Classic style and elegance was Hollywood’s golden era along with going to a certain nights spots to be seen. One of those places was the Cocoanut Grove at the former Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles where movie stars and performers frequented for decades. It opened January 1, 1921 and became a playground for some of the famous including: Charlie Chaplin, Clara Bow, Errol Flynn, Louis B. Mayer, Howard Hughes, Jimmy Stewart, Lana Turner, Frank Sinatra, Desi Arnez along withe several U.S. Presidents stayed there. The Cocoanut Grove was decorated with beautiful Palm trees with coconuts and banana trees, a dance floor and many orchestras and performers played there as well.
The hotel hosted six academy award ceremonies and the first annual Golden Globe awards. In the 1950s the hotel decided to modernize the look of the nightclub lost it’s charm and newer night spots where now the places to go. In the late 1960s and early 70s Sammy Davis Jr. tried to bring the Cocoanut grove back to it’s former glory by featuring acts such as Diana Ross, Jackson Five and other but it didn’t work and the hotel finally closed it’s doors in 1989 and was used for filming until it’s demolish in 2008. The Cocoanut Grove was to remain and be used as a school auditorium.
The Cocoanut Grove had a great menu that included excellent cocktails from a forgotten era such as the Cocoanut Grove Special and the Ambassador cocktail. I happen to have a menu from the restaurant dated 1960 but like demolish of the hotel alas the recipes for these drinks are also gone unless I can find a retired bartender from there. If anyone know’s one please let me know to publish these classic cocktails.
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