You can’t see it that well in this picture of Beverly Drive but the red building at left was Linny’s Delicatessen, which served the best corned beef sandwich in town. The building went through several other tenants before turning into R.J.’s, one of the more popular places to eat ribs in Beverly Hills before it too went away. The best corned beef in the vicinity is now two blocks to the north at Nate ‘n’ Al’s Deli. That did not change during the year-or-so in which someone tried to operate a branch of New York’s famous Carnegie Deli in a building between where Linny’s used to be and where Nate ‘n’ Al’s has been for a long, long time and still is. It was the Carnegie in name only and I suspect every Nate ‘n’ Al’s customer ate there once before returning, having learned a valuable lesson, to Nate ‘n’ Al’s.
Next door to Linny’s, you can see an outpost of the Lerner Stores, part of a chain of women’s clothing stores. The famed playwright Alan Jay Lerner (author of My Fair Lady) was of the family that owned the company. At some point, it was replaced by an outlet of Lane Bryant’s, a clothing shop that caters to plus-sized women. This was very convenient for ladies who ate often at Linny’s.
More or less across the street from Linny’s was the wonderful Ontra Cafeteria where I’d be dining often if there were still Ontra Cafeterias.
Also, at the far right of this photo, you can see Melody Lane, which was a popular coffee shop of the day. It was situated at the corner of Beverly Drive and Wilshire Boulevard. The white thing at the center of the picture is the dome of the Beverly Theater, a movie palace with an Egyptian decor that showed, at least when I was going there, good ol’ American movies. I saw Oliver! there and The Twelve Chairs, not on the same double bill. It was later converted into a jewelry store and was torn down completely in the middle of 2005.