Sunday, August 24, 2008

What went before? 7566 Melrose Avenue

It's now Aardvark's but once upon a time (from April 1937 to June 1940) it was the Hawaiian Paradise or the Hawaiian Paradise Isle as it was known towards the end of its Polynesian run. The restaurant served both Continental and "Island' cuisine and (as of October 1937) also boasted a new all-glass roof 'for year-round starlight dancing'. The Hawaiian Paradise was owned by Rena Borzage (aka Mrs. Frank Borzage) and William 'Bill' Calhoun (according to one source he created what became known as the 'jam session'). In years between the tropical spot and the vintage clothing store, 7566 Melrose was also home to the first 'theater of dance', a gay adult film theater and an adult boutique/bookstore.