Greetings from your friendly historic Los Angeles sightseeing tour company, now offering digital programming until we can again organize groups to gather and explore the city we love.
Last night, a post on Reddit alerted us to the shocking possibility that Greenblatt’s Deli was about to turn off the lights after 95 years of service on Sunset Boulevard. This afternoon, the Hollywood Reporter and Eater L.A. confirmed the heartbreaking news.
We can sympathize with Jeff Kavin not wanting to make a big fuss. His dad died last March, and it must be exhausting trying to keep the business operating to such high standards through grief and the pandemic. We were lucky to have Greenblatt’s for so long.
If you’re anywhere near Hollywood, you can still visit Greenblatt’s in the next few hours, to have a nosh, buy a bottle of wine, express your love to the staff or just pay your respects to a Los Angeles treasure.
We’ll leave you with our list of twelve reasons we love Greenblatt's, and invite you to share your reasons in the comments on this post.
Twelve reasons we love Greenblatt's, which is closing today at 8pm after 95 years.
1. Third generation family businesses are precious and rare, and the addition of a serious wine collection showed how one can evolve with time and new ideas.
2. Convenient parking in the back.
3. Many delis serve lousy vegetarian food. Not this one.
4. Servers didn't skimp on extra seltzer for your egg cream.
5. Vintage Hollywood memorabilia on the walls that felt natural, not curated.
6. Late night service in a city lacking after hours spots, at least pre-Covid.
7. The stained glass lunette in the upstairs dining room.
8. It smells fantastic.
9. The people watching and excellent eavesdropping.
10. The gorgeous Churrigueresque building with its baroque details, elegant horizontals and ridiculous layers of contemporary signage.
11. Scott Fitzgerald spent his last dollar on a Greenblatt's Hershey bar before dying down the block, and nobody with a love for Los Angeles literature can fail to get chills when they think about that.
12. The chocolate black out cake. The matzo ball soup. The knishes. Oh god, this can't be happening.
Last call, Greenblatt's Deli, 8017 Sunset Boulevard, 8pm (last order 7:30pm).
yours for Los Angeles,
Kim & Richard
Subscribe! In the latest subscriber's edition of this newsletter—$10/month, cheap!—Remembering Pat Adler, History Detective: she sleuthed the mean streets of 1960s Los Angeles, in search of likely landmarks and treasures soon to be demolished—a remarkable archive reveals a city at once familiar and wonderfully strange.
Our pandemic series of webinars is now available as On-Demand recordings: Elysian Park • Victorian L.A. • Downtown Artists • 4th & Main • Llano del Rio • Downtown Treasure Hunt • Wilshire • Sunset • Fante • Art Deco Leisure Suits • Paul R. Williams • Saving South L.A. Landmarks • Birth of Noir • Storybook Architecture • Dark Side of the West Side • Hotel Cecil • L.A. Historic Preservation, 1900s-1980s • Architecture of Death • Crawford’s Markets • John Bengtson’s Silent Film Locations • George Mann’s Vintage L.A. • Pershing Square • Cafeterias of Old L.A. • Programmatic Architecture • Angels Flight • Grand Central Market • Ohio River Valley • Bunker Hill • Bukowski • Chandler • Black Dahlia • Dutch Chocolate Shop • Bradbury Building • Tunnels • L.A. Times Bombing and 13 Uncanny Crimes & Mysteries.
WANT TO SUPPORT OUR WORK?
If you enjoy all we do to celebrate and preserve Los Angeles history, please consider signing up for (or gifting) the subscriber’s edition of this newsletter, or putting a little something into our digital tip jar. Gift certificates are available for any webinar in our on-demand library (or for upcoming occasional webinars), starting at $10. Printed matter? We’ve got a swell selection of books and maps, some written by us, others sourced from dusty warehouses. For a wider selection, Bookshop uses the power of distributor Ingram to help independent bookstores stick around. We've curated a selection of uniquely Los Angeles titles, and when you order from these links, it supports participating local shops, and us, too. You can also click here before shopping on Amazon... & if you love what we do, please tell your friends.
AND WHAT'S THE NEXT TOUR? WHO KNOWS?!
We're dark until public health officials and we determine that groups can gather safely. But in addition to on-demand webinar programs, we've got 138 episodes of the podcast You Can't Eat The Sunshine free to download for armchair explorers, and videos of the Downtown L.A. LAVA walking tours, plus Cranky Preservationist videos.