8795 W Sunset Blvd West Hollywood, CA USA

Café Gala

Construction date: 1922*

Architect:

Unknown

Builder:

Unknown

Style:

Spanish Colonial Revival

 

Status of Historic Designation:

Not currently designated at national, state, or local level

Status Code:

6Z

Theme:

West Hollywood 1926 - World War II

Period of Significance:

1926 - 1945

Significance:

Café Gala was significant for its association with the history of the LGBTQ community in West Hollywood. It was one of the first supper clubs with an openly gay clientele. Run by the eccentric Baroness Catherine d’Erlanger and Johnny Walsh, the Venetian-themed club saw a co-mingling of straight and gay patrons. At Café Gala, gay and lesbian stars did not have to worry about being caught up in a police raid. Regular guests included Cole Porter, Judy Garland, and Lena Horne. Pianist Bobby Short started out here, and when Dorothy Dandridge made her debut performance, it was one of the hottest tickets in town. By the 1960s, the property was occupied by Russian-Armenian restaurant. From 1982 to 2001, it was the home of Spago.

Evaluation of Potential Eligibility:

Not eligible / non-contributing

Architectural Description:

This is a 2-story restaurant lounge/tavern in the Spanish Colonial Revival style built in 1922. Exterior walls are original stucco. The building has a hip and gable roof clad in terra-cotta tiles. There is one side right, exterior, brick chimney and one side right, exterior, stuccoed chimney. The most prominent windows are on the south elevation facing Sunset Boulevard. This elevation features large fixed windows, with the steep lot providing views for diners. The main entryway is on Horn Avenue and is comprised of double wood doors in a recessed opening. This elevation is only partially visible from the public right-of-way. On the portions that are visible, there are no window openings.

* Date source: Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor

Description generated by RuskinARC.