Woody’s Smorgasburger III

We’ve had so many messages posted here about the late, luscious Woody’s Smorgasburger that we have to break them up.  This is the third thread of comments.  You can read our article about Woody’s and the first batch of comments here.  You can read the second batch of comments here.  Please continue the discussion on this thread.

100 Responses to Woody’s Smorgasburger III

  • Phil A. says:

    Question for Chris P. and others;

    In our header photo of the Woody’s Culver City store, the Mobile gas station can be seen in the far background. The station of course is long gone, but can someone suggest a time frame when it closed. During my tenure in 1964 and 1965 , I never patronized the station for gas or mechanical service.
    Seems strange as the Mobile guys could have done work on my car while I was working an eight hour shift at Woody’s.
    I am thinking about expanding the diorama to include this Mobile station.

    I am starting to buy an assortment of fire trucks on the hobby web sites so I will be ready for the phase three expansion; the fire station at the rear of Woody’s parking lot.

    What the hell are you other guys up too ? Time to exercise those digits on your keyboards and treat everyone to a few paragraphs.

    Phil A.

  • Chris P says:

    The Mobil station across the street used to change my oil for me. They didn’t charge for their labor, just the oil. They were nice people.
    When they left we had Sandee’s muffler come in for awhile then they left.
    The station was torn down and a mini strip center was put there. That was about 1985. There is a Panda Express,711, a sandwich shop and a few other small businesses there now.
    There was a Popeye Chicken there for awhile too but they closed.
    The fire station behind the old Woodys has been closed for a few years now and the building and property are for sale.
    Bank of America is still there on the South side. The KFC across the street has been closed for years and now, finally is be developed into some sort of small office building, I think.
    Sorrento’s Italian Market across the street is still there, however, Albert and his wife, the owners, passed away a few years back, now their kids run it.
    That’s it for now.
    Take care.
    Chris P.

  • Steve Claypool says:

    I’m tagged in at the end here and maybe this has already come up. During a talk with my wife recently, the topic about our “tab” came up. Does anyone remember using it and how much it was…I was thinking $20.00, but that seems high for so long ago.
    Steve C.

  • Steve Claypool says:

    I’m tagged in at the end here and maybe this has already come up. During a talk with my wife recently, the topic about our “tab” came up. Does anyone remember using it and how much it was…I was thinking $20.00, but that seems high for so long ago.
    Steve C.

  • Steve Claypool says:

    I sure remember Rudy Bennett. I just don’t remember when and how he was injured, causing his limp…anyone?

    I paid a visit to El Segundo ten to twelve years after I left (1965) and found that Bob Anderson was still there. Anyone know how long he stayed and what year the store closed?

  • Phil A. says:

    Steve C. and all Readers,

    During the 1960′s the Woody’s tab amounted to 10.00 for full timers and
    5.00 for part timers. After 1971 , Chris P. may have adjusted it in some way.
    I will leave him to address that time period.

    I knew Rudy B. only because he was friends with my manager, Ron Blasio at Culver City. Rudy would drive up to CC on occasion and hang out.
    I never learned the cause of Rudy’s injury.

    Bob Anderson was with Woody’s El Segundo for many, many, many years.
    He hired in during 1964 also. Bob was still there 30 years later.
    In 1991 , I made several visits to see Bob at the Woody’s store. He told me his tenure was not a solid block because he had left at some point to try the insurance line of work and then tried carpentry.

    He then returned to Woody’s El Segundo and continued working for Chris P.
    Around 1994 , Bob was taking inventory and a #10 can of Catsup fell from the top shelf and hit Bob in the back of the neck. The injury was very serious
    and Bob applied for Workers Comp. and never did return to his job.
    Chris P. will be the man to offer additional details or make corrections.

    Chris decided to close Woody’s El Segundo in early 2005.
    Steve Claypool opened this store 42 years earlier !
    Phil A.

  • Steve Claypool says:

    Phil – Thanks for the updates. The tab number makes sense, due to the time frame.

    Sad hearing about Bob’s injury. I enjoyed working with him…maybe someone can locate him and let him know about this site.

    The reminder about opening the store 42 years before it closed, sure gives pause for thought. Of course, it’s sad knowing that the store is closed, but very good news that we are still here, moving forward.

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Yo Phil….many of us know you are a man never lost for words, so am wondering what’s up that it has been two weeks!? Heaven forbid you went off to some Phoenix spa for an angioplastic intervention! Lo we too would curse to hear some tragedy has befallen The Diorama! Fess up! you’ve been too busy getting ready to launch a nouveau Woody’s featuring a lo-cal SwissBurger whereby there is Green Chile in the condiment bar and yodeling Octoberfest-like lineladies!!! Well, hoping you’ve just been figuring out a way to feature pics or a video of the Diorama!

    (If Y’all will allow me an aside from the above, does anyone know the relationship between Woody’s and how your Squeeze (given most commentators are Dudes) got herself to be your Squeeze/Valley Girl/Surfboard Suzie? Anyone ever hear of Sharrie Williams? Can you spell Maybelline? This is Sharrie’s most public ‘adoration’/WOW, if you will, of Woody’s: “Woody’s SmorgasBurger was the best burger joint ever and you could make up your own burgers and your own Sundae’s with the works. My family had been going there since I was a little kid in Grammar School.” Go here http://tinyurl.com/o2kfp4g and scroll down to the pic! Aha!!! it was El Segundo!!! http://tinyurl.com/m5bmjrw
    Whoa!!! if I was on the serving line in a restored Woody’s in Hollywood Riviera (Redondo) today and looked over the sneeze glass to see this Lady Bomb… more so today!… asking for Blue Cheese on her salad, I would certainly run out to mount my Vespa to go find her Roquefort!!! Blush! I’m compelled to give her a shout-out to come to the Blog and NM as well for a Green Chile Cheeseburger!!!!)
    Alas! All that raises an issue for all: I was probably too naive in my time to notice, but anyone notice Celebs in their joint. Hope Chris P. was just being discreet, but obviously had a great “product”!!!)

  • Phil A. says:

    Hello Bobber, our SmorgasBurger man from Redondo, and all Readers,

    Thanks for your concern on my whereabouts and the status of the diorama pics. First of all, I have laid back here on the site hoping one of our more consistent Readers ( ex employees ) would step up and take the lead for awhile. I just ran out of issues and side issues.
    There is about 70 years of Woody’s experiences between you guys and
    I only had 4 ! This is a gross imbalance in comment percentages. Agreed ?

    Secondly, My diorama pics ( about 7 ) have been in Los Angeles for almost 3 weeks. At this time I do not know the reason for the delay in posting.
    When I learn any info on this issue, I will certainly forward it to you.

    I will be in Michigan until the 19th. We are house hunting for the umpteenth
    time. Hoping to find a nice spot on a pretty lake. ( with no skunks ! )
    So, in the meantime …. lets see how many stories from the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s
    you guys can post in my absence. Just remember they must have official
    Woody’s SmorgasBurger content.

    All my best, to everyone.
    My high school motto : ” Pax et Veritas ” ( Latin, if you are going to look it up )
    Phil Ankofski

  • The Management says:

    Phil’s diorama photos will be up here before the week is out. The delay is all my fault and I apologize to him for it.

  • Phil A. says:

    Thanks for the update. I am sure we will all have a lot of fun with this !

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Yi Hoo!!! I’m getting the munchies!!! First of Phil’s diorama seen here ! http://www.oldlarestaurants.com/woodys-gallery/ How appropriate…the line is out-da-door! Thanks Mark…awaiting more!

  • Phil A. says:

    Hello Readers and all Commenters,

    ************* VERY IMPORTANT **************

    Mark our site manager has opened a brand new thread ” Woody’s Gallery ”
    to focus on photos submitted to him. The first submissions are pics of my recently constructed diorama of the Woody’s Culver City store.

    So for those interested in viewing and commenting on these pics, please jump over to the ” Woody’s Gallery” which presently is on the very top of the list on the left side of the header.

    I assume we should continue to use the Woody’s III site for postings our
    regular interest comments.
    So, now thanks to Mark Evanier , we have two sites to enjoy.

    I’ll see you all over at the new Woody’s Gallery !

    Phil Ankofski

  • Phil A. says:

    A sight for sore eyes ;

    I was using the Google map site to update myself on the current happenings in El Segundo and wow ….. am I impressed.
    The former Woody’s SmorgasBurger has been an IHOP unit since 2005 but due to an exterior paint job the store now looks more like a Woody’s.

    The prior exterior featured the white IHOP lattice trim boards with the blue background. I thought that looked fine to tie this store in with the other IHOPs. But this new color combo with Vermillion, blue and beige is just so beautiful. When the store is viewed head on, there is no IHOP identification so to me I think of the store as a very contemporary Woody’s.
    If I had 3 million I might make the owner an offer.
    Check it out on Google maps ; 755 N. Sepulveda Blvd. 90245.

    I see the story is much different for the Stick and Stein restaurant which was the southern neighbor to the Woody’s store. It has been closed for some time and is available for lease. ( 2 years ago . )
    So by now, I am sure the property is under a complete redevelopment with something very nice in place. Perhaps Rock and Brew moved over from Main Street.
    Phil A.

  • GM says:

    There was never a Panda Express in the mini-mall that replaced the Mobil station. Rather, it was an independent Chinese take- out joint. There was a dry cleaners, a medical supply store, a video rental store and a Yoshinoya restaurant.

    Only Yoshinoya remains today.

    Sandee’s muffler was located at Jefferson and Sepulveda, where Petrilli’s steakhouse is now. It later moved to Jefferson and Overland, also in Culver City.

  • Chrisp says:


    You are absolutely right. My mistake. It was, and still is, a Yoshinoya.
    There have been a lot of changes in that center. There was a Popeye’s’ Chicken for a short while. It couldn’t compete with the El Pollo Loco across the street. Also the KFC closed a few years back and is now being developed into something else, not food. El Pollo Loco does very well on that corner where the original Woodys was.
    Sandee’s Muffler was in that location for a very short time before they moved, unless I’m losing my mind. If I’m not mistaken they worked out of the old Mobil station until it was sold and turned into the strip mall is is today.
    Anyway, I hope that sheds some light.

  • Phil A. says:

    I find it hard to fathom that the folks of Culver City did not continue to support the Woody’s, the KFC, the Bob’s Big Boy, and Bruno’s Pizza.
    I suppose the diverse ethnicity was a factor. Be that as it may. I still intend on contacting the Culver City Historical Society about erecting a life size statue in bronze of Chris Pingel. It should be placed at the the corner of Sepulveda Blvd. and Berryman Ave. ( next to his El Pollo Loco sign )
    Phil A.

  • Phil A. says:

    PS for Mark Evanier,

    If you ever finish posting the photos, I will propose a statue for you as well.
    How about in Santa Monica off Ocean Ave. ?

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Mark E!

    (Sorry about your spamming attack!)

    Yo…Like you I’m sure, it would be great/interesting to dig up (no pun intended) more Guests for Woody’s to hear from (and for the other great places you’ve chronicled) and, as such, I was going to email The Daily Breeze suggesting they take a look at your website to perhaps do an article about it with some samplings of the contents and invite readers to join in. Makes more sense tho to hit the LA Times as… Du-Uuh….Folks move. So as not to misrepresent your painstaking efforts however, might I suggest Y’all drop them a note when ya have a chance:
    The DB http://www.dailybreeze.com/contact-us
    LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/about/la-contact-us-htmlstory.html

  • Marshall L. says:

    Been a long time since I’ve checked in here – a lot has transpired. I got a new computer a few months ago, and in the transferring over of bookmarks, this site got eliminated some how. We’re back though!

    First off – Very nice diorama, Phil!

    I made some notes on a few posts that have come down the pike since my last appearance……

    1. Phil A. asked about the parking situation at the Westwood Village Woody’s location..
    - Westwood Village (‘WV’) in the late 60′s and into the mid 70′s was a ‘happening’ place. Not only did you have a lot of retail stores and office space, you also had a major university (U.C.L.A.) right next door. Then, to top it off, on the weekends, you had a major influx of kids and familys going to the many movie theaters in the Village. Oh – one more thing: WV was the ‘place to be’ for all the high school kids on Friday and Saturday nights (and Woody’s was one of the big ‘hang-outs’). Parking at Woody’s? hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha……….. We had (count ‘em) THREE spaces in back of the building, off the alley. One was for the manager/owner. The other two were up for grabs. I usually only got a space when I opened on Sundays. Otherwise, I ended up parking in the residential neighborhood north of the Village.

    2. U.S.C. location…..
    - I worked at the U.S.C. location for a few weeks in 1975 or 76. I went on Google Earth trying to locate the building it was in. Someone posted that it was turned in to a ‘Coffee Dans’. Another poster mentioned something else. Does anyone have the exact address? This building is on So. Figueroa, between 27th and 28th streets. It’s on the correct side of the street. I think this is it: https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/t1.0-9/10458554_830223980330878_757855891388766773_n.jpg

    That low stone wall out front is a big giveaway, as is the glass front and slant/flat roof.

    3. Employee theft…..
    - Similar to the incident posted previously, I remember at least one at Westwood. A new guy was hired, don’t remember his name. I believe he was from out of town, not a ‘young’ guy like me – looked to be 30-ish or so. I got a weird feeling from him, like he was telling the truth about who he was and his prior experiences. Drove with him out to the Woodland Hills store to ‘borrow’ some burger patties once – he drove like a maniac – like he had a death wish or something. He seemed to move up fast. Was night supervising within 6 months or so. Wasn’t too long after that when he was caught.

    4. Vendors…
    - Phil – you included an Alta-Dena Dairy truck in your diorama, and mentioned my dad’s Alta Dena dairy truck as being responsible for chopping down the roof structure of Culver City that straddled the driveway. Well, that’s only half right. Yes, it was my dad’s truck, but my dad never worked for Alta-Dena dairy. My dad worked for Edgemar Farms, based in Venice.

    5. Tabs……
    - I believe my tab when I first started, was $5.00, but without too much time passing, it got better. By the time I had a couple of years under my belt, it was up to $25.00. Very rarely used all of it. But it was real nice for a guy living on his own…….

    6. ‘Senora’ posted on 6/25 that the thing she liked the best about Woody’s was the corn relish. CORN RELISH?????????????

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Marshall…just curious if you remember ‘in your time’ in The Village, if there was still a place called Konditori (sp?)…a tiny, but neat n tidy Danish/Scandinavian place serving coffee and pasteries?
    (Ooo Ooo…brings back to mind one time visiting it after seeing a ‘racy’ foreign film of the time on Wilshire….’Carry on Nurse’ featuring a daffodil and thermometer, which is a stretch for Old Timers memories…LOL)

  • Phil A. says:

    Regarding the Woody’s employees tab:

    When I was managing the El Segundo store and then followed with a stint at Redondo, the office informed me that the tab usage was very low.
    The general manager suggested I put a reminder note by the time clock as to remind the guys of this perk. No matter, the usage remained so low that I stopped keeping track in the ” tab log book “.
    Go figure !

  • Phil A. says:

    Ah, for the days of Woody’s SmorgasBurger and the ” Carry on Nurse . ”

    Just a little help to jolt the Bobber’s memory:
    Although released in 1959, some theaters kept this English flick on the shelf to reshow for three years !
    Shirley Eaton played the 22 year old hot blond and who was always in the midst of all the hospital chaos.
    In case you don’t recognize her name, Shirley played the character
    ” Jill Masterson ” 5 years later in Goldfinger . Yes, she’s the one who was covered in gold paint.

    ~ Corn Relish : must have been one of Chris Pingel’s offerings. In my minds eye, I can picture it next to his slaw. ( but let’s not get started on slaw again. )

    Only 5 more summer weekends !

  • Marshall L. says:

    Bob – that’s not a familiar name to me, but there were a lot of places I didn’t know about – only now learning from the Westwood Village FB page. . ‘WV’ had a lot of little restaurants come and go.

    Little tip for those in the area of WV: Go to Stan’s for donuts – S/E corner of
    Weyburn and Broxton.

    Correction to my post from yesterday….
    “I got a weird feeling from him, like he WASN’T telling the truth about who he was and his prior experiences. “

  • Phil A. says:

    Good morning Marshall and all Readers,

    The #4 Woody’s by USC ( on the corner of 28th ) has been a Del Taco for many years. DIRECTLY across Figueroa is the giant Mc Donalds which became the death knell for the Woody’s unit.
    All Mac had to do was offer free fries with the purchase of a burger and drink
    during it’s opening month.


  • Phil A. says:

    For Marshall:

    Regarding your very short stint at the Fig. store in 75/76;

    Do you recall if this unit was being managed at the time by one of Mr. Wood’s sons ? ( John or Chip ). I have seen comments elsewhere about this Woody’s having a great assortment of video games. This was not Ralph Woods style so I am inclined to think he had turned it over to one or both of his sons.
    John and Chip were both in their late twenties, which would make this very probable. Can you confirm or deny ?

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    ~ Carry on Nurse (CoN): Hmmm…sounds like Phil saw it more than once, LOL. I recall it in one of the shoe-box, ‘art’ theaters that were coming on scene ‘back in the day’. In MA, they were still showing 2 movies. In CA, they were transitioning to a “Feature Film” and a “Short”. E.g. a rerun of The Red Balloon http://tinyurl.com/pmz676u where you were to divine some philosophical meaning of the artiste later at a ‘coffee house’ or while sipping a Sloe Gin Fizz, Stinger, Grasshopper etc. while mellowing to s m o o t h Jazz back at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach (still there today!!!!) or overlooking LA in the back of Dino’s (aka 77 Sunset Strip). Quickly, they became shorter ones like a 10 minute stupendous ride in a ‘glider’ of which I must say I found most fascinating! (Ok…not to besmirch Phil’s good reputation, CoN was not porn, but what might be found in the lite, titillating genre of Brits…like maybe Benny Hill.

    ~ Marshall: Sorry ya never ran across Konditori. Here’s a view of that donut shop for Folks out there: http://tinyurl.com/pox8ymq (Pardon being presumptive lest ya might not know: if you hold down your L mouse button and move the mouse around, one can see all around; put cursor a little ways down the middle of a street and click & ya can move down it. Might use Google Maps if ya know address of WV Woody’s to see what’s there now?

    ~ Speaking of donuts, a Tip o da day: Take a cake donut and stand it on edge; gently slice it in two; toast them to a light, golden brown; add butter to melt in. To die for.

    ~ Alas the heiress of Mabelline whom I’ve previously mentioned as being taken to CC’s as a youngster, emailed me that “Yes I did put thousand island dressing and peanuts on my burger. Some of my most fun memories took place at Woody’s!” Alas, she didn’t specify if that was just as a kid or during high school as a CC Saffron or while paying attention to Frat Dudes circa ’64 up at UCLA http://tinyurl.com/mn7m33q Whoa! lest ya meet her today http://tinyurl.com/lx9yfsx !

    ~ Speaking of peanuts, Google Hamburgers with peanuts!

  • Phil A. says:


    Further confirmation that the current Del Taco/ Woodys #4 site is correct;
    2735 S. Figueroa ~ 90007

  • Marshall L. says:

    Phil – I do not remember specifically who was running the USC Woody’s at the time I was there. It could have been on of Mr. Wood’s sons. My old room mate from my Westwood Woody’s days (Younus Sharifi) was working nights there, and I was looking to pick up some extra money by working a second job at night after my desk day job I had. I’d work 8-4:30 or so in downtown LA, drive home to Manhattan Beach, change clothes, then drive right back to LA. The process got old real quick, so I only lasted maybe 3 weeks.
    As to the USC location….
    I swear that Fed Ex building looks exactly like the Woody’s building. Perhaps there were TWO similar buildings side-by-side? In any case, in that shot of the Fed Ex building, the Del Taco restaurant that’s supposed to have the ‘Woody’s’ address is immediately to the left of the Fed Ex building, just out of picture range, with a small parking lot separating them. The Del Taco appears to have started fresh with a new building.

  • Phil A. says:

    For the days of Woody’s SmorgasBurger and the Oar House.

    For the Bobber : Sure, I remember Sherrie ! She had a lot of friends and they all came into the Culver City store on one of the weekend nights.
    I gave her a Birthday Club application card in hopes she would return it to me with her phone number. Guess what ? She turned it in to Chris Pingel !

    Marshall informed us some time ago that the former Westwood Village store is now a parking lot.

    I ran across a clip from the Torrance Press : August 2, 1972 ~ Ralph Wood appears before the city council asking for a beer and wine license for the Redondo store. Since this date is one year after the ” split “, I am now thinking this was being done on behalf of a son who would take over the stores operations. Makes sense to me. Mr. Wood no longer had the Westwood store, so in the early 70′s he gave the USC store to John or Chip and then gave Redondo to the other. No matter about the beer, as the store closed soon after. What a premonition though ….. the location is now a brand new ” Rock and Brew. ”

    Some friends and I saw Dizzy Gillespie at the Lighthouse.
    But we patronized the ” Oar House ” much more. This was a very small joint just down the road and on the weekend nights it was packed tighter than a New York subway car. The guys squeezed around with their hands inverted so their palms faced outward. Yep, another free night of ” grab a _ _ ”
    And walking out thru the parking lot you could hear the chicks conversing among themselves about who was grabbed the most….14 , 23 , 32 , 48 !

    The House of the Rising Sun was a much different kind of place.
    Stewart Clay was a local talent who entertained and MC’d there and gave the place a country/ folk atmosphere. ” Everybody loves Saturday Night . ”

    So, how am I going to tie all this in with Woody’s ? Only in that it was great to
    work a weekend DAY shift so I could hangout with some ” non Woody ” friends and hit these ocean side places.

    Time to go to church ?
    Phil Ankofski

  • Phil A. says:

    Hi Marshall,

    Yes, the old Woody’s did look very much like the current Fed Ex unit.
    And here is the kicker …… the old Woody’s was very close to the side walk, like the Fed Ex. I think this fact is what is casting doubt for you.
    The landlord for the Del Taco did a complete demolition of the Woody’s which by then was probably a pretty tired store.

    I see the Del Taco operations get poor customer reviews, but this store we have been referring to looks very inviting.

    Question : Since you had a day job in LA, why did you not just go to the Woody’s job site and hang out till it was time to punch in ?

  • Phil A. says:

    Marshall and all Readers,

    Now for a really spookie comparison : The old Woody’s by USC looked like the still standing Woody’s # 3 store on Rosecrans in Gardena.
    Now bear with me on this :

    This means that the Woody’s Gardena store and the Woody’s Figueroa street store could have been ” sister ” stores operated by a previous local restaurant chain that went belly up. After all, both Gardena and Figueroa sprang to life as Woody’s units at the same time in 1959.

    It would be like several LOVES BBQ stores closing at the same time and then Mr. Wood swooping in to do his conversions.
    Now that this idea has come to light, I am thinking Woody’s #6 on Vermont
    could have been involved in the same lease takeover as it was converted within a year also. I have to find someone to run this by Mr. Wood or one of his kids.

    Marshall …. can you remember the truck colors for Edgemar farms ???


  • Marshall L. says:

    Phil A:
    Q:Question : Since you had a day job in LA, why did you not just go to the Woody’s job site and hang out till it was time to punch in ?
    A – Wife and I both worked for the same company downtown (TransAmerica), so it was either drive 2 cars downtown and pay parking for both, or make 2 trips.

    Phil A.
    “Now that this idea has come to light, I am thinking Woody’s #6 on Vermont
    could have been involved in the same lease takeover as it was converted within a year also. I have to find someone to run this by Mr. Wood or one of his kids.”
    Comment: #6 on VERMONT? This is a new one on me (maybe I’m missed this in one of your previous posts.) Where on Vermont?

    Phil A:
    Q: “Marshall …. can you remember the truck colors for Edgemar farms ???”
    A: I can do better than that……
    Here’s the ONLY image of an Edgemar Farms truck that I’ve found on the internet.


    This is the ‘old’ paint scheme that Edgemar had. Around 1960 or 61 I think, they had a complete image overhaul – changed trucks, bottles, milk cartons, everything. For the trucks, the new scheme had basically white trucks, with ‘Edgemar’ in a flowing script, and some stylized daisies for decoration. Milk cartons were similar.

    Interesting story about me finding the image – When I did my google search and found it, I went to the source page and discovered it belonged to Rick DeBruhl, a autosports media commentator that I knew of. He has a web blog as well, and it turns out his step-dad was also an Edgemar Farms milkman at the same time my dad was.

  • Phil A. says:

    Good morning Marshall,

    Thanks for the swift and detailed responses.

    Those double trips into LA from the beach sound horrendous even in the
    70′s lighter traffic. You should have gone over to Chris P. in El Segundo and hired in there. You could have rode a bike to work !

    Woody’s #6 was a conversion / lease takeover like Gardena and USC.
    It was located on Vermont at the SW corner of Santa Monica Blvd.
    This location now features a city owned free space with sculpture.

    The LA City College campus is directly south of this location.

    After the lease was signed and the conversion completed, the store was up and running in early 1960. ( just behind Gardena and USC )
    It seems both Gardena and Vermont were allowed to ” go under” about the same time. ( 1963 or early 64 ? )

    WHAT I THINK should have been very cool about this #6 location is that the Gold Star recording studios were just a mile and a half to the East on Santa Monica Blvd. All the hit makers of the early 60′s COULD HAVE BEEN
    ordering a Matterhorn or King Swiss from us.

    Store #5 was not a ” Woody’s “. It was a seafood dinner house ( FISKEHUS)
    which was literally steps from the SmorgasBurger on the corner of 27th.
    I do not know which side of Figueroa it was on.
    When Mr. Wood was in college, he worked summers in a seafood restaurant
    so I guess he wanted to try out some of his ideas.
    This FISKEHUS was a conversion that was also in the 1959/60 time frame.
    ( relatively short life . )
    Mr. Wood and Mr. Cramer must have been very, very busy at this time.

    Thanks for the truck colors and web site info. Very cool.
    I recognize the flowing script which will be easy to replicate in blue on my home printer. More fun !

    Phil A.

  • Phil A. says:

    I know you are a stickler for actual addresses, so here you are:

    The actual address was 1027 N. Vermont .
    Using this address, the stores location looks to be the vacant fenced in area one lot south of the sculpture on the corner.

    The posting that first alerted me to this store was made by a stranger,
    ( Howard ) who commented on the Woody’s II site on Nov. 1, 2013.
    I was shocked as you when I saw it.
    Do scroll thru and read Howards comment and learn how he happened on
    this very factual info. Truly amazing !
    In my follow up posting, I invited Howard to return with additional info but he never did.


  • Phil A. says:


    I have just gone thru my ” Woody’s File ” because I could not remember where I learned the info on the Fiskehus unit. Well, here we go :

    My info was from the Torrance Press.
    Article date : April 21, 1960
    Writer : Ron Burpo ~ ” Dining with Dan ” ( also the manager of Redondo )

    Woody’s Fiskehus
    2713 S. Figueroa Street
    Los Angeles

    What this means Marshall is that this short lived casual fish house was in your Fed EX location OR just in between with the Woody’s burger unit. How about that !
    So …………. Woody’s Gardena, and Woody’s USC were up and running in 1959
    with the Woody’s Fiskehus #5 and Woody’s Vermont #6 opening just months later in very early 1960. Were these guys getting any sleep in 1959 ?
    Chris P. was just 13 and spending his time and money at the POP .

    Phil Ankofski

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    OMG Phil, I’m sooo sorry for reminding you of what must be still such a ‘traumatic’ memory regarding Sharrie, given the bounty that was at stake and losing out to Chris! Given that early pic…or the ripen version…. I can only imagine it would melt any piece of Swiss Cheese in and of itself on a cold grill.
    Keep the Faith! I’m still trying to lure her into making a comment on the Blog if you can ‘take it’, given her still bodacious looks, let alone personality as revealed http://tinyurl.com/phbz8ha !

  • Marshall L. says:

    Here’s the Google pic of that location….

    As to the USC location, the more I think about it, the more I am sure that the Fed Ex Office store is an identical building to the one Woody’s was in – perhaps it was the building for the ‘Fiskehus’? The USC store appeared to use fairly simple construction – flat roof, open beams inside to support the roof. Maybe 2 buildings were done at the same time? And that Gardena building looks VERY similar……

  • Phil A. says:


    Edgemar Farms update:
    I decided to use the same four colors that Edgemar was using in the photo you sent me. Of course I applied them to the commercial size truck like I did for the SE Rykoff truck. I also replicated the flowing blue script.

    So the Edgemar Farms truck has assumed it’s rightful place on the Woody’s lot heading toward the rear to make it’s delivery. Just so you know.

  • Phil A. says:

    My last comment of the day, I swear !

    I have been digging thru my files to assist Marshall on the Woody’s USC and Vermont Ave. units when it occurred to me that I should learn the date on which the McDonalds at USC first opened for business.
    If I was Mr. Wood I probably would have suffered a coronary.

    Anyway, I contacted the Mickey D’s main office in Chicago and asked for the info. So, I am awaiting a reply. I will advise if and when I get one.

    Goodnight all. Don’t forget those bedtime prayers !

  • Phil A. says:

    Good morning Readers,

    It appears that Marshall enjoys being a detective as much as I do.
    In my next life I want to be a detective during the day and a sax player at night. Anyway, I do want to pursue this issue of the four Woody’s properties which all became available at the same time in early 1959.(#3, 4, 5 , and #6 )
    ( plus having VERY similar architecture, which is most curious to us. )

    For those that are less interested in this issue, please bear with us , but by all means feel free to continue to make YOUR comments on dissimilar issues.
    We do not want anyone to feel like we are taking over here.
    So, have at it …….. what do you have to share ?


  • Phil A. says:


    Additional MAJOR similarities between Fed EX @ USC and #3 Gardena.

    I love to use the map site on the BING engine as they have a remarkable
    ” birds eye ” view option. I used this site to compare the two aforementioned
    units and they are nearly identical !
    As you say, if the FED EX replicated the Woody’s USC , then we have THREE
    identical units. I am thinking the original owners ( prior to 1959 ) had a coffee shop operation as the units have a primitive ” Denny’s ” look.
    That’s all for today.

  • Phil A. says:

    Mc Donalds Corp. did reply to my query about their store on Figueroa.
    They were not able to help with that kind of detailed info.

  • Phil A. says:

    Just wondering;

    Would owning stock in the new El Pollo Loco Holding Co. ( LOCO ) entitle the stockholder to be Chris Pingels boss and tell him what to do ?

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Given my anticipated limited time being at Holly-Riv, I never “advanced” to the expertise of being a Grillman (No gender offense intended; it was as it was in-the-day.) Anyway, I don’t think the strategy of “working” the grill has ever been (recalled) laid out herein.
    The G-Man’s ‘skill’ seemed kinda ‘guarded” by all the “Hot Shots” shall we say. I.e. Let’s say you had a bronzed Hottie accompanied by a doofas of a Surfer. She orders a rare SwissBurger and he’s getting a well down (oooeee!) Monday night 99 Cent dinner special. How, for example, is the grille set up heatwise?
    As she is languishing in line on the otherside of the grill glass, would Mr. Wood approve of the G-Man squishing down on the dinner special to create a ‘flare-up’ acknowledging the G-Man’s perception/signal she is in fact a “Hottie”???!!! Or was this all a fantasy of mine wishing I could do the same after being so obvious in offering an extra dab of Blue Cheese on her http://tinyurl.com/mht5kqj salad along with an almost imperceptible tip of my fedora while tending that my feather was still fluffed out!!!????
    ~ On a more mundane note: did we have waffle-like rubber mats to ease our feet back in the day lest they also might prevent slips n falls on tile floors?
    My gawd…it’s almost Sept; summer’s about over; teens will be back in after school and dances! I really really need to invert my apron!!!

  • Sharrie Williams says:

    My parents owned a cleaners at 7616 Sepulveda, in Westchester, from 1949 to 1962. I remember as a little kid, driving to Woodie’s with my parents and little sister for dinner. There would be a line out the door and the smell of the burgers was intoxicating. We loved thousand island dressing and peanuts on our burgers and of course had chocolate sundaes for dessert. As a teenager going to Culver high school, I came with my club, Saffrons, all the time. Driving my Blue and white 57 Chevy

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Yay, Sharrie made it!!!! Yo go Gal!

    ~~ OK Phil, for that kind of Beauty http://tinyurl.com/ntw3jfh ….I mean Loyal Customer, hope you have a ’57 Chevy to place in your diorama in the ‘Woody’s Gallery’ site!

    (Alas, I do not know Sharrie personally, but given most gals have used a Maybelline product (and most guys have enjoyed the results thereof), thought I’d FYI that some Folks might find a behind the scenes story of it of interest given Sharrie recounts her family roots in The Maybelline Story.)

  • chrisp says:

    Bob of the village,
    What we used for floor mats were cactus mats. They were hard wood strips with strips of hard rubber underneath for cushion. They worked pretty well but had to be scrubbed off every day. They did tend to be a bit slippery if something was spilled.
    I don’t remember how or if I was trained to cook or not but when I became manager of #1 Culver City, I already had a few cooks working for me.
    I lost a couple of cooks along the way but had a pretty good night cook, however, he was very abrasive and I didn’t get along with him.
    Well, one Friday night during the rush, very busy, he just went too far and I told him to leave, which left me there to have to cook through a Friday night rush. I did it and really felt good after. Nothing was turned back, thank God.
    If I had Gordon Ramsey standing behind me I’m sure I would have failed miserably.
    Anyway, We didn’t have a lot of fancy stuff, basically burgers, steaks, and Halibut, no chicken at the time. I had cooked on occasion, here and there so I wasn’t totally in the dark. I just knew not to over cook anything.
    I’m glad we still have some interest in the site.
    Keep writing everyone both old customers and old employees.
    Take care everyone..

  • Phil A. says:

    For Mark Evanier,

    I am thinking this may be the best time to post the last two pix.
    ( Phil and Randy working the line at Redondo. )
    I am most curious to learn if the preceding commenter ( Sharrie ) remembers me from these photos.
    Thank you,

  • Bob of the Village of Los Ranchos (NM) says:

    Funny how memory works Chrisp…your description brings to mind hearing a clacking sound(?) if I was subbing at CC, but maybe that was somewhere else(?) Am pretty sure mats were different in Holly-Riv altho I stand to be corrected, LOL
    Same goes per your mentioning ‘halibut’…first hearing the ‘clack’ of a frozen filet hitting the irons and then I’m picturing artistry by the G-Man – crosshatched grill marks highlighted by a slightly melting dab of butter with a sprinkle of paprika for color. If memory serves, I don’t think Folks were as big back then into back yard BBQing, so your Bravado in taking over the grill is acknowledged, given limited ‘experience’ );-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Recent Comments