LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Clifton’s Cafeteria, an iconic landmark in downtown Los Angeles, is slated to reopen later this month after a four-year remodel job.
The renovation of the piece of Los Angeles history on Broadway Avenue cost $10 million.
The restaurant, which opened in the 1930s, is slated to reopen Sept. 22.
“I personally came here with my grandparents every Saturday with my brothers and sisters,” says Barbara Jacobs, president of Kinetescape, the company that now owns Clifton’s.
Jacobs says the project is deeply personal to her and developer and Hollywood filmmaker Andrew Meieran who designed the remodel and bought the landmark.
“Andrew finds historic buildings and lovingly restores them. He somehow just sees something in the building that others don’t see and makes magic,” Jacobs said.
Part of that magic is preserving memories captured in photographs excited patrons are sending.
“They’re gonna be surprised that they’re gonna find their macaroni and cheese, all the turkey and the trimmings. The big difference is that we’re gonna have farm-to-table. We’re gonna have California-grown produce,” Jacobs said.
“I think that people are going to be awestruck by some of the changes,” said Jacobs.
They hope new generations will grow up with stories dining around the new Redwood that fills the three-story atrium and enjoy seeing acrobats dangling from the limbs.
But the owners say the spirit is unchanged as the restaurant that during the Depression charged only what one could pay is now hiring 10 percent of its staff from social programs.
“We’re not just gonna give people meals. We’re gonna give them second, third, and fourth chances,” Jacobs said.