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Another Johnie's website

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:10 pm
by khummer

Thank you everybody!!

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:06 pm
by retrocool
I just wanted to thank everybody for coming out to Downey in support of Harvey's/Johnie's Broiler. There was a huge crowd that attended the council meeting and wow! It was really great experience. Thanks again everybody!

Have a good one,

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:16 pm
by lasvegaslynn

Was anything decided at the meeting? What happened?

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:39 pm
by nichols

Decision and ??????'s in response to lasvegaslynn

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:04 pm
by retrocool
The City Council did not take any action last night, they said that they would use the full extent of the law and they would use all there resourses to bring the responsible party to justice. But nothing was decided on or voted on. They just all agreed action must be taken. They wanted to make Johnie's an example case on what not to do. Rick Trejo the mayor actually went so far as to say that they would restore the building. But after he said that he looked kinda shocked. Almost like he couldn't believe he just said it himself. It was a great moment. I think we should hold him to it. All the council members were very upset at what had happened.
I really hope they can still restore the building, but I wonder how they can do that if Johnie still owns the land. Any ideas about how the Broiler could be restored? I would sure like to know. Please post them.


Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:34 pm
by Lynxwiler
It was mentioned earlier, but I wanted to reprint this article in its entirity just in case the link should one day disolve. It's a telling article and paints a very despicable portrait as to what went down on Sunday afternoon.

A landmark in ruins
City mourns the illegal demolition of an icon of the 1960s.
By Samantha Gonzaga, Staff writer, Long Beach Press Telegram
Article Launched: 01/08/2007 11:00:01 PM PST

DOWNEY - Residents and city officials on Monday examined the remains of a piece of local history that was reduced to rubble over the weekend.
Before the Car Outlet Inc. dealership set up shop in 2002, the 90,000-square-foot parcel of land at the corner of Firestone Boulevard and Old River Road was home to Johnie's Broiler, the place to be seen if you had a hot ride.

The restaurant was one of the last of its kind constructed: a Googie-style gathering spot where hot-rodders and car enthusiasts spent their nights socializing during the golden age of Southern California's car culture.

Downey Police Capt. Jim McCulloch said the agency is investigating who authorized the illegal demolition of Johnie's on Sunday afternoon.

Authorities said they plan to interview property owner Christos "Johnnie" Smyrniotis and his lessee.

"It clearly wasn't a professional group (of demolitionists)," McCulloch said, adding that the electricity and gas were still on when bulldozers came. "People could have been hurt."

Gas and electricity were switched off at the site late Sunday afternoon. Those responsible for the demolition face up to six months in jail and fines, McCulloch said. Smyrniotis could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

An employee with Car Outlet said the dealership "had nothing to do with the bulldozing," but said a manager would call the Press-Telegram for further comment. No additional comments from Car Outlet came Monday evening.

Johnie's demolition will likely be brought up at tonight's Downey City Council meeting, City Hall spokesman Scott Pomrehn said.

The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. at Downey City Hall, 11111 Brookshire Ave.

It wasn't clear Monday afternoon if Johnie's demolition will be added as an agenda item, but Pomrehn said the issue will likely lead to a request for a closed-door session to discuss potential litigation due to numerous OSHA violations from the unsafe environment in which bulldozing contractors worked. A statement to the public will be issued after the meeting.

As for the undamaged Johnie's Broiler sign, Pomrehn said, "We're bringing in engineers to investigate the integrity of what is remaining." The sign was spared when police halted the demolition Sunday.

A request denied

Johnie's Broiler is eligible for listing in the state's Register of Historical Resources because of its architecture and cultural heritage, according to an April 2002 report by the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

But attaining that status is contingent on the property owner pursuing the paperwork, which Pomrehn said Smyrniotis has not done.

The city doesn't have a preservation ordinance in place, though it is an issue that had been brought up to the City Council prior to Johnie's demolition, Pomrehn continued.

The Los Angeles Conservancy as early as 2001 has kept an eye on Johnie's, even requesting to stay in the touch with the city should the land on which parking dealership sits face development. Also, a grassroots group of Downey residents called Johnie's Friends formed in 2001 to protect the site.

"As a rule, the city will not demolish unless we know what will be in its place," Pomrehn said.

City officials would have been sensitive to any renovation on the site because of its cultural significance, he continued.

That was what happened in October when Smyrniotis' lessee filed a request to tear down the dealership and put a small retail shopping center in its place.

The request was denied due to a number of deficiencies. It lacked an environmental impact report - a requirement under the California Environmental Quality Act - as well as a traffic impact analysis.

Downey's planning department also requested other information, among them landscape and irrigation plans and complete building floor plans.

Senior planner Dave Blumenthal detailed these requirements in a Nov. 17 letter to Montebello-based architect Richard Stupin with RAS Associates that was also given to Smyrniotis. Pomrehn said the letter was the city's last communication and had not yet received a response.

`This is our innocence'

Opened in spring 1958 by Harvey Ortner, Harvey's Broiler incorporated the Googie elements: wild angles, strong rooflines, brightly lit interiors and exteriors, big V-shaped car canopies and larger-than-life signs.

"(Because) the assembled property had a unique exposure to the street from both directions due to the bend of the road, Harvey (Ortner) requested that I consider a restaurant design that would take advantage of that position and make a `statement' at the same time," architect Paul B. Clayton said to the City Council in December 1989 in support for Smyrniotis's request for a variance allowing the original sign to remain.

Smyrniotis, described to the Press-Telegram by several long-time residents as Ortner's former cook, bought the restaurant in 1965 and changed its name to Johnie's Broiler.

According to a Wikipedia article on Johnie's Broiler, legend says the eatery was named Johnie's instead of Johnnie's because the extra "n" would not fit on the sign. The famous "Fat Boy" mascot was added in 1966.

According to an April 2002 report by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Johnie's Broiler in its heyday - between 1958 to 1968 - accommodated 350 parked cars, had car service for 98 cars and seated up to 110 inside its restaurant. Eighty-five employees, including the carhops, helped with the operation.

"It was a major mark on the tour circuit," said Adriene Biondo of the Los Angeles Conservancy. "Everyone would congregate here. It was the sparkling jewel of Downey."

It drew hot-rodders and car enthusiasts. On its opening night, cruisers waited an hour and a half for their turn to drive through, said Downey resident Helen Burns, 66, who was present that first day.

She recalled being 16, picking up girlfriends from South Gate in a 1949 metallic-green four-door Ford, to "cruise, and say hello."

There were a handful of spots for cruising in the area - The Clock in Lynwood and The Tip Top in Paramount were others - but everyone ended up at Harvey's.

"When we were kids, this was one of the highlights of cruising," said Downey resident Kathy Morgan, 65.

Throughout Monday, residents visiting the site brought camcorders and digital cameras to record the rubble.

City vehicles blocked entrances to the parking lot. A GE truck driver who said he was supposed to deliver a portable office to the car lot, left when no one wanted to sign off on the cargo.

Another long-time resident, Councilman Mario Guerra, also had memories to share: As a teenager, he took his first dates to the drive-in.

"I feel that what happened here is so far off-base," said Guerra, who visited the site Sunday and Monday. "This is unbelievable. I'm actually pretty angry that there is someone out there with the gall to circumvent the law under the cloak of a weekend."

Burns said she was one of the residents who called Downey police to report the demolition.

"This is our innocence," Burns said. "It's a part of our life. This was a place to be carefree. We didn't have to worry about knives and guns.

"It's a shame it had to go down like this, like it was visited by a thief in the middle of the night."

On the Net:

Samantha Gonzaga can be reached at or at (562) 499-1284.

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:32 am
by Adriene
Lynn, city council went into closed session after listening to all the testimony. Will post the news as soon as we get word from council.

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:57 am
by Futura Girl
it's hard to hear this from so far away and not being able to attend.

but at least i wrote my letter.
please everyone - even though the initial hearing is over - city members will need to to hear continued outcry. keep sending letters.

It's so sad....

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:24 am
by modfan
Someone with bucks (I'm thinkin hometown celeb Richard Carpenter?) shoulda offered to ante up to ask the property owner if they can have all the significant architectural components and then just let him turn it into the usual shopping center/car lot. Then they coulda put them in someplace like that Vegas sign museum-make it something like the restaurant within it.

I always think of that Calif Lotto commercial that was filmed there in that Julius Shulman/Ansel Adams looking black and white.

Posted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 10:35 am
by nichols

We're pursuing a rebuild on site plan right now. It's not at the point of removing anything. Let's hope that something good can happen at 7447 Firestone Ave. and not at an off-site museum.

Posted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:38 pm
by Adriene
That's right, Chris. At this point, Johnie's is considered a crime scene and has been temporarily stabilized and fenced off. Round-the-clock security is there and the site will not be cleared -- or anything removed -- until the City of Downey completes its investigation.

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:33 am
by Adriene
I'll be posting this under Events also -- but you are all invited!

The Friends of Johnie's in coordination with the Modern Commitee, support of local Southland car clubs, and outraged citizens will be staging a "Cruise-in" at Johnie's Broiler on Sunday Jan 14th from 3:30 to 5:30p.m. -- the exact time the illegal demolition occurred. We will be asking those with classic cars to cruise around the block, and ask that people wear black armbands & bring symbolic mementos to hang on the chain-link fence such as yellow ribbons, fuzzy dice, hanging signs, car club logos, messages to Johnie's, "Restore Johnie's" messages to the City: " Justice for Johnie's" etc.--whatever inspires you!

Your presence is important--let's continue to show the City of Downey we are outraged by this desecration! Not only do we want justice, we want Johnie's! Please, spread the word--let's continue to show our collective outrage and that this is not a forgotten issue that will simple fade away from our memories.

See you on the sidewalk!


Johnie's Broiler, 7447 Firestone Boulevard, Downey

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:26 pm
by So_Cal_Native_in_Texas
This thread made me cry. :cry:

The people who made this happen are cruel. Just cruel.

How could anyone want to tear down Johnie's Broiler? How could anyone want to neglect it, for that matter? It's beautiful. How can you not take care of something so precious?

:( I'm depressed now. My heart is broken.

But thank you, Adriene and the rest of the LA MODCOM, for never giving up and for your tireless efforts. You are truly cherished.

The Demise of Johnie's

Posted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:48 pm
by HappyBunny
It's depressing to me how LA just eats its heritage. The Ambassador, now Johnie's. I didnt grow up here (Cleveland girl) but I think I have more appreciation for the architecture than some of those who did. Maybe because I am not taking it all for granted -- we had nothing like Googie in Cleveland. But I do think that as a rule, there is more consciousness of the past in the East than there is here. Either that, or nobody wants to develop anything new, which is a possibility.

The owner of Johnie's sounds like a real treat. Its disgusting how architectural/cultural treasures fall into the hands of such rabble, who have as much appreciation for history and architecture as a booger.

It's bad.

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:48 pm
by losfeliz
Dear So Cal Native in Texas and Happy Bunny and Dear Rest of the World,

I had my sad first visit to the erstwhile Johnie's Broiler now a pile of pathetic rubble on a corner in Downey, California this afternoon.

I wish to put this poor delapidated wasteheap into context for you all.

I approached Johnie's via Firestone Blvd from the exit of the "Golden State" freeway. I drove through three miles of the most disgusting and depressing sterile American landscape of big-box consumer good distribution warehouse (aka "target" "best buy" the like) that has come to characterize the boulevards of our nation. This alternated with a numbing parade of car dealerships. One particular "landmark" was a repulsive hideous and vulgar box in which McDonald's Corporation distributes its food products to consumers. As if this were not disheartening enough, I want to tell you, the moment you see the Johnie's Broiler sign rising elegantly on the horizon, you just want to KILL yourself. It stops your breath, your heart is in your throat. This was my first experience of Johnie's. Love at first sight. And way too late.

No photos have captured the beauty and impact of that sign; it's huge, it's broad, it's confident, and there it reigns, somewhat off-kilter, over a hateful pile of steaming rubble. Some poor soul is out there, a guy who bought the hype that he or his kids would be better off in this world, and in the afterlife, with a few more bucks in his pocket, 'twas he who commited this crime against humanity. He raped and pillaged this lovely structure in pursuit of a few more sheckels. How insane can you be ... truly??

Shame on him and have pity on our world.
America! Wake up, your streets died. What about your culture?

Debra Levine

Johnie's Broiler, Downey

Posted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:32 pm
by Deco Lover
I want to express my outrage of the obviously blatant "RAPE"
of one of the jewels of Googie architecture, Johnie's Broiler restaurant.

When will it stop???? :evil:

Are we to loose all of our architectural heritage, and having nothing
left to pass on the next generation?

I moved from Los Angeles in the summer of 2004, due to family
issues and plan to return soon, but am shocked at the amount
of changes to so many historical places.

Perhaps the only way to control the ongoing destruction of our past,
is to make it a law that if a developer is persuing a project
with a historical site, they would have to work within "guidelines"
to perserve the extisting building. It should be RE-ADAPTIVE USE
NOT DIRT LOTS! If the developer can't abide by this format, he
will not be able to proceed with his project!

Hopefully, due to the extensive media coverage and protests, the
owner/developer will be prosecuted for the illegal demolition of
Johnie's Broiler. Time in jail is justice!

I will continue to follow the outcome of this story.

Christopher Myers
Stockton, CA

Thanks everybody

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:01 am
by retrocool
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to thank everyone who participated in the Harvey's/Johnie's Cruise yesterday (Sun. 14). It truely was a great show of support and it ment a lot to the community of Downey. Keep the letters coming into city hall the council is listening. Mario Guerra, a council member mentioned to me yesterday that the city is looking into a historical preservation ordinance. There is so much mid-century history here that needs to be saved. Don't forget Alan Hess will be at the Barbara Riley Center (Apollo Park) in Downey Jan. 25 at 7:30 pm for a slide show and lecture. I would imagin he would have something to say about Harvey's after what has happened there. For for information go to or

Thanks again everyone!!

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 9:53 am
by downeydreamer
Until today I haven't been able to comment on this because it's so heartbreaking and sickening. Commentor losfeliz gave an apt description of discovering Johnie's, the visual effect it has after the drive on a rather blighted and tired-looking stretch of Firestone Blvd. It was even more so at night, when the neon was lit.
I guess the point is not now to cast blame, but I am still angry and want someone to pay. Honestly I think the lackluster response of the previous Downey city government to the original 2001 effort, in effect gave the impression that this was far from a priority. I'm sure Johnie himself (Smyrinotos) who most likely ordered the illegal destruction, reasoning that since no repercussions had come during the last 4 years of chipping away at Johnie's interior/exterior (all for, of all things, another used car-no credit no problem-limon lot, when there are 5 in the immediate vicinity - there's the 99cent store style of urban planning for you - anyway, surely thought the city would just grant a 'fait accompli' and allow the rest to be bulldozed. It's been suspicious since day one. When a friend and I first went by the newly established car lot four+ years ago, we were chased off and told that taking pictures of the sign was "illegal" - apparently even then "illegal" was a fuzzy concept to the dealership proprietors. Odd that the one time I met Smyrnitos, was when he worked at the restaurant. He bragged about the number of movies that had been filmed there.
All this suburban surreality was the inspiration of, as it seemed here was this atomic suburb dissapearing by a million little demolitions and alterations, every bit of personality and Americana and uniquenes replaced with the faceless and tired and cheap, all with so little fanfare (prior to Johnie's the last big injustice was the destruction of the tiki-themed Tahitian Village that was replaced by a Food4Less.)
In the meantime, a piece of SoCal history lies in ruins. As everyone on this board knows it's not the first time, just one of the more brazen in a Basin that has seen its share of suspicious midnight fires. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Conservancy and those who are involved or even the fans, wherever they are, maybe this won't happen again. Maybe, in light of their embrassment, the new City Council has found a sense of leadership and will make an example of this. Maybe a new buyer will be found. Something good has got to happen.

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:38 am
by nichols

It's raining, what about Johnies

Posted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:21 pm
by khummer
Yes, it is raining. How's Johnies? I can imagine all the urban archeological artifacts washing onto Firestone Avenue. ????

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:49 pm
by Marcala
More publicity from Hemmings Motor News........

Legendary hot rodding hangout bulldozed

A popular 1950s roadside stand and cruise spot for many Southern California hot rodding legends now sits half-demolished and at the center of a debate over the preservation of Americana.
Without permits, the owner of Johnie’s Broiler, formerly Harvey’s Broiler, in Downey, California, began bulldozing the former diner on the afternoon of January 7. Local police intervened before the dozer took out the iconic sign at the front of the building.
Harvey’s opened in 1958, but was renamed Johnie’s in 1966 when current owner Christos Smyrniotis bought it. During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the spot hosted enormous cruise-ins — of up to 3,000 cars at a time, according to some sources — and served as a backdrop in dozens of movies. Yet in 2002, Smyrniotis closed the diner and reopened Johnie’s as a used-car lot. A preservation campaign at the time put the diner in the news, but did not succeed in getting it classified as a historical landmark. Smyrniotis did apply for a demolition permit in October, with plans to put a retail complex (mini-mall) on the site, but the permit was denied.
A city council meeting three days after the partial demolition elicited a massive turnout both by architectural preservationists (Johnie’s has been attributed with helping start the Googie form of architecture) and by Southern California hot rodders. City council members promised to investigate the matter and to punish Smyrniotis, but for now, Johnie’s remains cordoned off and partially destroyed.
Supporters have put up a Web site about the landmark diner at
- By Daniel Strohl

link: ... 122110#892

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:49 pm
by Adriene ... man/26562/

Demolition, Man
The bulldozers write the history

By Theo Douglas
Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 3:00 pm

Got your boomerang pylons right here, photo by Jennie Warren
You slave out there in the wilderness—replacing the original, firetrappy 1963 interior of the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland with something more flame retardant (and beige)—but no one understands. The liberal media jumps all over you, as if something that new could possibly be historic, and the conservative outlets—well, they’re The Orange County Register. Sad. Then you work with the city to renovate the Parasol Restaurant in Seal Beach—pull all the permits—and the hipster scofflaws rub your nose in a few modern touches like new light fixtures and fabrics. Well duh! You know how hard that old stuff is to find?

But finally, someone out there gets it. Someone’s a genius, if we only knew who. Huzzah for whomever sicced a fleet of shiny bulldozers on Johnie’s Broiler in Downey last Sunday. That’s how we do it in Orange County: wait until Sunday afternoon to knock the place down (or ’round midnight, the way they did it at Newport Dunes), and be quick. Don’t turn off the gas or water lines; don’t reroute the electrical wires—just tear it up. Never mind that it’s eligible for the state Register of Historic Places, and you could get up to six months in stir, plus a fine. Just get ’er down.

OC Weekly spoke last week with the man who has owned Johnie’s for 40 years, Christos Smyrniotis. He tried unsuccesfully in October to convince the city to let him redevelop a portion of the property, but he says he had nothing to do with its recent demise. That’s some nice work for somebody, Christos. Man, if we were you person or persons unknown, we’d be taking some credit for that shaving cream. What a man does on his own land is his own business, and six months in stir is a cheap price to pay for that kinda freedom.

“My tenants, they didn’t read their contract,â€￾ Smyrniotis said as he helped block off the storm drains so the rain couldn’t carry off what’s left of his 1958 drive-in. He claims his renters, Car Outlet, Inc., knocked the place down when his back was turned—but now that it’s in ruins, he says he’ll listen to the city. “I am going to wait to hear what the city has to say and then I’m going to respond to the city.â€￾ (Car Outlet, Inc., by the way, says it didn’t kill Johnie’s Broiler.) The City of Downey wants Smyrniotis to rebuild Johnie’s Broiler the way it was—in 1958—and they’re threatening him with fines and up to six months in jail. But come on! 1958? Do fries come with that polio? Not like it’s the friggin’ Parthenon.

“People like to go to San Francisco, or Paris, or Rome, simply because they have buildings that are different than the brand new ones,â€￾ says Irvine-based architectural historian Alan Hess—which begs the question: If they’re going outside Orange County for historic architecture, then why do we need it here? Let’s just make everything look like San Clemente! Here’s a handful of other potentially historic midcentury buildings to keep the bulldozers busy:

• Carrows Family Restaurant, 8650 Beach Blvd., Buena Park. A former Bob’s Big Boy location built circa 1955 (Hess doesn’t have an exact year), this place has the classic rounded roof and extravagant Googie-style flourishes you’d expect from the man who designed the original 1952 Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. That’s right: this Carrows—which is somewhat remodeled inside—sprang from the pens of famed architect Wayne McAllister’s architecture firm and was one of the original prototype designs for the Bob’s chain.

• Coco’s, 12032 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove. Another former Bob’s Big Boy restaurant, this one is from 1958—same year as Johnie’s Broiler. It, Hess says, was penned by the seminal midcentury modern design firm Arnett & Davis. The checkerboard cinderblock walls, the central pylon sign (like a toothpick through your club sandwich) the broad expanses of glass—the better from which to watch the world while you eat—are all still here.

• La Palma Chicken Pie Shop, 928 N. Euclid Ave., Anaheim. This 1956 restaurant—complete down to its weentsy original Formica tables and neon signage—is part of a small, crazy Googie-style shopping center. The roof’s “held upâ€￾ by slanted metal poles, and little palm trees in a stone planter poke through a skylight in the overhanging roof—all making an ironclad case against the three-martini lunch.

• Beach-lin Carwash, 126 N. Beach Blvd, Buena Park. Another relic from 1963, this carwash (at Beach Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue) features a bright red butterfly roof held up by blazing white boomerang pylons which poke through at regular intervals, making it look like some kind of modernist pincushion.

• Arena, Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim. A gorgeous, rounded, slumpy piece of stucco from 1967. calls it “a cross between a Martian hat and a War of the Worlds imaginary visitor,â€￾ both of which sound like the same thing. We call it old—and therefore useless, but the city may save us the effort. Is it endangered? It’s in Anaheim.

• Orange County Courthouse, 700 Civic Center Drive West, Anaheim. The last major project from architect Richard Neutra, this mid-’60s offering has never been substantially remodeled beyond the obvious concession to vector control—letting its outdoor reflecting pool dry up, which has the added benefit of algae abatement. Goddamned algae. “I would say [it] is 97 percent there, inside and outside. I served on a jury recently and had the opportunity to spend the day there, and it’s extraordinary,â€￾ Hess says. He must mean extraordinar[il]y bad; no other way to explain it.

• Stater Brothers Market, 2180 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa. A classic piece of 1950s suburbia, this narrow little market surely had those round, Formica carousel-ed checkout stands when it was new. They’ve since remodeled the inside, but the exterior is still original—all weird curves and pointy lines.

• Ultimate Engineering Group, 2436 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach. This is classic 1950s design—severely angled pylons holding up a cantilevered canopy to keep the rain out. It used to be a gas station, but now it’s some sort of car repair shop—and, if history is any indication, will probably be obliterated some day in the not-too-distant future.

“Developers would prefer a blank lot to start over just because it’s easier for them, because they don’t have to think,â€￾ says Hess, and we have to agree. Thinking is really hard. Why adapt an existing building when you can just tear it down and start over?


Downey City Council Meeting Jan.23

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:09 pm
by retrocool
Hi everyone,

I just received this from the Friends of Johnie's.


Hello Everyone-

We just wanted to say a big thank you to all who came out and supported the Johnie's "cruise in" on such short notice, it was impressive to see such a great turn out. Such action continues to show that we our outraged and want justice and action! Seeing all the cars, sharing stories, and being able to express our frustration in a positive way was truly awesome!!!! We will certainly keep you posted for a future show of support and action. More immediately though we need your presence at the next Downey City Council Meeting on Tuesday January 23rd at 7:30 p.m. The city will be making a statement on Johnie's at the upcoming council meeting. We need to show the city that we want them to come through on their word and that we do not want this "case" to linger and fade away in some file. Please speak out at the meeting and continue to express your concern and outrage over this illegal act-- we cannot remain quiet.

Also to those of you living in Downey, (Downey Homeowners Alliance)PreserveDowneyhomes.. an ally of ours, led by George has informed me of some disturbing news. Apparently the Downey Studios site is going up for proposed redvelopment and the city is currently leaning towards one developer
( sounds fishy- only one!) Any way this developer is doing a presentation on their proposed development of the sight at 6:00 p.m. in the council chambers before the regular city council meeting.(There was no public notice of this in the paper, even fisher!) It would be excellent if you would go see what they are proposing, but the more alarming concerns are.... why are they looking at just this one developer? Shouldn't there be an "open call" to multiple developers to see how that sight can best be utilized? What happens to the historical buildings on Lakewood Blvd? Why are the residents in the dark about this project????? Pass the word on to your neighbors!!! Okay, I've gone on enough!

Thanks again and lets continue to fight the fight!

On behalf of the Friends of Johnie's and The Los Angeles Modern Committee




Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 11:56 pm
by Adriene
Mark your calendars for Sun., Feb. 25th!

The Friends of Johnie's and the Modern Committee are collaborating with classic car clubs to generate support for the reconstruction of Johnie's/Harvey's Broiler.

We'll be meeting for breakfast at Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake and given a map, then heading out from there.

I'll keep everyone posted as we finalize the details.

Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:45 pm
by Adriene

An enthusiastic show of support is needed at the Feb. 27th public hearing!

The City of Downey has scheduled this hearing in consideration of extending the moratorium on development of the Johnie's Broiler property.

We applaud what the City of Downey is doing! They're supporting Johnie's by adopting an "Interim Zoning Ordinance", preventing the issuance of any use permits, variances, or any other applicable entitlement which would allow for the development of the property located at 7447 E. Firestone Blvd., commonly known as Johnie's Broiler.

This is an important legal step which temporarily prevents development while the investigation is underway.

City Council IS listening!


TUES., FEB. 27TH!!

Downey City Council Chambers
11111 Brookshire Ave.
Downey, CA

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 10:33 am
by Lynxwiler
What's the current status of the mound that was once Harvey's Broiler? Is it still untouched or is the land slowly being cleared of its once-historic debris?

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:22 am
by Adriene
Eric, the site has been fenced off while the investigation is underway and is still considered a crime scene, trespassing prohibited. Temporary moratorium on any development in place with an urgency clause. Restriction on removal of any salvage or historic elements.

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:27 pm
by Vavala
It's now been one month since the illegal destruction at Johnie's occurred. It's vital that everyone continue to show their support for Johnie's and send letters to the press and City Council.

Letters to the Editor of the Downey Patriot


City Clerk

student website

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:50 pm
by retrocool
Hi everyone,

Here is a cool website put together by a student at Brooks Institute of Photography. There are some real cool Harvey's shots that have been posted. Check the link


Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2007 1:16 am
by Adriene
We are ON for this Sunday's GHOST CRUISE FOR THE BROILER!

I'll be posting more info under 'EVENTS' so please check there.

There are 3 great reasons to go on the cruise!

1 - you don't need to drive a vintage or classic car to join us

2 - it's . . . FREE!!

3 - and you'll be helping to save Johnie's!

We'll be meeting at the Toluca Lake Bob's between 8AM - 9:30AM.

GHOST CRUISE is a self-driving tour ending at the site of Johnie's (formerly Harvey's) Broiler.

Everyone will be given a map at Bob's so they can drive the route at their own pace.

GHOST CRUISE is presented by the Friends of Johnie's with the support of local Southland car clubs

Thanks to all of Johnie's loyal supporters for promoting this fantastic event and posting our GHOST CRUISE flyer designed by John Eng:

THE ORIGINAL BLASTERS who got back together and played Downey to help save Johnie's back when it first closed:

and so many more...