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Edmonton Journal (30/Dec/1994) - Hollywood hotspot Chasen's to close



Hollywood hotspot Chasen's to close

Chasen's, the restaurant that fed the likes of Jimmy Cagney, Alfred Hitchcock and Humphrey Bogart, will serve its last meal next spring.

The 58-year-old eatery will close on April 1, developer Ira Smedra of Beverly West Square Associates said Wednesday. In its place will rise a shopping centre.

Chasen's was founded Dec. 13, 1936, after Harold Ross, editor of the New Yorker magazine, urged comedian friend Dave Chasen to get out of show business and pursue his true talent — cooking.

It opened in a Los Angeles County cornfield as Chasen's Southern Pit Barbecue and soon became a hotspot for Hollywood's elite.

Frank Capra, who had directed Chasen in a movie, was an opening night guest. Customers over the years included actors, presidents and Hollywood elite.

Chasen's wife, Maude Chasen, bragged in 1985 that she had entertained every president since 1936, except Roosevelt — and Mrs. Roosevelt came. George Bush, then a vice-president running for the presidency, got a standing ovation when he walked in one night in 1988.

Maude Chasen began running the restaurant after her husband died in 1973.

In recent years, Chasen's had gained a reputation as a watering hole for Hollywood's older crowd.

Maude Chasen is in her 90s now, and her daughter and son-in-law have been overseeing the restaurant.