Wich Stand

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Restaurant Menu from early 1960s with illustration of Slauson Ave location

Wich Stand was a 1950s style coffee shop restaurant and diner in Los Angeles, California featuring a tilting blue roof and 35-foot spire (11 m), designed by renowned architect Eldon Davis.[1]

Wich Stand
General information
Architectural style Googie architecture
Town or city Los Angeles
Completed 1957
Design and construction
Architect Eldon Davis

The Wich Stand had two locations within Los Angeles. One of the building still exists and is located at the intersection of Slauson Avenue and Overhill Drive in View Park-Windsor Hills, an unincorporated affluent neighborhood of Los Angeles County near City of Inglewood that is encircled. It was also known for its dart neon sign. A food critic said its "plunging dart of a sign keeps it from spinning off into space," and it is a surviving preserved examples of Googie architecture, according to the Los Angeles Times.[2][3] The other was located within City of Los Angeles proper at Figueroa and Florence (as listed on menu and matchbook cover).

The Beach Boys[edit]

The Beach Boys lived in the area and wrote an unreleased song called "Wich Stand".[4] The coffee shop also inspired another Beach Boys' song, "Root Beer (Chug-a-lug)", about "Cruisin' the A," which was driving the five miles between the A & W on Hawthorne Boulevard and the Wich Stand on Slauson.[5]

Simply Wholesome[edit]

The Slauson Ave location opened in 1957 as a city attraction. However it eventually fell upon hard times in the early-1980s and had declined and was vandalised, including a gutting of the floors and ceilings, after the diner closed in 1988. The following year the former diner was declared a historic city landmark by the Los Angeles County in 1989. The building was completely refurbished and reopened as the Simply Wholesome vegan restaurant and health food store.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "OBIT> ELDON DAVIS, 1917-2011". The Architect's Newspaper. 5 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Steve Harvey Coffee Shop Modern' Architecture Googie-History Closing the Menu on a 1950s Style June 9, 1986 Page: 1 Los Angeles Times (partial preview) [1]
  3. ^ Alan Hess (2004). Googie Redux: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture. Chronicle Books. p. 97. ISBN 9780811842723. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Sometimes Wilson would cruise several miles north to the Wich Stand at Slauson Ave and Overhill Drive, where the parking lot would hold a hundred cars from all over the South Bay, which is what locals call the area between South Central and the bottom half of Santa Monica Bay. He might have immortalized the destination drive-in in a 1964 recording, "The Wich Stand," but the track went unreleased. With a decorative spire poking through the slanted roof, buttressed by Swiss cheese struts, the Wich Stand looked like Southern California itself -- open, airy, offbeat and futuristic. Today the building is painted an unlikely forest green and houses a health food restaurant, Simply Wholesome, that caters to the large African American community in the neighborhood. The spacious parking lot in the rear, once packed with hot rods and surf wagons, stands nearly empty. More than the neighborhood has changed in South Central Los Angeles. over the past 45 years." Joel Selvin For the Beach Boys, fun, fun, fun began in humble Hawthorne May 31, 2005 San Francisco Chronicle
  5. ^ James B. Murphy (2015). Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963. McFarland. pp. 215–216. ISBN 9780786473656. Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Chastang, Carol (Apr 9, 1995). "Windsor Hills, Happy Days to Health Food for This Landmark Renovation: A '50s-style coffee shop, the Wich Stand, gets new life as a Simply Wholesome store.". Los Angeles Times. p. 8. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°59′19″N 118°21′16″W / 33.9886°N 118.3545°W / 33.9886; -118.3545