Clifton's Cafeteria facade gets new neon sign

Photo: Brigham Yen

Over the weekend, workers were seen installing and testing a neon sign above the entrance of the Clifton's Brookdale cafeteria on Broadway. The downtown landmark has been closed since 2011, undergoing renovations by new owner Andrew Meieran. The new neon sign reads "Established 1932" and sits in a row above the doorway where there is room for more signage. Downtown real estate agent Brigham Yen is excited by the progress he photographed this weekend.

One of the most anticipated restoration projects in Downtown LA — the historic Clifton’s Cafeteria on Broadway — finally showed some very exciting activity that points to a possible opening date in the near future….

Meieran will not only restore Clifton’s by giving it a slight upgrade and keeping the traditional charm intact, such as the redwood forest theme, but will also add multiple new bars on the upper floors. In addition, a former defunct bakery on the fourth floor is supposed to make a come back as well.

So why has it taken this long (4 years) to finally see what looks like the finish line in the distance for this amazing project? The answer is how many unforeseen challenges and surprises there were inside the historic building (remember the hidden neon light that’s been on since the Great Depression?!) that made the project not only more infinitely complex, but obviously more expensive. Those close to the demure Meieran know he’s a perfectionist who has worked his butt off to make Clifton’s a place all Angelenos can be proud of.

I can’t wait to see inside!

Others are less excited, fearing a total hipster-izing of the low-cost cafeteria that was a downtown mainstay for so many decades. But by now I'm curious to see what Meieran has done with the place. When Clifton's closed late in 2011, the suggestion was that it would reopen in about six months.

Previously on LA Observed:
Hidden Clifton's Cafeteria sign
Ray Richmond has a heck of a story about his mom
Clifton's lifts the veil on old facade
Clifton's Cafeteria closes for remodeling
Clifton's sold, will go more hipster

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