In my earlier put up concerning the gorgeous Egyptian Theatre, I discussed the neighboring restaurant of Pig ‘n Whistle. At the moment I’m right here to dive extra the story of Pig ‘n Whistle, its ties to Hollywood’s oldest Italian restaurant, Miceli’s, and the basic present I Love Lucy.

In 1908 a person by the identify of John Gage opened up a small sweet store in downtown Los Angeles, and named it Pig ‘n Whistle. In 1927 he needed to increase, and on July 22 he opened up a mix restaurant, soda fountain, and sweet store subsequent door to the Egyptian, which conveniently served the film goers by the use of a door that related the out of doors forecourt and the restaurant. The inside was designed by Morgan, Partitions & Clements (who had performed the beautiful El Capitain film palace) and have elaborate carved wooden furnishings that includes the restaurant’s icon, of a pig taking part in a flute. Quickly it grew to become one of many watering holes for film stars, together with Cary Grant, Clark Gable, and Shirley Temple.

Interior of the restaurant, which features dark rich wood covered walls, and a carved wood ceiling. On the right is a bar, on the left, curved booths.

The elaborate carved wood ceiling, and almost cathedral like stone work with a lighted niche.

A tile inside the restaurant that features an image of a pig playing the flute.

A large stained glass light feature featuring five different lamps that are made of multi-colored panes of glass.

A curved booth against a wood and upholstered wall.

Interior of the restaurant, looking toward the front, large windows floor to ceiling allow natural light to pour into an otherwise dark space. A stained glass light fixture hangs from the carved wood ceiling.

The side of the metal awning that reads "Pig 'n Whistle Restaurant" in neon.

Pig ‘n Whistle’s fame was quick lived, and for one purpose or one other it closed (oh, sure, it’s fairly open now, however we’ll get there in a bit) shortly after World Conflict II, which is when Miceli’s enters the story.

As you possibly can see, the whimsical furnishings talked about is not any the place to be discovered at Pig ‘n Whistle right this moment! So, what occurred to it? Effectively, when Pig ‘n Whistle shut its doorways, Carmen Miceli stepped in and bought nearly all the pieces he might get his arms on to furnish his restaurant across the nook, Miceli’s.

A green neon sign sits on the roof reading "Miceli's since 1949 Hollywood's Oldest Italian Restaurant"

It’s unclear what 12 months Pig ‘n Whistle closed, most appear to say it was within the 50s, which might imply Miceli’s had a minimum of some furnishings when it opened in 1949. However the level is, when Pig ‘n Whistle was no extra, all of it’s furnishings, all the way down to the payphone area of interest, went to Miceli’s.

Exterior of Miceli's, a tanish, red building with green, red, and blue stained glass windows. A green neon sign juts from the side reading "Miceli's"

Countless wine bottles hang from the ceiling inside Miceli's.

Rich red leather upholstered carved wood seats sit below a dark wood staircase, red and white check table cloths are on the tables, a black and white checkerboard floor is below them.

A close-up of a the carved wooden pig with flute.

A large sign above the pizza ovens features a chef cooking, and "Miceli's" in green script.

A carved wood case houses the payphone. On the side a small pig with a flute is seen.

Dark wood seats upholstered in red leather sit against a half wall with a bar behind it. A red, white, and green strip awning sits over the seats. Red and white check table cloths sit atop the tables.

A large version of the Mona Lisa hangs above a booth, except she holds a pizza. Stained glass windows sit on either side of her.

A green neon sign juts out from a tan colored building. The sign reads "Original Miceli's Pizzeria" in neon

Carmen Miceli was born in 1923 in Chicago to Sicilian immigrants, and fought in World Conflict II. After returning residence, he longed for a hotter local weather, and moved to Los Angeles, the place he labored as a waiter. At some point he served a girl by the identify of Sylvia Wexler, and the 2 fell in love, finally marrying. Miceli, Sylvia, and Miceli’s siblings quickly pooled their cash collectively and opened Miceli’s on Las Palmas Avenue, simply off of Hollywood Boulevard.

Like Pig ‘n Whistle, Miceli’s grew to become a scorching spot for celebrities, attracting clientele like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Marilyn Monroe, Sal Mineo, and Elizabeth Taylor, together with presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

It’s right here that at some point writers for the hit present I Love Lucy walked by. In passing by the window of Miceli’s they spied the chef tossing pizza dough, and thought it might make for a superbly hilarious scenario for America’s favourite redhead. Lucille Ball met with the pizza chef, Aldolino Formica, at Miceli’s Beverly Hills location (because it was nearer to Ball’s residence) and was taught sling dough. Formica can be the person who spins dough so masterfully within the episode that resulted from the easy stroll by Miceli’s, “Customer from Italy.”

Screencap: A black and white image of Lucy, who looks in awe as a man in a large chef hat twirls pizza dough inside an Italian restaurant.

Picture Supply: Screencap from I Love Lucy DVD

Formica was an Italian immigrant who arrived in the US in 1952, and after working at Miceli’s, he went on to open his personal restaurant, Aldolino’s in Azuza. Whereas Formica handed away in 1994, the restaurant continues to be owned and operated by his household.

Now, let’s quick ahead to 1999. As talked about in my final put up, American Cinematheque had now taken possession of the Egyptian Theatre, and restored it. That’s when enterprise companions Chris Breed and Allen Hajjar stepped in and took over the outdated Pig ‘n Whistle. Because the outdated chain was now defunct, they had been in a position to safe the identify and after $2 million in renovations, they reopened in 2001, together with recreating the gothic neon signal out entrance. However, sadly with out their unique furnishings. Throughout a “Haunted Hollywood” tour I took a pair months again, our tour information took pleasure in mentioning all kinds of non-spooky Hollywood historical past, together with the story of Pig ‘n Whistle, and Miceli’s, and in keeping with him, there was an try and get the unique furnishings again, however Miceli’s declined.

Dine at Pig ‘n Whistle subsequent time you’re on the Egyptian at 6714 Hollywood Boulevard, or stroll across the nook to Miceli’s at 1646 Las Palmas Avenue, in Los Angeles.

About Us. Aldolino’s Italian Restaurant. Accessed: 7 Aug 2019
Bartholomew, Dana. “Carmen Miceli, founding father of Hollywood’s oldest Italian restaurant dies.” Los Angeles Every day Information, 7 Nov 2015. Accessed: 7 Aug 2019.
Cheng, Scarlet. “A Silk Purse Out of a Sow’s Ear.” Los Angeles Occasions, 26 April 2001. Accessed: 7 Aug 2019.
Darling, Michael. “Miceli’s 70th.” Uncover Hollywood Journal, Summer season 2019 subject. Accessed 7 Aug 2019.
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