drink?

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    moreplease RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 01:29 PM

    Lyon's English Grille is classic Palm Springs, I remember it being old in the 80s.


    233 E Palm Canyon Dr
    Palm Springs, CA 92264
    (760) 327-1551

    EDIT: Just read that they're closed?! Noooo...... The website is still up, but some Yelpers are claiming it's closed for good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: moreplease
      OliverB RE: moreplease May 19, 2014 01:55 PM

      Oh no!!! I actually knew about Lyons English Grille and am so sad that it's closed. I hope the rumors aren't true!!!

      EDIT: I don't think Lyons is actually closed. I just called and their voicemail recording is up-to-date and still accepting reservations. I only see two Yelp reviews making that claim but the website and Yelp page are still active. Perhaps they went on a Tuesday night or off-hours. Still seems to be in buisness, phew!

    2. m
      mikester RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 01:41 PM

      Lord Fletcher's is awesome ! Fits the bill perfectly for what you are describing. The bartender (sadly I forget his name) is a treasure, he will have your drink up on the bar almost before you've finished ordering it, all the while telling you jokes. And the bar is ... well you just have to see it. Food is fine, exactly what you'd expect.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mikester
        OliverB RE: mikester May 19, 2014 01:56 PM

        This is perfect, thanks so much - it looks terrific!!!

      2. i
        iOnLa RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 02:06 PM

        at the top of your list should be Melvyn's at the Ingleside Inn.
        next: Le Vallauris, owned by Paul Bruggemans.
        then: Wally's Desert Turtle in Rancho Mirage
        fourth is a classic Italian joint on the right hand side as you drive into PS between the Tramway Gas Station and Chino Canyon. can't remember the dat-blatted name but they had an RIP sign up when Harold Robbins passed away. classic, but may be closed.

        2 Replies
        1. re: iOnLa
          OliverB RE: iOnLa May 19, 2014 02:46 PM

          Thanks so much,

          I knew of Melvyn's (who doesn't!) and had Le Vallarius on my radar, but had never heard of Desert Turtle. It looks to be a lot more "modern" than the others and was opened in the 1970's, so not really mid century Palm Springs, but I'll add it to the considerations.

          Is the Italian restaurant that you were thinking of called "Johnny Costa's Ristorante" by chance? I'd love to know the name of it, if not!

          Thanks again.

          Edit: There's also Nicolino's (is that the one?) but it looks more like cheap 1980's decor than swanky post-war Palm Springs Vacationland. I see numerous flat screen TVs surrounding the bar which is a definite deal-killer for me.

          1. re: OliverB
            iOnLa RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 03:10 PM

            yes, Johnny Costa's sounds right.

            and if you're seeking Continental, then you need to check out Wally's. less cool rat pack, more country club, but still swinging.

        2. m
          mc michael RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 02:11 PM

          I seem to recall a good restaurant at La Quinta Country Club.
          Morgan's, I think.

          1. smatbrat RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 03:15 PM

            Melvins. Nothing else touches it. Also, let me know if you want the opposite recommendation as well. Something so new School

            1. o
              OliverB RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 03:18 PM

              Thanks everyone.

              Does anyone have any casual lunch recommendations in old/historic/architecturally interesting settings? Any old Mexican cantinas? I have Sherman's Deli on my list for breakfast; are there any other pre/post-war lunch counters or places of interest?

              What about mid century bars and cocktail lounges?

              9 Replies
              1. re: OliverB
                JAB RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 03:35 PM

                If only Sherman's original building was still standing.

                1. re: JAB
                  OliverB RE: JAB May 19, 2014 03:47 PM


                  Is this not the original Sherman's location?


                  1. re: OliverB
                    JAB RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 04:35 PM

                    No, not by a long shot. That's a strip mall location. The original from 1963 was a free standing Googie building which was originally a Huddle's.



                    1. re: JAB
                      OliverB RE: JAB May 19, 2014 06:49 PM

                      Oh wow, I'd never seen that Cody building... so sad!

                      1. re: OliverB
                        JAB RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 06:55 PM


                        1. re: JAB
                          iOnLa RE: JAB May 19, 2014 07:14 PM

                          RIP also Ken Kellogg's brilliantly original Chart House in Rancho Mirage, which burned down a couple of years ago.

                          I'll let PS'ers address your request for Mexican. All I can say is do not go to Las Casuelas—horrible. Blue Coyote much better even though it's not mc modern.

                          on a final note. Spencer's at the Tennis Club isn't bad, but the renovation of the classic Paul Williams/A. Quincy Jones building didn't leave much intact. don't recall if the oval swimming pool remains.

                          1. re: iOnLa
                            JAB RE: iOnLa May 19, 2014 07:16 PM

                            Yes, perhaps my favorite living Architect.

                2. re: OliverB
                  mc michael RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 05:11 PM

                  Louise's Pantry is definitely old school but it has moved to a newer location.

                  1. re: OliverB
                    JAB RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 07:21 PM

                    I like El Mirasol for a casual Mexican lunch. No significance to their building but, on a nice day, they have a nice big patio.

                  2. Wayno RE: OliverB May 19, 2014 03:41 PM

                    You may also want to review the California board, as that is the one that actually covers PS and its environs. Coincidentally, I was there this past weekend, but did not do any "old school" venue; I did love drinking options at the brand spanking new Ritz Carlton on the way into Rancho Mirage. Gorgeous setting.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Wayno
                      OliverB RE: Wayno May 19, 2014 03:45 PM

                      Thank you, I didn't realize there was a separate board for "the rest" of SoCal. I'll try that.

                    2. g
                      glbtrtr RE: OliverB May 20, 2014 03:35 PM

                      We recently did the Celebrity Homes Tour of Old Palm Springs and the tour guide gave some pretty candid tips for dining in the heart of the old town - can't remember their names, but the tour is well worth taking if you are spending time there.

                      They take you to the Windmill Market in Desert Hot Springs for the best date shake in the whole area, so this is a food recommendation as well as tour suggestion.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: glbtrtr
                        OliverB RE: glbtrtr May 21, 2014 10:38 AM


                        I have Shields Date Gardens in Indio on the list.

                        Here's the rundown so far:

                        - Melvyn's and Casablanca Bar at The Ingleside Inn
                        - Lyon's English Grille
                        - Lord Fletcher's
                        - Purple Palms Restaurant at The Colony Palms
                        - Le Vallaurius
                        - Wally's Desert Turtle (?)
                        - Nicolino's
                        - Sherman's Deli & Bakery
                        - Tyler's Burgers
                        - Pappy and Harriet's Pioneertown Palace
                        - Shields Date Gardens

                        And not exactly "authentic" but in relevant settings:

                        - Norma's at Le Parker Meridien
                        - Citron & Lemon Bar at The Viceroy


                        - Tonga Hut
                        - The Copa Room

                        1. re: OliverB
                          glbtrtr RE: OliverB May 22, 2014 04:56 PM

                          Take Shields off for their date shakes, but maybe interesting to see date cultivation. Far better off with Windmill Market - plus they have the rare dates for sale when in season.

                      2. justanotherpenguin RE: OliverB May 22, 2014 04:08 PM

                        Agree with Melvyn's and several others. Don't care for Sherman's Deli (either location). Suggest you check out "The Nest" in Indian Wells.

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