Friday, December 23, 2016

More Monorail Cafe, 1999

I'll be heading out of town today, and will probably be gone for four days or so. As usual, there will be new posts for you every day, and I will try to respond to comments when I can. 

Say, howsabout some more photos of the Monorail Cafe? 

Decisions, decisions. Sure, we could sit at a table or a booth. Or we could sit at the counter. Now a booth provides just a bit of privacy, separating the diner from the rabble. It's the restaurant equivalent of the suburbs. But a counter is where the action is! It's all movement and noise and hubbub!  Plus you get to have one of those lamps shining down on you like you're the star of the show. Here's a secret: all of those table sitters are secretly jealous of the counter sitters. It's true! I read it in the Enquirer.

Part of the cafe's "retro" decor included photos of celebrities. Errol Flynn, Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh, Ricky Nelson (I think), aaaaand... gosh, they're getting pretty small... maybe Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn? George Burns and Gracie Allen? Lyle Talbot and Maila Nurmi? Alan Seuss and Ruth Buzzi? I give up.

Here's another view taken on a different day - I believe that Mr. X said that he popped in right when the place opened so that his pictures were not full of people. He loves people, he just doesn't want pictures of them - or to talk to them, or to touch them or hear them, and he certainly does not want to smell them. Other than that, they're great. Say, there are some pictures on the far wall, let's go take a flash picture of them.

So much for flash photography. Still, we can see four familiar photos featuring the Monorail throughout its history, and one photo of the Monorail's ancestor, the plucky little Viewliner.

Stay tuned for more pictures of the Monorail Cafe!


K. Martinez said...

Tonight I'm gonna party like it's nineteen ninety-nine.

Didn't get to party at the Monorail Cafe though. I suppose if Mr X. took the last pic at a slight angle instead of directly the flash wouldn't have effected the shot.

Thank you Mr. X and Major.

Nanook said...


Although these days I rarely dine at the counter (but I do, sometimes), usually preferring the "intimacy" of a booth or table; but I must admit I've spent many a great meal eating counter-side.

And you're doing pretty good on those photo ID's - Errol Flynn, (maybe) Troy Donahue-? and 'friend', Vivian Leigh & Clark Gable, (definitely) Rick Nelson, [and since I recognize the still] that's Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn, from Adam's Rib. From there on out, it's anyone's guess. Heck - they could all be poses of Ruth Buzzi-!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I vote for Ruth Buzzi and Sandy Duncan! ;-)

Gee, another swell place bulldozed, and for what? A lousy Lego store? I never ate here, but I did pop in just to check it out before they demolished it. The strange thing is, I didn't take any pics of the inside. That's probably because there were too many people in there! I'm glad your friend took plenty of pics. I'm also glad that I'm not the only one that took flash pics facing glass straight on. I knew better, but I still did it too often.

I see the Nixons "under glass." I wonder if that was a menu item?

Nancy said...

Super cool!! I would have gone to this place all the time! I was noticing the menus on the counter as well. Would not mind having one of those beauties. ;) I love the "hidden" Mickeys on the wall tiles. It always hurts me inside to know that so many wonderful places are gone, never to be visited again.

Thanks SO much for sharing these with us. Special thanks to Mr. X. Have a wonderful holiday weekend, David!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah (had to look that up!) to everyone

Chuck said...

Even with a low-altitude airburst directly over the Submarine Lagoon, that color night shot of the Mark III monorail in front of the Matterhorn is one of my all-time favorite Disneyland photos. The colors, the composition, the subject matter - everything is just right. I would love to have a framed copy in that size; I wonder who has that example hanging on their office wall today?

There is no way that photo could be updated today, even with yellow-painted subs, a higher snow line, and a Mark VII monorail, simply because the foreground has been obscured with the Nemo show building extension.

Glad Mr X thought to preserve these scenes for posterity, and thanks for sharing them, Major!

Scott Lane said...

I never got to see it as the Monorail Cafe but ate breakfast there nearly every morning on our trips when it was known simply as the Coffee House. Great to see how they lightened up the interior. I remember it as being dimly lit and full of typical 70's brown decor.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I miss the counter at places such as this. When traveling for business (and dining alone) the counter salvaged some dignity and gave you a straight shot to a seat. There's nothing worse than staring down a hostess/wait-staff-person alone and being asked "Table".

My first job (in high school) was at a J.J. Newberry (5&Dime Store/Google it kids)and all they had was a lunch counter (seating). The Thrifty's next door had the same.

My first real (full time)job was across from a savory spot called "Beefy's" (near El Segundo & Crenshaw). The wrap around counter was epic. First class view of the stuff crawling around in the kitchen. The counter does kinda elude to the quality of the fare. I don't know they had counter seating at Delmonico's but Biff's and Norm's sure did. Thanks for posting and bringing back some old timey memories.

Anonymous said...

My first job was a boxboy at Thriftimart in San Diego, and I always went to JJ Newberry's across the P-Lot for lunch. Open-face hot roast beef sandwich was my go-to meal.

Anonymous said...

@Alonzo P Hawk... +1 for mention of Biff's. Good times.

Great shots, Major. None of this is familiar to me, all during the years I couldn't visit, but still great to see.

Have a good holiday everyone. Best regards.


Nanook said...

@ Alonzo P Hawk & JG-

YES-! for Biffs. And does anybody remember Eggberts, which was located on the south side of Pico Bl. just west of La Brea Av-? Don't know when it disappeared (and the "great" internet is totally bereft of any info), but was probably opened in the late 1950's. Another lost Googie style coffee shop.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, Mr. X generally took pretty nice photos, so I can't complain too much!

Nanook, I was joking, I always choose a booth when available. I only eat at the counter as a last resort. I'm glad I got Spencer and Katharine right. As for Troy Donahue, I obviously didn't even hazard a guess.

TokyoMagic!, aw, Sandy Duncan, whatever happened to her? I miss her. Nixons under glass? What? I don't see them.

Nancy, happy holidays to you too! I always misspell Hanukkah (a variation, I guess).

Chuck, I think I've seen a larger version of that same photo in a National Geographic. Not the one from 1963, but another issue. I've looked for it though, and can't find it, so maybe I'm mistaken.

Scott Lane, hooray for 70's decor! Wood paneling, shag carpets, burnt orange, avocado, and harvest gold (along with white).

Aloonzo, there was a Newberry in Thousand Oaks, but it's been gone for a LONG time. I'd forgotten about it! I also remember going to some store - not Woolworth's, but something like that - with my grandmother for lunch, and we sat at a very long counter, which I thought was cool at the time.

Anonymous, it's funny how we remember little things like a good sandwich!

JG, I've only seen photos of Biff's, don't think I ever saw it with my own eyes. All of the old coffee shops seem to be closing one after the other.

Nanook, "Eggberts", that's a new one for me. Twain's, Norm's, Pann's… a short name was key.

Chuck said...

Major, not sure if it was in National Geographic, but it does show up in the 1969 through at least 1972 editions of Marty Sklar's Walt Disney's Disneyland hardcover souvenir guide. There are no page numbers, but it's near the back, opposite the first page of the Haunted Mansion spread.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Two more classic dive diners. The Hot N Tot in Lomita Ca

The Parasol in Torrance (or Seal Beach)