Formosa Cafe

Formosa Cafe

The Formosa Cafe is a restaurant and bar at 7156 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, California that has a long history of patronage from movie stars and movie industry people. The restaurant used to be a trolley car. Just east of The Lot Studios (formerly known as the Warner Hollywood Studios, the sister lot to the main Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank), generations of movie stars such as Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable have eaten meals at the Cafe since it was opened in 1934. It is located on Santa Monica Boulevard, State Route 2, in Los Angeles, just over the border from Los Angeles (and a short block away from the eponymous Formosa Ave). Legend has it that Frank Sinatra spent many nights at the Formosa in the 1950s, pining over Ava Gardner.

The bar has been operated by the same family since its opening in the 30s. It is currently owned by the grandson of the original owner.

In the 1990s it was threatened with demolition or removal when its lease expired. Due to concerted citizen and preservationist efforts the restaurant was preserved in its present location as a landmark. Celebrity sightings are still common.

The interior and exterior of the Formosa Cafe can be seen in the movie L.A. Confidential. Other movies shot here include The Majestic and Still Breathing (Brendan Fraser has recurring dreams of meeting his future wife in "Formosa" - he assumes this means the island nation off China, but winds up instead in L.A., where he meets Joanna Going).

It has been described as an "unimpressive, brick-red building with white & black striped awnings, it sits in a particularly faded section of Hollywood, near the corner of Santa Monica & La Brea Boulevards - a corner where hookers have been known to peddle their services even in broad daylight." This is no longer true since the City of West Hollywood has cleaned up this area and the new West Hollywood Gateway shopping complex has been built in the same block.

Notable Patrons

The following are notable patrons to the Formosa Cafe:

External links


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