Roland West tried putting what was Thelma Todd's sidewalk Café up for sale. It didn't sell. From THE LOS ANGELES TIMES Sept 2nd, 1951.
Posted on the "Thelma Todd Fans" group on facebook.
FABULOUS Chez Roland This is the most fantastic deal ever presented in combined business & Income. This world-famous, world-famous, world-famous, fully equipped luxury restaurant & bar on 101 hiway, 1 blk N. of Sunset! Blvd. is being offered PLUS 4 luxiurious penthouse type apts. above, overlooking surf &. sea. 12.500 sq.' ft. or incomparable const. Building covers 300 ft. of priceless business property on ocean front in L.A. city limits, complete duplication cost today would exceed S400.000.' Owner too ill to operate & has slashed price from S250.000 to 5100.000 for IMMEDIATE sale, Principals only. No brokers. Appt. only Palisades Builders, exclusive agent. 17313 Sunset Blvd. or Exbrook 5616S
Years after Thelma Todd's death, Roland West changed the name from Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe to "Chez Roland" and operated a restaurant featuring the most expensive menu in Southern California. It was said to have had a jukebox and Roland West would supply his favorite patrons with coins. As I've mentioned before, Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe always operated in the red while Thelma was alive despite its popularity. From all accounts, the restaurant's popularity also died with Thelma Todd, and Chez Roland was eventually open for private parties only. If Roland West allowed gambling in or above the restaurant after Thelma Todd died, it financially justifies his being able to operate that restaurant for as long as he did with as little business that it generated (opened in 1934, Thelma Todd died in 1935, and it was for sale in 1951 - that's a long time for a restaurant to be losing money unless something else was cooking off the books ). Selling what was once Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe for $100,000 in 1951 with no mention of her name in the advertisement just seems sad to me.
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