Celebrating Lawry’s 75th Anniversary

Lawry’s The Prime Rib opened on June 15, 1938 at the foot of what would come to be called Restaurant Row.  Last week, the restaurant celebrated its 75th anniversary with some amazing events.

Lawry's Original Location on La Cienega Blvd.

Lawry’s Original Location on La Cienega Blvd. in 1938

On Tuesday, the company honored its loyal customers by rolling back the price for a full prime rib dinner to $1.25 – the price of the meal in 1938 when they first opened – to the first 1000 people in line.  Apparently, the line started forming at 2:00 am. They served 1000 meals in four hours.

The Lawry's Experience

The Lawry’s Experience

It’s their spectacular carving cart rolled tableside that makes Lawry’s unique.  Invented by restaurant co-founder Lawrence Frank for the opening of the restaurant in 1938.  A new cart costs about $30,000 today.

Lawry's Carving Cart Today as photographed by Sven A. Kirsten.

Lawry’s Carving Cart Today as photographed by Sven A. Kirsten.

My partner Lauren and I were honored to join the family, boardmembers, and friends at a special evening ceremony at the restaurant.  There, I spent a few minutes with the remarkable Richard N. Frank who is 90 years old and is the son of co-founder Lawrence Frank.  Richard N. Frank guided the restaurant from the late 1950s until 2002 when his son Richard R. Frank took over as CEO.  Here’s a photo of me, Richard N. Frank, and my book “Classic Dining” with its chapter on Lawry’s.

Richard N. Frank, Peter Moruzzi, and "Classic Dining" with the chapter on Lawry's

Richard N. Frank, Peter Moruzzi, and “Classic Dining” with the chapter on Lawry’s

Lawry’s remains one of the great family-owned restaurants in America that maintains its traditions, character, and quality.  Stop on by and say hello.

Lawry's Saul Bass logo

Lawry's carving cart cartoon

About Peter Moruzzi

Historian Peter Moruzzi is passionate about the middle decades of the 20th century: its nightlife, classic dining, and architecture. Born in Concord, Massachusetts and raised in Hawaii, Moruzzi graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and later attended the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. In 1999, he founded the Palm Springs Modern Committee (PS ModCom) an architectural preservation group. In 2006, Moruzzi produced "Desert Holiday," a jaunty documentary chronicling the history of the Coachella Valley as seen through vintage postcards. He is also the author of "Havana Before Castro: When Cuba Was a Tropical Playground" and "Palm Springs Holiday: A Vintage Tour From Palm Springs to the Salton Sea." Moruzzi's latest book is titled "Classic Dining: Discovering America's Finest Mid-Century Restaurants" with photography by Sven A. Kirsten. Peter Moruzzi resides with his partner in the Silver Lake district of Los Angeles and in Palm Springs.
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One Response to Celebrating Lawry’s 75th Anniversary

  1. brt374 says:

    Very neat! I was just asking my friend about Lawry’s the other day when we drove by it. I had no clue of the rich history of the brand. Now I’m curious to see that cart firsthand.

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