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.

64 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.

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