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.

244 Responses to Woody’s Smorgasburger III

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Another interesting link from Bob showed us the area designated as the Hollywood Riviera. When I managed the Woody’s Redondo store in 67/68
    I relocated to a rental which was located on Neece street near Newton Ave.
    This area was known to everyone including the map makers as the community of Walteria. It was separate, just like Lomita.

    Newton Ave, may have started in the Riviera , but as one proceeded to the southeast , Newton ran thru Walteria and then crossed Hawthorne Blvd.
    and continued into the city of Torrance.

    I know I would have had more fun telling my sisters back in Detroit that
    I was living on Neece, in the Hollywood Riviera !

    Phil A.

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    All of the ex Woody’s guys I have reconnected with here, plus the guys I actually worked with are known to be fathers.
    Most are retired. Some are cruising the Pacific, some are farming, some are selling cars, some are reducing their landscapes, some are off playing in 116 degree desert. and some like me are enjoying time at the keyboard.
    In any case ….. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY !!!

    Phil

  • Evan Zang says:

    Wow great information Bob and Phil, thank you! I have a vague recollection that the manager I worked for at the Woody’s Redondo (Hollywood Riviera) owned a Datsun 2000 Roadster. Or was it the Datsun Roadster 1800? In any case he was a fun manager, clean cut and handsome (all the girls liked him). And though I was a mere part timer, he always made me feel at home. All that I ever learned about the food industry came from that manager. This would have been around 1967 or 1968 I believe. Phil, was that you? Wow!

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    I awoke from my afternoon nap recalling some good times at the base of the PV hill ( Walteria ). I would venture to say that most residents of Torrance, Lomita, Walteria and Redondo did aspire to move on up that PVE hill.
    A few of our own Woody’s guys were fortunate to have followed Ralph Wood
    up into those foggy environs. God bless ’em all. One guy really deserves it.

    While residing in Walteria , I had a short time girlfriend Pat, who had parents
    that also made it up the hill. Her dad was an oil exec with the nearby Chevron refinery. They lived in the 4400 block of Via Pavion, and to get to that street was a severe test on my 1964 Pontiac Catalina’s transmission.
    Even the 348 block V8 with 4 barrel carb was tested ….. but only because I could not get much of a running start up the hill.

    Pat had me over a few times for Sunday dinner and afterwards while the girls did kitchen cleanup, Mr. D. had us step out into his tiny backyard for a smoke.
    He was aware I worked at Woody’s as the store manager so he got started talking about the idea of me going back to college and getting a degree in
    the Institutional / Food Service field.

    Yeah right, I thought …… First of all, I already knew that I was not a
    ” people person ” and would not advance too far in that career path.
    Second, I already had tried twice to sustain an interest level in part time classes while working full time. And going part time at the ART CENTER
    School OF DESIGN in Pasadena would have taken me ten years to graduate.
    Besides, the school frowned upon part timers and allowed them only for short temporary circumstances.

    Once up that hill, I was very surprised to find the homes were built so close together. I was certainly used to the density concept from Walteria, Westchester and Culver City. I guess I expected to find all ranch style homes on 5 acre sites with ponies, dogs and chickens.
    Of course I am now aware that just a very few of those sites ever existed in the first place. Anyway, Mr. D. was an oil exec for a time in Mexico City, and he said the home sites there were all squeezed together in the same manner ………. just higher walls made from lava rock.

    As for Pat, she graduated from college in the spring of 1970, which was the exact time Chris married his bride Martha.
    A week after graduation, Pat married a guy 13 years older.

    The readers here may wonder why in the hell I am so chatty today.
    I almost don’t want to reveal the reason to you all.
    It is water.
    We, in central Ohio are in our tenth consecutive day of rain.
    Many of our counties have been under flood watches for days.
    Of course the areas of Texas and Oaklahoma are flooded already.
    I have no more indoor chores to do. So I am at the keyboard . Mary Ann is in seventh heaven watching Bette Davis and Kate Hepburn on the TCM channel.

    Throughout the course of these rainy days, I am always thinking of you guys
    no matter where in the west you are. I find I am admonishing myself for my own wasteful habits with water.
    I know this topic will be of growing concern as the months go by.
    One suggestion would be for all the Scotch and soda drinkers ; Straight up !

    Phil Ankofski

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    For Evan,

    My tenure at the Redondo store was from March, 1967 thru Sept., 1968.
    The manager who preceded me was Richard Ingram.
    Neither Rich nor I were considered to be heart throbs.

    Lorin Buist followed me starting on October 1st, 1968 and was indeed a very handsome guy. I only met him the one time, which was his starting day and I handed over the keys to the store. I did not know the brand of his ride.

    Many years later I came to the understanding that Lorin went on to
    fantastic success with a wholesale cotton T shirt business.
    Readers here should not take this sentence as absolute fact because I do not recall who I learned this from. Anyway, I am thinking Lorin was probably your manager.
    Evan, if you write again, why not let us know what city you are in and which career path you followed.

    Finally a dry, sunny day here in Ohio. I am off to cut the grass.
    ( a proper Father’s day doing , don’t you think ? .
    Phil

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    One last addition is in order for the surviving eateries with little or no changes. RANDY’S DONUTS !!! Located on Manchester Blvd. @ the 405.
    When this donut shop first opened in the very early 1950’s, it operated under it’s original name and became Randy’s some time later.
    All of you guys who lived in Inglewood and Westchester can probably offer additional facts ……. and perhaps some stories as well.

    This Randy’s was probably equally distant between the Woody’s in Culver City and the one in El Segundo. My point would be that if you lived in Westchester you could have all three of your daily meals covered between these three locations.

    Phil A.

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

    A rationale for making this comment for a recommendation for Phil’s Mary Ann’s affinity for Bette Davis in a Blog about restaurants: Many restaurants/bars etc. celebrate Cinco de Mayo. My presumption is most people don’t know what Cinco de Mayo is all about and presume its Mexican Independence Day. That’s 9/16! Cinco is actually not much celebrated in Mexico! My guess is a NM beer distributor started it for promoting “celebratory” sales between St. Paddy’s Day and the Fourth!!!
    Anyway, Bette, using her best facial hysteria (a carryover from going from silent movies to the Talkies) did a movie in ’39 named Juarez http://tinyurl.com/ntzg4b9 which explains what Cinco is actually all about as well as gives us insight into a previous Mexico/US bonding. Occasionally, Mary Ann might catch it on TCM or she can find it via Amazon http://tinyurl.com/qc5l4ec In addition, I recommend her Bio http://tinyurl.com/nbbxklk which was an eye-opener given my lead-in “Have never been a fan…albeit we are from the same hometown of Lowell, MA ((http://tinyurl.com/p7adusd )) to a Review as ’50s Guy…LOL

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Bob,

    Thanks for the movie star links, but my Mary Ann already knows as much about BD and KH as Mark Evanier knows about comics.
    ~ Looks like the big comic gathering starts this weekend in san Diego. ~

    We just saw the Brian Wilson bio ; Love and Mercy.
    I have followed Brian’s life and career plus concerts and yet it was very heartbreaking to see on the big screen what Brian endured at the hands of his father and therapist. He not only survived, but Brian went on to triumph.
    ( similar in some ways to Tina Turners life ) God bless you Brian.

    The Woody’s tie in would be this ; One of the early commenters on this site posted an item saying that Mike Love once worked at the Woody’s in Culver City circa 1960. Since that posting I had contacted Don Steinke who was the manager of Culver City store from mid 1956 to mid 1962.
    Don had no recollection whatsoever of Mike Love working for him, and Don certainly was aware of who Mike Love was. So be it.
    Do see the movie. Great casting all around .

    Phil A.

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    ~ CORRECTION !! ~
    For any of the Readers here that were or are comic book fans, the annual
    COMIC ~ CON gathering in San Diego is set for July 9th thru 12th.
    Plenty of advance notice.

    In a very recent posting, I had listed the event for this weekend. WRONG !
    For further info, jump over to Mark Evanier’s ME site and scroll back
    for the informative comments.

    Phil

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    This is a ” heads up ” regarding a few current ebay offerings under the
    Woody’s SmorgasBurger banner.
    One is a coffee mug more reasonably priced @ 15.00
    Another is the Culver City postcard @ 7.00

    I am now wondering what the Original ( not IHOP ) dinner platters would
    go for.

    Phil

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

    1) In sending on info to Rock & Brews about it being on the original site of Woody’s in “Redondo”, I got carried away and asked them to consider doing an “On this site in 19xx…” plaque featuring a collage of Mr. Wood by Adm. Risty (as pictured in the “obit” article) along with a pic of Woody’s (albeit CC’s).
    Please renote its years of existence to pass on. I suggested the hanging of the plaque at a dedication ceremony would give R&B a photo op/story for the Daily Breeze, i.e. free advertising as well as trying for some old timers.
    2) Pardon: Just found a full length!! version of Juarez (regarding Cinco de Mayo) to view online!!! http://tinyurl.com/pu49e39 Don’t know how long it will remain ‘active’.
    3) PV memories: Yes Phil, indeed there is nothing more ‘mystical’ than trying to find one’s way around PV in the fog (day or nighttime!!!!) while one lawn of ice-plant looks like every other and ya hope not to run into a eucalyptus tree per being drawn by its fragrance after a Happy Hour somewhere off the hill. Look familiar? http://tinyurl.com/oy6mgpw (put cursor down the street & click) Hopefully, ya had time to rummage around the rocks of Portuguese Bend looking for abalone shells or catch a malt or latte here http://tinyurl.com/qb4s74e !

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Bob,

    I agree that a Woody’s plaque would be a fun idea for all of us older dudes, but I cannot fathom the owners of R&B wanting to honor Woody’s since it had been closed for 43 years already. Your heart is in the right place !
    Phil

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Bob,

    Your ability to produce appropriate links is remarkable ! Thanks for doing so.
    Yes, the mapping sites of PV are familiar. As the Google Mapping truck leads me down Pat’s road , I remember wondering at the time if she would greet me at her door wearing her favorite hot pants and tube top.
    Believe me, her favorites were my favorites too !

    Phil

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Palos Verdes, Los Ranchos or Dublin , Ohio ……… no matter.
    We all want the same things ; a comfortable place to live in good health
    with an awesome burger joint just around the corner.

    Here’s to all the guys who ever worked at Woody’s SmorgasBurger !

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    How about reincarnating a new Woody’s SmorgasBurger in 2016 ?
    Several friends and relatives do an awful lot of cruising and it occurred to me that an onboard Woody’s food service option could be a hell of a success.
    No more drive thru headaches for the patrons or the managers !

    Next year the biggest cruiser of them all will be launched with a passenger capacity of 6,200 plus the crew of 2,100.
    All of these folks are going to eat a lunch and a dinner which brings the total possible patron exposure to 16,600 Smorgie’s per day.
    With such customer counts, A Woody’s unit would be needed on each deck.

    While sailing outside the 12 mile limit, the Woody’s staff would be exempt from the new $15.00 minimum wage and a workers shift could extend to twelve hours. Except for the manager who could go to fourteen !

    Unlike Cassell’s new LA digs which has reduced topping selections, Woody’s would increase topping selection to 53 ! ( including crab meat )
    Many now defunct eateries offered the bottomless salad bowls.
    ( Olive garden may still offer )
    Anyway, Woody’s would offer the bottomless ice cream sundae boat.
    The amount of available sundae toppings will make Ben & Jerry sick.

    If Carnavel Cruises or Disney picks up on this idea, I will be happy to negotiate a 2% ” idea placement fee ” for a 20 year renewable term.

    Contact : Phil Ankofski

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

    Pardon, hope this is not too far afield, but I can’t remember: did Woody’s have Muzak? or any of the Old LAX Restaurants featured herein by Mark?

    In trying to encourage my G-daughter not to get rusty on her Sax for her hi-school concert band, I suggested giving it a shot to just sit and play some things “by ear” during the summer for fun….stuff I thought might be out of the ordinary are below. If we did have music, was it more the genre of The Beach Boys, Bee Gees, Kingston Trio? Did any of Y’all go to the Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach or the Coffee House across the street or where?
    Speaking of the Lighthouse and Jazz, I wonder if having a mid-week night of such music might fill up those picnic tables a bit more after the dinner rush was over. In any event, hope Y’all might enjoy some food for the soul of the era:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHdU5sHigYQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9GgmGLPbWU&spfreload=10
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj4zp3i9hLc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR9d1l6oOxI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kTcjXhGbxU
    (Ya gotta love Keely Smith in the background!)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1Tdwi9tx1g Hear other cuts, e.g. Cubano Chant over on the right.
    – Ya, After ringing Pat’s doorbell in PV, picture ole Phil trying to hear her coming by trying to listen through the front door as he hears this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfWbRWTfKFg and then the door swings open wide at the end of the initial 18 second count when he’s met by….and all he can see is…. hot pants and a tube top Oooeee, he wont be a pretty sight at that point especially when he soon realizes its Pat’s Mom!!!! Wish I was a fly on the Eucalyptus tree that night listening to the topic of converstion with “Dad” while having a smoke on the patio.

    An enigma of life that I hope someone can explain: Like genres of food, e.g. fondue, shish kabob, Swiss Burgers with nuts and K-Island, etc. rocked peoples’ boat as did many genres of music…Big Bands, ’50s, Folk, Jazz, how come they can’t be “popular” today given its been generations since last eaten or heard…e.g. they’d be like “new” today. Whoa! didn’t people love Mad Men!!!!

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Ahhh….. for the days of Woody’s SmorgasBurger in the South Bay ~

    This may be a bit lengthy as I am home alone this weekend and it is still raining ….. so I may be chatty this morning.
    This will be a follow up to Bob’s fun narrative on the South Bay.
    I guess I should start this trip at the beach communities and work my way up the PV hill.
    Yes, I was a patron of the Lighthouse one time. Friends and I went to see Dizzy Gillespie blow his horn. That night I learned that God did not give me an ” ear ” for Jazz. Plus, the cigarette smoke was so thick , one could hardly see the man.

    Just up the road was another unique spot ; The Oar House !
    On weekend nights this joint was packed tighter than the New York subways.
    Everyone was standing or moving around very slowly. I am now thinking the place had no tables and chairs on purpose.
    These nights were always ” grab ass ” nights.
    Guys would let their arms hang straight down with the palms of their hands inverted outward so they could brush or grab the girls as they squeezed by.
    There was no fear of being smacked as the girls loved it more than us guys.

    Going toward the hill on the PCH was The House of the Rising Sun.
    This joint had a semi permanent host Stewart Clay, who also entertained with his banjo and comedy routines. Stew and all the beers were great fun on their own, but Stew also found so many local singers and musicians to add to the nights entertainment. Always a lot of fun.

    Next stop would be the Woody’s at Palos Verdes Blvd.
    Woody’s of course had no entertainment. In hind sight , I regret not hiring a couple of 18 year old girls who played the accordion.
    They would stroll the dining room from 5PM till 8 PM in their skimpy
    Tyroleon outfits and braided hair.
    I would have loved to do this without Ralph Wood’s permission and then wait till Monday when he would call asking why sales had tripled over the weekend.

    Now turning up the hill , seeking the hidden entrance to Abalone Cove.
    I feel the vistas from these bluffs are the 8th wonders of the world.
    One picnic here with your yoga pants girlfriend and a bucket of EPL chicken
    would show you how maxed out all of your senses could become at once.

    Now we are in Pat’s old neighborhood with all the Eucalyptus trees.
    Bob, I do want to spare you being a fly on a tree.
    To accomplish this I must describe a favorite movie : Meet The Parents .

    I enjoy this movie many times a year because some scenes replicate my situation with Pat and her parents. I love recalling these feelings.
    Not to far into the movie, Ben Stiller is having dinner while being grilled by DeNero about his farming days in Detroit and other stuff.
    Then Ben excuses himself from the table and goes to the kitchen fridge for
    the bubbly. He has become so hot and ticked that he starts yanking the shit out of his sweater. This is how I felt with Mr. D on his patio !

    Very soon in following scenes , Ben is berated by everyone for being a male nurse and not continuing school to become a doctor. Such a hoot.
    Like Mr. D suggesting that I should advance myself from being a burger flipper to being the next CEO of the Marriot Corp.

    In real time today, my wife knows of guys who have taken early retirements
    from their big jobs in the insurance industry, relocated to Arizona and enrolled themselves into LVN classes. ( Vocational Nursing )
    Now , how is that for a spin on the movie ?

    I hope my narrative provides Bob and others a few chuckles today.
    ~ 93 KHJ Boss Angeles ~ How I miss thee ~

    Phil

  • chrisp says:

    Randy’s Donuts. YES,YES,YES.
    They used to be called BIG DONUT when they opened. There were several locations. I know, very well, the location on Manchester, now right off the 405 freeway. The freeway wasn’t there when it opened.
    The reason I know about the BIG DONUT is because I sold them door to door every Saturday morning. I would have to buy 25 dozen donuts to get a discount so I could make a decent profit. I would sell the glazed type donuts for 65 cents a dozen and the cake with frosting etc. for 70 cents a dozen.
    My dad would take me there early Saturday morning to pick them up and I made a cart to hold them and would deliver them. After a few weeks people would just say “Just bring us the same next week” That made my job a lot easier.
    Anyway, just a story.
    They were, and still are really good donuts.
    By the way, this was all done before my time at Woodys.
    Take care,
    ChrisP

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Hello Chrisp,

    What ??? You did not offer the iced jelly filled or cream puffs ?
    That is akin to Ralph Wood not offering fries. Anyway ……..
    Perhaps you remember Nancy Anderson from Will Rogers St.
    Nancy and her family may have been your best customers.
    My cousin Carol Ankofski and Nancy were best friends and they both
    knew members of your family. Apparently Carol spent a lot of time at
    Nancy’s home.

    During your absence the comment count here has surpassed 800 !

    Phil

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Chris was telling me how certain songs ( oldies ) could take him back
    and help him recall special girlfriends and places.
    Of course this is why music is such a gift to all of us.

    I got to thinking which five songs would be my favorites during the same time frame of Woody’s early days. ( 1956 – 1964 )
    Here they are;

    Blueberry Hill ~ Fats Domino
    To Know Him Is to Love Him ~ Phil Spector
    Only The Lonely ~ Roy Orbison
    Rave On ~ Buddy Holly
    Be My Baby ~ Ronettes

    Over the years I have always loved Buddy Holly and his music.
    Two years ago , my bride of 39 years and I made a special road trip
    to Clear Lake, Iowa. We were able to do a self guided tour inside the Surf Ballroom which is the site of Buddy’s last performance.
    Mary Ann and I were allowed to go up and stand on the stage and look out onto the dance floor just as all the entertainers had done that night.
    For me, this was an ” out of body ” experience which I will remember till
    the day I die. Yes, the power of music.

    Did Woody’s have Muzac ? I think the answer is yes……… but I would invite
    Chris to comment because some stores were different in some ways.
    ” Rave on to me ”

    Phil Ankofski

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

    Bravo ChrisP for your Capitalistic endeavors way back when! Hope lessons learned, served you well! Hope you find a pic of your Randy’s here: http://tinyurl.com/omwpx3k where others can see why they had been called Big Donuts!!! Bravo that you didn’t cop one of these http://tinyurl.com/qhn85tz so you could do this http://tinyurl.com/pzg6s7m (Click on)
    – 65 cents for a dozen!!! What? 85 cents now for just ONE at Krispy Kreme? No way! Besides, just looking at one of their frosted ones makes my teeth….OK…gums ache! Of course for those of you into Breaking Bad, you can come here to Albuquerque and buy some Blue Sky donuts http://tinyurl.com/nm9235u at the actual real live Rebel Donuts, amongst about twenty other Br Ba sites.
    – Lest I said this before, my Mom would buy a prepackaged box of plain donuts at the grocery store, not a bakery, in a box kinda like this http://tinyurl.com/o3cld5g. They had magical ingredients in them, in that unlike bakery donuts that were hard as a rock the next day, these would seemingly last for an indeterminate time!!! Anyway, she’d spread out some cinnamon or powdered sugar on a plate and then by rolling a plain donut thereon, we’d have a fancy one. Best bet tho….and still today: hold/stand a donut on its edge; slice it through; lightly toast the slices in a toaster and butter those inner halves….can’t get that at Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme!

    – Phil’s ‘Meet the Parents’ Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2djcavCEajA RE “To know him is to love him.” Kudos to Spector writing the song re his Dad, but Carol Connors’ (nee Annette Kleinbard) plaintive voice http://tinyurl.com/pwcnbqw of the Teddy Bears was fantabulous. Attempts by Parton/Ronstadt, McBride, The Shirelles, The Beatles simply fall flat. Alas, memories of flames/steadies….like those of Swiss Burgers with nuts and 1K dressing…are bittersweet and like those songs, can become earwigs, but hopefully nothing like http://tinyurl.com/karvuh5 ….sorry ’bout that! Congrats on 39 years!

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    ” Why can’t he see ….. how blind can he be ? ” …. ( drives me nuts )

    Damn Bob ,
    I think you have just ” made ” my entire month of July.
    You are the very first person I have interacted with in 58 years that also
    appreciates Annette Kleinbard. Phil Spector split for New York around 1959,
    and I have never been able to figure why Stan Ross and his partner at Gold Star Recording Studios did not take Annette under their wings.
    It would have been a win, win for all. I have read that she has had a good life
    and did continue a career with music. God bless her.
    I have thought that Connie Francis could have stepped up to the plate
    on the song ” To Know Him is to Love Him ” No matter, I love Annette !

    My other all time favorite lyric is from ” Be My Baby ”
    Ronnie Spector …… ” For every kiss you give me, I’ll give you thee ”

    I must share this little quip about my other favorite gal.
    I came across a UTube site featuring Tina Turner singing many of her songs.
    While listening, I scrolled down thru the comments and found this gem;

    ” Tina is the only person who can sing and scream at the same time . ”

    This quip is absolutely perfect.
    Now I must contribute a line or two about Woody’s SmorgasBurger.

    While Annette was delivering her plaintive lyrics at Gold Star in 1958,
    Ralph Wood and his Uncle Chuck were opening the doors to their second Woody’s unit in Redondo Beach. A few months later Jack Redbird was released from his service with the USAF and hired in at this location.
    Chris Pingel was 12 and selling donuts.
    Phil (me ) was 13 in Detroit … shoveling snow for $1.00 per neighbor.
    Mark Evanier was 6 and starting first grade.
    I think Bob was around 15 and starting to like the babes.

    For those who attended Saint Bernard HS in Playa del Rey ……..
    Get this ; tuition for 2015 is $ 8,435. 00 …… $90.00 (full year ) in 1962 ~

    That’s it guys.
    Phil

  • chrisp says:

    When I came back to Woody’s in 1970. Woody’s had special 3M tape machines.
    The music was on a large cassette. The same music played over and over every day, every week, every month and every year except during Christmas we were given a special Christmas cassette to use. I really didn’t mind the music, though, it was a very long playing tape so the songs weren’t duplicated but, maybe 3 or 4 times a day.
    We got burglarized in Culver City one time and one of the things they stole was the tape machine everyone was happy. A few months later, though, the tape machine was recovered up north somewhere but nothing else, just the machine. Anyway some time later we went to piped in music. I don’t think it was Muzak at the time, though, but, I can’t remember who it was.
    Anyway, hope this satisfies your curiosity.
    ChrisP

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

    — Chrisp…Thanks about the music update. Given “everyone was happy” about the tape being stolen, might suggest to some, it was an inside job…LOL

    – Phil: Per your 1958 reference: a) I love coincidences: The last couple of days I’ve been seeing commercials advertising this: http://tinyurl.com/p4xn3cu In “my time”, I didn’t now about the IHOP/Mr. Wood web. In ’62, I’m visualizing an IHOP on PCH about Pier Ave/Hermosa.
    – Beat yuz all! At 17, I just landed at LAX in ’58 for college after a 10 hour flight from MA on the last of TWA’s “turbo-prop” planes just before jets would cut time to 5 hrs. (Given how long a flight it was, one Stew was sweetly ‘gentle’ by bringing me up to speed; ya know… educating me…Blush…((Eh! in a sport jacket/shirt/tie I looked older!)) about the world of grownups! I.e. they didn’t accept a buck tip for the complimentary Cokes.) Alas, like PV, I still longingly wonder what would’ve been re that ‘special’ Gal I left behind. In any event, walking out of that old terminal into LA was like walking 10 years into the future compared to Baahstan’s environs. Yo, it was just before today’s LAX with http://tinyurl.com/nlmgkde which would’ve really freaked me out! Nevertheless, did get to dine in there ala future in-laws. Pathetically was called The Theme Building. Anyone else ever dine there? Now closed; most recently called the Encounter restaurant. Lest Mark’s been, maybe he might include it?
    – RE Spector. As you haven’t said anything and having a stereotype that you MidWestern Folk might live in kind of a Bubble at times, I hope I’m not passing on a sour note re Spector: http://tinyurl.com/o5fqsla scroll down to ‘Murder of Lana Clarkson’. So sad in terms of what all went on in his earlier years.
    – Enjoy your IHOP Short Stack Tuesday!

  • Lunker says:

    here’s a couple of memories i have of Woody’s in E.S. from when my parents took me there as a kid in the late 60s early 70s. i can recall seeing the Stanford band and cheerleaders celebrating after winning the 1971 Rose Bowl. the other, looking at the “Stardust” apartment sign through the rear entrance window as i ate my burger.

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Hey Bob of NM,

    Thanks for the heads up on the IHOP celebration.
    Mary Ann and I have been working on this bedroom repainting for
    eight days now and I had been promising her a lunch at our favorite
    Chinese place when done. Well, today is the day and there is NO WAY
    she would even consider the trade off.
    ( the room took 3 coats of primer and 2 color coats because my daughter had written Dylan lyrics on all four walls with paint pens. )

    So, today we learn you are one of the older _____s , born in ’41 .
    That means you have been in your 70s for awhile. I will get my taste of
    that myself in a couple of weeks.
    Being the oldest in our group probably makes you our ” line leader “.

    Never did dine at the LAX eatery. In fact, for many years I thought it was the control tower ! How many guys would own up to that ?

    Regarding Phil Spector; So sad indeed. Us MidWesterners probably bought more of his records than anywhere else. And of course, Spectors NYC years
    were spent working with all the GIFTED songwriting teams working at the Brill Building.

    A cute quip to share ; About four years ago, Ronnie Spector was in NYC
    at one of the huge book/music stores to promote her new Christmas CD
    and do signings.
    My daughter Kate was working up the street at Simon and Schuster and called me with the tip off. I begged her to get over there and buy the CD.

    Kate did go and got in line to approach Ronnie at her signing desk.
    Soon enough, it was Kate’s turn to greet Ronnie.
    When asked who’s name she would prefer, Kate responded ; ” Phil ,
    my dad who loves you ! ”

    Ronnie looked at Kate and said ” Phil ? ….. well, being your dad , there must be at least one good one out there “.
    The way Kate tells it , she responded ; ” Yes, he’s a good one . ”

    Phil Ankofski

  • Sue Mathews Brummer says:

    To Phil Ankofski….we lived in Ladera Heights and later Inglewood. Randy’s Donuts was “Angels” when I was a kid. And Woodies on Sepulveda was a favorite! We were so young I remember going to the ice cream bar and putting crushed peanuts on my burger….just because I could!

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    For Sue and others too,

    In case you are not aware of the additional Woody’s sites here, I would love to inform you that there are three others available for your enjoyment.
    The Woody’s Gallery site features about eight photos of both interior and exterior shots. On the main page with headers, look to the left column and you will find the three other choices. Together, the comment count exceeds 810 ! Fun reading .

    Phil A.

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

    Yo Sue: “…remember…putting crushed peanuts on my burger….just because I could!”
    Too Funny Sue! Can’t help but wonder what kind of adventurous life you must have had and be leading, …just because you could!
    What an interesting slogan that would have made for Woody’s!

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Asking for some help here;

    The Woody’s SmorgasBurgers were certainly not in the car cruising circuit
    because the business model was not set up for it.
    However, The Witch Stand in our near Ladera Heights was the king of the hill in that part of town. Much farther to the south on Hawthorne Blvd. in the city of Hawthorne was a similar venue which was very popular with the cruisers as well. I cannot remember the name of this drive in eatery . ?????

    It was such a popular place, I am surprised the location has not been brought up here for mention or comment. I know there are plenty of readers out there who lived near or patronized the Hawthorne area.

    A free EPL coupon to the first responder.
    Phil

  • Lunker says:

    To Sue Mathews Brummer
    I never knew the Big Donut was once called Angels…interesting. Was it a restaurant, or did they sell donuts too? By chance did you ever eat at “Robs” just south of Woody’s? This is before it became the Jolly Roger in the early 70s.

  • Evan Zang says:

    Hi Phil and All

    To answer Phil’s question, after High School I went to UC Berkeley to continue my studies. After college I played music professionally and also managed a very expensive shoe store in Newport Beach. Too many long hours later I became a flight attendant for Western Airlines (“The Only Way to Fly”) where I met my future wife, another flight attendant, in Denver. We’ve been married for 35 years and have two terrific, grown daughters. Discovering I couldn’t raise a family of 4 on a flight attendant’s meager salary, I fell back into retail as a district manager for a California chain of video rental stores called The Wherehouse. I enjoyed being back in California, but in 1988 I left my secure job with Wherehouse to open a “pet food and supply store” in Arizona. It was a very tough and sometimes pitiful adventure, but a creative and fun one too. We opened another 450 stores over the next 8 years, today known as PETsMART! The original start-up group left PETsMART once the company went public, and we started a supplement distribution company in Scottsdale called Natural Partners, selling professional grade nutritional supplements to physicians to use with their patients. These days I am “semi-retired,” whatever that means, but I continue to consult in the healthcare industry with select clients. My wife and I never left Scottsdale, but we visit our daughters in California often. I have nothing but great memories of Woody’s (yeah I even have a coffee mug that I purchased on eBay). I still think they had the best cheeseburger I have ever served . . . or eaten!

  • chris pingel says:

    The place Phil is talking about in Hawthorne was A&W Rootbeer on Hawthorne Blvd in Hawthorne. Very popular. The Witchstand on Slauson and Overhill in Baldwin Hills was the other very popular hangout as Phil mentioned.
    Rob’s Steeplechase was the name of the restaurant in El Segundo before the Jolly Roger on Sepulveda Bl. next to the Woodys Smorgasburger (now I Hop).
    Angel’s Donuts must have come after the Big Donut. The big Donuts, there were more than one location, were built with the Big Donuts on top, hence the name “Big Donut”. I used to sell their donuts.
    FYI They are building a new In & Out in El Segundo 1/2 block south of where the Woody’s was and right across from the old Jolly Roger.
    ChrisP

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Evan,

    Thank you for taking the time to write your informative auto/ bio. I enjoy learning the career paths of the people who comment here.
    I would venture to say that the number of paths you listed is probably average
    for a person starting out after high school.
    We ourselves are not pet owners, but have shopped in your stores many times with our daughter. Well done Evan !

    I suspect most of the Woody’s mugs that show up on ebay were originally from the store on Figueroa Street by USC. I can see these USC jocks finishing their lunch, then taking a mug over to the ice cream machine, filling it up, and then taking a hike out the side door.
    Worse things have happened I know …… so don’t nail me to the cross .
    I suggest the above only because the three Woody’s stores I worked at did NOT experience any significant reorders for the china mugs.
    I love the handles on them !

    I am off to meet my first Rheumatologist this afternoon. Perhaps he will have some Natural Partners supplements to prescribe.
    The Matterhorn sandwich is sounding mighty good, but it would be much to large these days. I think I will downsize it to a 1/4 lb. Swiss burger on a fresh, seeded Kaiser roll…….. adding some crushed peanuts, just because I can !

    Have a great week everyone.
    Phil

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    For Evan,

    I told my bride of your PetsMart relationship and she came up with this question; was it your idea in the original business model to allow pets in the store with patrons …… or did that occur later ?
    Phil

  • Lunker says:

    hey Phil, as for the cruiser spot in Hawthorne, was it the Foster Freeze by chance?

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Ahhhhhh , thanks guys for the entries on the Hawthorne spot , but
    those do not work at all. My memory keeps bringing up names that begin with an H like Hanks , Harvey’s or Henry’s .

    The place was so busy on weekend nights that cars would line up in the right hand curb lane waiting to get in . The cops were not happy as this was dangerous for passing traffic. If someone in line got tired of waiting , they would jump out into passing traffic resulting in sideswipes.
    Chris, I think your better half could help me out on this one.
    Remember to tell her that a EPL coupon could be her prize. Such fun .
    Phil

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    I was delighted to find a 58 year old Woody’s matchbook cover on ebay this afternoon. I have others, but this matchbook is from day one when the Culver City store stood alone. Fun for $1.88, so I bought it ……. just because I could.
    Phil

  • Evan Zang says:

    Hi Phil

    I have to claim some responsibility for actively marketing the concept of shopping in our PETsMART stores with your pet. When we only had one location in Phoenix, our very modest “corporate offices” were located in the back of the store. On occasion I used to bring our Golden to work with me. She really enjoyed the sights and smells of the various food products – you’d almost believe she thought the store was built for her! One day a circus (I think in Tucson) took us up on our advertisements to “shop with your pet” and they humorously marched an elephant through the store. From then on PETsMART customers would bring their leashed pets with them when they shopped. We also worked very closely with the Humane Society, giving them floor space and advertising so they could adopt out homeless dogs and cats. Many thousands of beautiful animals that would have been euthanized were saved. I always felt good about that. FYI the original name of the company was PETFOOD WAREHOUSE. I was one of the few ground floor people that really disliked the name change to PETsMART. And now for some odd reason all this talk has suddenly got me craving a Matterhorn with extra cheese! Thanks a lot! Evan

  • chris pingel says:

    Phil,
    Marty says A&W was thee in spot on Hawthorne Bl. The place was always crowded. she used to go there looking for cute guys.
    The only thing that we know of that started with an H on Hawthorne was Hollys, but it was and still is, I believe, a coffee shop. Good food. The cops used to hang out there.
    I’ll verify A&W from my brother in law who was a cop in Hawthorne back then and let you know. send a pix of the matchbook. It only had the CC location on it?
    Take care All.
    ChrisP

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    ” Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy can’t he seeeeeeeeeeeeee ” ……….
    Howwwwwww blind can he beeeeeeeeeeeeeeee ”

    Well, well , well …….. guess what used to sit on Hawthorne Blvd. @ 137 th. ?
    The name starts with an H , and was the home of the DREEM BURGER !
    This joint opened in 1956 ( like Woody’s ) and was changed out to the Hawthorne Grill in 1968. Currently ( 2015 ) it is an Auto Zone.

    It was HOLLY’S !!!!! Home of the DREEM Burger, DREEM fries and the
    awesome DREEM – M -M Parfait . Shame on you locals for not having Holly’s at the forefront of your mid 60’s memories.
    You guys are a bunch of ” Willies. ”

    Anyway, since I answered my own question , I won’t be awarding the El Pollo Loco coupon to any of you Readers. Too bad, because it applies to the new
    Ranchero Bowls and the new hand carved white meat chicken salads.

    Perhaps a few of you ” Willies ” could answer this 1960’s question ;
    Name the car model which Ford Motor Co. introduced in mid 1964.
    ~ NO PRIZE ~ Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh …………

    Sommmeday he will seeeeeeee, that heeee, was meant, for meeeeee. Oh O.

    Can’t help it , I love this ______ so much.
    Phil

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    Chrisp,

    I see you and your bride did in fact come up with the Holly’s answer.
    Thanks for submitting the info. If you want to claim the EPL coupon let me know. My research shows that Holly’s has been long gone ( 1968), much sooner than the Wich Stand. Anyway, from all the folks I have talked to, it sounds like the A&W was the top dog in Hawthorne.

    My Ebay matchbook has yet to arrive in the mail. The ebay listing showed only the CC address. There are OTHER matchbooks which have the Redondo location printed on the INSIDE cover.
    I will advise you on what I get. Yes, I will be happy to send a photo.

    My treasured Woody’s matchbook lists Mr. Woods Fiskehus venue
    on the inside cover. I was so excited when I saw it on Ebay since it is the only 3 D reference to the seafood restaurant which followed # 4.
    ( there are a few articles in the vintage Torrance Press archives which describe the restaurant in 1960 ~ Dining Out with Ron Burpo )

    Phil

  • Phil Ankofski says:

    I noticed the comment count here at Woody’s lll has reached 241.
    This is truly amazing. It also means the Management will soon have to direct us over to the remaining space on the Woody’s Gallery or inaugurate a new Woody’s IV site. In any case, onward and forward !

    Phil

  • Evan Zang says:

    This has nothing to do with our beloved Woody’s, but does anyone remember Mr. C’s Broasted Chicken in Redondo Beach? I can’t find any information on this lost little Redondo gem. I believe it was located on PCH and Avenue “A,” and it was small. As a kid, I thought their Broasted chicken meals were as good (or even better) than KFC! I also wonder if anybody has information on Clancy’s Hamburgers and Taco Tio, both in Redondo Beach, and both long gone! Darn!

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