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Brown Derby, Los Angeles, California

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Hollywood Brown Derby

The Brown Derby was the name of a chain of restaurants in Los Angeles, California. The first and most famous of these was shaped like a man's derby hat, an iconic image that became synonymous with the Golden Age of Hollywood. It was opened by Wilson Mizner.

The second Brown Derby, which opened on Valentine's Day 1929 at 1628 North Vine Street in Hollywood, was the branch that played the greater part in Hollywood history. Due to its proximity to movie studios, it became the place to do deals and be seen. Clark Gable is said to have proposed to Carole Lombard there.

Over a lunch at the Hollywood Brown Derby in May 1942, Gordon McDonell and his wife Margaret discussed a story idea with director Alfred Hitchcock they'd titled "Uncle Charlie". The story was subsequently developed into Shadow of a Doubt (1943).

In 1957, actor Miles Mander, who worked on several early films with Hitchcock, died of a heart attack in one of the Brown Derby restaurants.

After the Hollywood Brown Derby was largely destroyed by fire in 1987, the restaurant was closed. The building was subsequently demolished.

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Former location of the Brown Derby at 1628 Vine Street:

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Notes & References