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American Graffitti Drive-In to reopen

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rathbone, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. Rathbone
    Joined: Sep 4, 2006
    Posts: 166

    Rathbone
    Member

    I was previously a member of this board as Oddjob2, but I couldn't log in with that anymore so I changed my name. I though some of you may not already know about this:

    The Parasol building in Seal Beach will reopen as Mel's Drive-In
    The Parasol building, an iconic Seal Beach landmark, will soon be home to Orange County's first Mel's Drive-In diner.
    By SCOTT MARTINDALE
    The Orange County Register
    SEAL BEACH – The landmark Parasol building, once home to a popular family-owned eatery housed under a circular pink-and-white roof, will reopen early next year as a Mel's Drive-In diner.

    The building's owner, Century National Properties, is scheduled to announce the deal today. The Seal Beach location will be Mel's first foray into Orange County.

    Mel's Drive-In, made famous in George Lucas' 1973 coming-of-age classic "American Graffiti," will retain the Googie-style architecture and decorative elements that the Parasol was known for. Mel's has seven locations in the Los Angeles area and San Francisco.

    "We look for unique buildings," said owner Steven Weiss, who has been looking to expand into Orange County for about two years. "When the opportunity came for the location in Seal Beach, we said, 'That's the Googie-style architecture we're looking for.' You can't get any better than that."

    The Parasol opened in 1967, the second of a small chain of Los Angeles-area restaurants that have all closed. The building was constructed in an exaggerated, space-age architectural style known as Googie, which was popular in the 1950s and '60s.

    Mel's Drive-In plans to restore many of the Parasol's features, including the layout, the tables and chairs, and the sign outside, at a cost of about $1 million, Weiss said. The exterior pink-and-white color scheme, however, will be changed, likely to a combination of white, beige and green.

    The Parasol's former operator, Roy Hall, who closed the restaurant in March after lease negotiations fizzled with landlord Century National Properties, said he would consider selling his parasol-shaped chandeliers and lights to Mel's so the Parasol could be authentically restored. Those lights, one of the most striking features of the former eatery, are in storage, Hall said.

    "All the lighting was working when I took it down. They just need to be refurbished a little bit," the 64-year-old Huntington Beach resident said.

    After the Parasol closed, Century National Properties spent about $1.5 million renovating the 39-year-old structure as part of a massive overhaul of the aging Rossmoor Center on Seal Beach Boulevard. Much of the northern half of the center was torn down earlier this year.

    As part of the center's renovation, the Parasol building also was slated for demolition. That prompted a vocal group of community members calling itself the Friends of the Parasol to organize a petition to save it. Organizers said the petition had more than 10,000 signatures.

    Around the same time, Century's senior management team changed, and the new bosses decided to spare the building and reopen a restaurant there, project manager Shari Walker said.

    "We really wanted a tenant that would speak to the vintage of the building and whose menu would be at a price point that would still serve a broad sector of the community," Walker said.

    Most patrons spend $7 to $9 for a meal at Mel's Drive-In.

    "I'm very excited to see a long-time tenant like Mel's operating out of the Parasol," said Adriene Biondo, chair of the Los Angeles Conservancy's modern committee. "They have become known for operating out of authentic vintage space."

    CONTACT US: 714-445-6692 or smartindale@ocregister.com
     
  2. cruzr
    Joined: Jan 19, 2006
    Posts: 4,030

    cruzr
    Member

    cool.........when it opens i will have to cruise over and check it out
     
  3. man-a-fre
    Joined: Apr 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,311

    man-a-fre
    Member

    good to know,never heard about it!
     
  4. Spike!
    Joined: Nov 22, 2001
    Posts: 2,733

    Spike!
    Member

    Awsome. It's amazing what 10,000 signatures can do...

    Spike
     
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  5. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,245

    Royalshifter
    Moderator
    from California

    My wife will be excited and that is good for me.
     
  6. JimA
    Joined: Apr 1, 2001
    Posts: 4,807

    JimA
    BANNED

    Another Parasol was nearby in Torrace- it was demolished a few years ago for ANOTHER frickin' Walgreens. We have them on every other corner.
     
  7. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 2,565

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Post some pics of what this place looks like @ the moment;)
    Sometimes when I get adventurous, The gal & I ride the Gold Line from Pasadena to Union Station, then go to the lower level & ride the Metro Red line to Hollywierd & exit @ the Kodak center & walk across the street to the former Max Factor building which has a Mel's on the end of it to grab a burger. Couldn't do that ride in the roadster for what it costs to ride the train & forego the overpriced parking & tourist traffic;) :rolleyes:.

    Hey Jim,
    If you have any shots of the one in Torrance, post em:D
     
  8. RustyRedRam
    Joined: Jan 24, 2005
    Posts: 1,093

    RustyRedRam
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Should be interesting to see once it opens. Now all they need is someone to stay there and lay down a Vespa into the curb all night.

    RRR
     
  9. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 16,832

    Muttley
    Member

    Well, I wont be there...........I'm staying right here having fun as usual. :rolleyes: :D
     
  10. RustyRedRam
    Joined: Jan 24, 2005
    Posts: 1,093

    RustyRedRam
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    Oh come on Muttley, you gotta leave this turkey town

    RRR
     
  11. Ruiner
    Joined: May 17, 2004
    Posts: 4,122

    Ruiner
    Member

    oh god, here we go with the movie quotes..."sticky little mothers, ain't they?"
     
  12. **MCQUEEN**
    Joined: Sep 25, 2003
    Posts: 1,633

    **MCQUEEN**
    Member

    That's cool. Hope someone can post some before and after pics. Wish it was closer. It'd be neat if hot rodders started hanging out there like old times, It's great to see something going nostalgic. :)



    "Well, get in and I'll let you feel it... I mean, you know, you can touch it... uh... I'll let you feel the upholstery".



    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  13. Ruiner
    Joined: May 17, 2004
    Posts: 4,122

    Ruiner
    Member

    I really want to see some before and after photos...

    so is this the original drive-in from the movie, or just one that happens to look like it?

    "I was a dirty bird, carol's not grungy she's bitchin"
     
  14. Rathbone
    Joined: Sep 4, 2006
    Posts: 166

    Rathbone
    Member

    I don't live anywhere near there so someone else will have to take the photos. I just saw this article and thought it would be well received here.
     
  15. Whiplash
    Joined: Aug 17, 2005
    Posts: 72

    Whiplash
    Member

    Mel's Diner, on South Van Ness Ave in San Francisco, was around for many years before being used as a location in American Graffiti. It was torn down shortly after the filming.
     
  16. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 2,565

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    I believe that is a Mission Revival Style Chevron station now,I stopped in there once & started to look @ the other buildings for reference.
    In one of the long distance shots that most of us a fans never see, one can see that there are very larger buildings around & it kinda looks outta place.

    When the movie was to be filmed, Mels as a drive in was already closed, George Lucas got in touch with the owner & rented it. He didn't have to pay very much but the prop people sure did have to work hard to make it all look "fresh"
    Rick Figari= Current Milner coupe owners mother worked @ a Mels not sure if it was the one from the movie, but he was all over the history of it.

    I may just take a ride out to Seal Beach to see what this Parasol one was all about. If they are to make this a True Drive In style restaurant, I like to see em use the movie version as a blueprint, that would off the hook!
    It would be worth the drive down then.:D
     
  17. Dave Downs
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 632

    Dave Downs
    Member
    from S.E. Penna

    Damn....I just watched American Grafitti over the weekend for the first time since it came out.....

    "You car is uglier than I am"
     
  18. Ruiner
    Joined: May 17, 2004
    Posts: 4,122

    Ruiner
    Member

    "You and me Toad, we'll take em all on"
     
  19. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,446

    Boones
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Kent, Wa

    Cool.. I get to Seal beach a few times a year on business.
     
  20. Mr T body
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 799

    Mr T body
    Alliance Vendor
    from SoCal

    This is the best shot I could find
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Bad Bob
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 23,771

    Bad Bob
    Member
    from O.C. Baby

    I'm down there all the time. I'll get a pic of what it looks like now.
     
  22. Eisenfaust
    Joined: Jul 29, 2006
    Posts: 188

    Eisenfaust
    BANNED

    W.T.F. is "googie- style architecture"??? Do you have alot of it in CA??? If so,that would be yet ANOTHER reason I'll stay here in "Flyoverland"
     
  23. Cyclone Kevin
    Joined: Apr 15, 2002
    Posts: 2,565

    Cyclone Kevin
    Alliance Vendor

    Thanx for posting the pic, now I have an idea of what she is @ the moment.
     
  24. chrisman
    Joined: Jun 13, 2002
    Posts: 712

    chrisman
    Member

  25. Eric Von Zipper
    Joined: Aug 4, 2005
    Posts: 465

    Eric Von Zipper
    Member

  26. 6t5frlane
    Joined: Dec 8, 2004
    Posts: 2,358

    6t5frlane
    Member
    from New York

    Hey Milner...ya want a burger
     
  27. hope the food is better than the san fran locale. worst hash browns ever.

    pancakes were good though.
     
  28. Avg.Joe
    Joined: Dec 5, 2004
    Posts: 350

    Avg.Joe
    Member

    That's about 5 miles from my house. Hey BadBob if you get the Village idiots to go there they can be called the Parasol idiots or Mel's idiots. See you next Tuesday.


    Joe
     
  29. Bad Bob
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 23,771

    Bad Bob
    Member
    from O.C. Baby

    Parasol Panzies,Mels Monkeys,Diner Delinquents. Give me a minute,i'll think of some more.
     

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