Clifton’s Cafeteria reopens Thursday

Clifton's Cafeteria, Los Angeles

Clifton’s Cafeteria, a mainstay in downtown Los Angeles since 1935, will reopen Thursday after a massive renovation that took $14 million and four years.

The restaurant was supposed to reopen Sept. 22, but owner Andrew Meieran and its operators decided to delay it a few days after a ceremonial ribbon-cutting Sept. 17 apparently revealed a few kinks to be ironed out.

Doors open at 11 a.m. on opening day.

We’ll let people who attend the opening give a comprehensive report. However, people who’ve gotten a sneak peek inside (Thrillist’s is one of the best) or attended the ribbon-cutting report:

  • A great many artifacts from the old Clifton’s have been preserved, including a neon sign that dates to the 1930s.
  • Many of Clifton’s old favorites remain (Jell-O and macaroni-and-cheese, for example), although they’re updated with a modern twist.
  • The restoration came with the blessing of the Los Angeles Conservancy, which ought to please preservationists.

The main website for Clifton’s remains rudimentary, but its Facebook page is often updated.

This is one of the most-anticipated openings in Los Angeles this year … or any other year.

Clifton’s originally opened in 1935 near what was the original western terminus of Route 66 in downtown Los Angeles, before the highway was extended to Santa Monica.

(Night image of Clifton’s Cafeteria in January by Omar Barcena via Flickr)

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