Charlton Heston, Clark Gable, John Wayne, Bettie Davis and many other Hollywood Celebrities were known to frequent this quaint San Fernando Valley hot spot. In fact, Ronald and Nancy Reagan hosted their wedding reception here. This was a time when most of this area was surrounded by orange groves and sheep grazed the local hillsides that were later purchased by Universal Studios. The patrons were allowed to catch their own fish and have it prepared (fried) in one of the on-site kitchens. Further, Robert Kennedy stayed on the fifth floor of the hotel the night before his assassination. How's that for a bit of trivia?
Today, the lodge looks a little different and serves as a popular gathering spot for some avid salsa dancers as well as a dinning spot for many of the local retired folks. I'm told that people will travel several hours to dance with the stars! Or maybe that's "Dance where the Stars have danced."
"On New Year's Day, (tomorrow) the Sportsmen's Lodge and its collection of well-known eateries, including the Caribou Restaurant, Muddy Moose Bar & Lounge and a handful of banquet rooms, will be temporarily shut down for remodeling. A new owner plans to reopen the historic venue in Studio City as a modern restaurant and boutique shopping center, perhaps with a new name." (See Los Angeles Times' Story)
(Imagine the people who have sat around this fireplace and the stories they can tell)
A shot of the swimming pool and some of the rooms above
Yesterday, I stopped by the Sportsmen's Lodge and I watched the sun set on yet another section of Hollywood's history. As the name of this institution and the stories associated with it become legend, I know that I'll remember the past and treasure the culture that this property offered. The name will change, no doubt, and the property will be updated - I hope the history will be preserved.