Remember the nightclub in "Swingers"? The Derby. Well, by know you've probably heard that it's in danger. The Bad News: The land was sold and the new landowners want to demolish the Derby to put up luxury condos in its place.
This building which dates from 1928 was once owned by the great Cecil B. DeMille. It is one of the original Brown Derby restuarants and the last one still intact. It is even more famous as "the nightclub in Swingers." Clearly, the Swingers team put themselves and the Derby on the "map." Like its counterpart, the "Dresden Room" - the Derby is a cherished piece of Los Feliz. Everyone loves it. Bet you do too.
The Derby is set in an elegant 100-by-35 foot room lined on one wall with six private booths hung with burgundy velvet curtains. Near the entrance is a heavy 1930 Brunswick pool table. Anchoring the center of the room is an ornate oval bar that saw service in the 1945 film Mildred Pierce. This is the drama in which Joan Crawford said the immortal line "People have to drink somewhere. Why not here?"--and for which she won an Academy Award. In those days, it was known as the Brown Derby, a favorite of many Hollywood stars.
The Good News: Save the Derby Coalition is fighting to save the Derby before we lose yet another reminder of old Hollywood glamour to the developers' wrecking ball. Our Coalition includes the LA Conservancy, Hollywood Heritage and numerous neighborhood groups in the Los Feliz area plus thousands of concerned citizens.
Thank you and long live the Derby!