entertainment, travel

Breakfast and a Taste of Hollywood History at the Village Coffee Shop

By Rebecca Ford
Hollywood Patch

In the shadow of the Hollywood sign and just a few minutes from the bustling streets of Hollywood, Beachwood Canyon is a quiet oasis with quaint homes, secret staircases and one restaurant—the Village Coffee Shop.

The Village Coffee Shop has charmed residents since 1975 with its feel of a grandmother’s home, cozy and welcoming.

The eatery, which serves breakfast all day and lunch, is within the area that was initially known as Hollywoodland; developers coined the name to attract residents in 1923.

The charming restaurant embodies the history of old Hollywood, and like any grandmother, has watched its residents grow from young starlets to superstars.
Continue reading “Breakfast and a Taste of Hollywood History at the Village Coffee Shop”


Seeing His Name in Lights

Ivan Kane, the owner of Cafe Was, came to Hollywood looking for fame as an actor, but made his mark with his nightclubs and restaurants.

By Rebecca Ford
Hollywood Patch

Ivan Kane’s journey to Hollywood started the same way that many people’s do: After success as an actor in New York, he drove across the country to make a name for himself in Los Angeles.

After landing several film and TV roles and selling a script to HBO, Kane decided he wanted to make a different kind of impression. After all, fame is fleeting, but ownership is forever.

In 1997, he opened Kane, an intimate nightclub that played mainly ’70s funk music, and then went on to open Deep on Hollywood and Vine three years later. In 2002, Kane opened Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce, the now-famous burlesque show and nightclub in Hollywood.
Continue reading “Seeing His Name in Lights”


Hollywood’s Museum of Death Lives to Tell the Tale

By Rebecca Ford
Hollywood Patch

For someone who is always surrounded by death, Cathee Shultz is very lively. Her energy is electric, especially when she’s talking about her fascination with death, and the vast collection of death-related items at the Museum of Death.

Shultz and husband J.D. Healy originally opened the museum in San Diego in 1995, but moved it up to Hollywood in 2000. At its current location on Hollywood Boulevard near Gower Street, the museum encompasses several rooms, each with a different theme, such as serial killers (with art and letters from infamous killers including Richard Ramirez and Nico Claux), executions (with beheading photos) and embalming (with an instructional video). Patch caught up with Shultz to find out more about her unique exhibits.

Continue reading “Hollywood’s Museum of Death Lives to Tell the Tale”


Hollywood Patch

I’ve started doing interview with the new Hollywood Patch. It’s a hyper-local website on the Hollywood neighborhood. I get to interview local businesspeople and residents on their life in Hollywood. Here is my latest, and links to my previous pieces:

Birds Offers ‘Fast Food with a Liquor License’

Mary Preston, co-owner of the Franklin Village hangout, also helps rescue lost dogs and provides a nightly demonstration of her hula hoop skills.

Mary Preston has enough personality to take over an entire restaurant—which she does most nights when she hops up on a table at Birds and hula-hoops (some nights she can be found teaching the basics in the bar).

She’s a hands-on owner who offers to climb the teetering ladder to fix a fan blade, and speaks fluent Spanish to her staff. The menu of basic homestyle cooking isn’t going to impress foodies, but Preston is the first to say that Birds is not primarily about the food.

Preston and business partner Henry Olek started the restaurant back in 1994 when he was a writer and she was an actress and a couple of writers’ strikes prompted them to seek other ways to make a living.

Both lived in the Hollywood Hills and wanted the restaurant to be close by. They bought the space, which used to be a Chinese restaurant, and the rest is chicken and wine.

Hollywood Patch: How did you come up with the concept for Birds?

Mary Preston: I think necessity is the mother of invention. I didn’t want to hire a chef because I knew that chefs take a third of your profits right off the top.

So, I wanted something that leaned towards the healthy side of eating. Rotisserie chicken was all the rage at the time. I knew that the machine itself would cook the chicken.

I’m not a great cook, but I’m more into the bar side. I’m not a chef, so we decided to do down-home recipes. A lot of the recipes are my mother’s. The corn bread and the chicken pot pie and stuff like that.  We wanted something that was fast and affordable, but not fast food. It’s fast food with a liquor license. That’s what I call it.
See more at Hollywood Patch.

My other Hollywood Patch pieces:

Tour Guide Has a Hollywood Story of His Own

Sitting Down with an Upright Comedy Director


Hold on to those coattails, buddy

I’ve always known that this city is saturated with leeches. You know, people riding on the coattails of their successful family member or friend. It seems that famous people are always just one degree away. “[Famous action director] is my 40-year-old boyfriend.” “[Famous director] is my brother.” “I’m [famous actor]’s cousin.”

And sometimes those people become successful. You can argue that talent and hard work are required at some point to really make it. Or not. Who knows?

But never have I seen such a blatant attempt to use someone else’s fame for their own success as in a recent email I received from a famous film director’s UNCLE. Here’s a sample of the email after I asked him what he was looking for me to write:

“i was trying to give u a story of one of the most famous directors in LA, You obvious dont have a clue to who [famous director] is?
I found u online, never read anything you wrote, I was giving you an opportunity of a life time , to interview my life , which is probably one of the most thrilling stories of our time , We have written a script on the story of my life called — which will knock you of your chair, Being am his uncle i thought it might be something you might of been interested in . LA times journalist approached me coming out of [director’s] house last year. and i said no , but i think its just the right time in my life , my projects, and my story.”

Now, I know a PR sceme when I see one, but I was shocked with how aggressive he got so quickly. I do of course know who this director is (and had double-checked with him that this was in fact his uncle), but I can’t quite see how this uncle thinks that any REAL journalist wouldn’t be able to see right through this poorly written attempt to sell the director’s story as his own.

I’m keeping this anonymous because I don’t want said UNCLE to receive any publicity from me, since that’s what he was going for in the first place. And I doubt this is the director’s fault, so he doesn’t deserve the bad press. And who knows, maybe the UNCLE’s intentions were genuine, but I think the words speak for themselves.

I wish people like this all the best. And I’m sure some of them make it. But their hands must get so tired from gripping so tightly on their relative’s coattails.

Hold on to those cottails, buddy
Hold on tight


Villa- Models, Bottles and so much less

I’d post a photo to go along with my review of VILLA, but they don’t allow photos inside. Really, VILLA is the queen of Hollywood snobbery.
It’s a small space–one room with a balcony, so the door goon has the ability to turn away anyone he pleases. VILLA is known for its exclusivity. NO ONE, it seems, can get in, and paps spend half their nights outside of it.  Just check out TMZ.
If you do make it past the pearly gates, you’ll find a room stuffed with beautiful people–anorexic models and men with high cheek bones– and money out the ears. But you won’t find much more. The decor is pirate cosmopolitan, ropes hanging from the ceiling like a skeleton.
VILLA is exactly like the people held within it: beautiful, but not much substance.

news, Other

Why working at clubs is like the end of the world

I have worked at nightclubs for the past couple years. It pays the bills. However, I’ve always known I need to get out of this business ASAP. It’s a little dangerous, especially when the night is over. There are so many drunk people wandering the streets, and sometimes people are of a “rougher” crowd if you will.

 Last night, as I walked to my car at about 2:30 am after work, I found a CRIME SCENE blocking my entrance (and exit) to the parking lot. Yellow tape. Police. And ambulance.


A shooting crime scene with a BODY blocking the driveway.

One drunk guy crossed the tape while I was there, and was promptly arrested as a cop screamed, “There is no way I am letting you contaminate my crime scene.” That’s all I needed to hear.

Needless to say, the police didn’t give a damn about our cars stuck in the lot, and so I have to go pick up my car the next day.

I wasn’t alone in witnessing this mess. A TMZ camera man was walking back to his car when he saw the shooting. His report is here.