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Amelie Meieran, 7, listens to speakers during a press conference for the revealing of the Clifton's Cafeteria facade in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Onlookers watch the unveiling of the Clifton's Cafeteria facade in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

A look at the food trays at the Clifton's Cafeteria.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

A pedestrian walks by before the unveiling of the Clifton's Cafeteria facade downtown.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

A person looks out the window from inside Clifton's Cafeteria downtown.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

An onlooker watches the unveiling of the Clifton's Cafeteria facade in Downtown Los Angeles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

D.H. Clinton, previous owner and son of Clifford Clinton, original owner of Clifton's Cafeteria on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, stands outside the cafeteria.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Onlookers photograph and applaud as the original historic facade of Clifton's Cafeteria on Broadway is unveiled.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

Passengers aboard a tour bus check out Clifton's Cafeteria on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles before the original facade is revealed. The original facade was covered up in the 1950s.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

R.H. Clinton, left, and his father, D.H. Clinton, previous owners of Clifton's Cafeteria on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, are photographed inside the cafeteria. R.H Clinton is the grandson of Clifford Clinton, the original owner of the cafeteria. The cafeteria, under new ownership is going to be restored.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

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Unveiling original facade of Clifton’s Brookdale Cafeteria

This post has been corrected. See the note below.

The metal grates which have covered the original facade of Clifton’s Brookdale Cafeteria on Broadway downtown have been removed, revealing the long-hidden historic facade as a first step in preparation for its restoration. The original facade has not been revealed since the 1950s. This will be a steppingstone for Los Angeles’ Bringing Back Broadway initiative.

Updated at 3:54, Feb. 8, 2012: An earlier version of this post said that Clifton’s was the L.A.’s oldest restaurant.

See a then and now slider of Clifton’s Cafeteria

8 Comments

  1. February 9, 2012, 7:56 am

    ing from NY, I love everything retro and I have had an interest in Cliftons for years. If a health-nut vegetarian can find good things to eat there, everyone can. Sure, it's cafeteria food but the kitchy atmosphere and comfort-dishes make up for any shortcomings…it is worth the trip, but scope out the parking first as some of the garages nearby close up early…__

    By: Liz Lyons
  2. February 9, 2012, 4:38 pm

    A wonderful picture (yes, of our son and grandaughter) but we are completely unbiased!
    Gene Meieran

    By: Gene.Meieran@att.net
  3. February 9, 2012, 5:34 pm

    Always enjoyed going 'downtown" on the 'J' car and eating lunch at Clifton's.
    Must have been in that former 'facade', as I was about 9 or 10 in the late 30's.

    By: ancanc111
  4. February 9, 2012, 5:37 pm

    When I was a kid I looked forward to taking the street car downtown to Bullocks with my mom and we would always have lunch at Cliftons. After lunch we would get a prize from the pirates chest.

    By: gloria.hambrick
  5. February 9, 2012, 6:01 pm

    Those look like cinder blocks and not concrete blocks. I believe that the use of concrete blocks would have been a hazard, from the weight alone.

    Cinder blocks differ from concrete blocks besides their hollow design, density and weight. Concrete blocks are made from a slurry of Portland cement and gravel. Cinder blocks, on the other hand, are made from a combination of Portland cement and cinders and ashes from coal that has been burned.

    By: Steven Moshlak
  6. May 26, 2012, 3:31 pm

    I love Clifton's and can't wait to dine there when the restoration is complete. I'm all for preserving historical landmarks around Los Angeles. Now if someone is willing to bring back Schaber's Cafeteria on Victory Blvd. in North Hollywood and the Broadway Department store Cafeteria in Panorma City (now a Walmart)..I for one will be a happy Angeleno!

    -James (SFV)

    By: bangkokjb@yahoo.com
  7. January 6, 2013, 10:22 am

    I like follow up on the Clifton café, grand opening ect…

    Thank you

    Marisa

    By: marisa
  8. September 11, 2015, 7:20 pm

    I know the cinderblocks were put there in th 1980s

    because the building was not up to earthquake code and they did it to re-enforce the stucture. However, they only did it to the *left* side and not the right. Why?

    By: Malaysia Bowman

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