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Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:12 pm
by retrocool
Hi everyone,

I just found out that Yanik, plead guilty to 3 counts for the illigal demolition of Harvey's Broiler. Does anyone have any details?


Posted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:28 pm
by Cyclone Kevin
Was there George with Gal Pal Patricia. Adriene, James from the Documentary"Killin History" re: the Broiler. as well as all parties involved.
(L)Ardas :evil: Yanik was offered a last minute deal by City Atty James E.
and he took it,
Here are some of the specifics.

He is to pay $10k in fines, $4600.00 in restitution to the City of Downey and all court costs and possibly a little more somewhere else.
4 years unsupervised probation
10 days community service-trash p/u.

Then there is the matter of the Unlawful Detainer filed by Christos against him, which we found out earlier that he has (possibly not) received any rent - maybe even before the demo? This matter is continuing in the same court but we have no details as of yet as it is an ongoing case.



I HAVE HEARD THAT IT WAS SAID EVEN TO ME PERSONALLY "I WILL BE @ YOUR CRUISE ie:HHGC. This isn't my or Adriene's Cruise, This is everyones Cruise! meaning that if you go on it, everyone can learn something and experience what happens when people like (L)Ardas :evil: Yanik get their way and redevelope land and buildings that we all have come to appreciate and love.

So next court date is Dec 12, 8:30 AM in Div 3.
Be there if you can.

Gettin Lots of Press

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:33 am
by retrocool
Hi everyone here are the links to the Downey Patriot and LB Press Telegram. Hope to see you all Sunday Oct. 14 for the Harvey's Ghost Cruise.


Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:13 pm
by tallrick
This cruise is a great idea, to buy the place back and rebuild it. I cannot see how a used car lot would have created more income than a diner, and unlike yet another stip mall, it could be a real attraction for the city. That location was so well known, and if it was up to me the people who demolished it would be forced to work on the rebuild.

Jonnies Broiler Holy Ghost Cruise this sunday! 10/14th/07

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:22 pm
by bluecherub
The long awaited Johnnies / Harvey's Broiler Holy Ghost Cruise is this Sunday! 10/14th/07, starting at Bob's Big Boy at 4211 Riverside Dr. in Burbank, Ca.

We arrive at 8:00 am and depart from there at 9:30 am. There is a post cruise raffle and lots of fun. A DJ will spinn disks at the end at the Nordic Fox in Downey.

For more info see

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:26 pm
by Adriene
Thank you to Kevin, Ron, John, Lori, George, Analisa & everyone who's been supporting this important cruise!!

Kevin is right, we're producing this event together, it's for ALL of us who care about our history to organize a fun event that brings people together and celebrates what's still out there!


Here's today's Press Telegram article, excellent coverage for us!

Riding to resurrect Johnie's Broiler
Car club members, restaurant regulars to drive in fundraiser cruise.
By Samantha Gonzaga, Staff writer
Long Beach Press Telegram
Article Launched:10/11/2007 09:41:03 PM PDT

DOWNEY - Since the age of 3, Kevin Preciado had heard stories about Harvey's Broiler, the Googie-style drive-in that put the city on the map of Southern California's cruising scene.

More than 40 years later, Harvey's, renamed Johnie's Broiler in 1965, still has stories to tell and Preciado is working to make sure they are heard.

On Sunday, about 200 car club members and some of Harvey's former regulars will drive one of two routes from Long Beach or Burbank for the "Holy Ghost Cruise." Equal parts fundraiser, driving tour and publicity event, organizers say the cruise ultimately has one goal - resurrection.

The grass-roots group Coalition to Rebuild Harvey's, of which Preciado is a member, hopes the event will attract a "benefactor," an investor willing to buy the land on which Johnie's Broiler stands and restore the coffee shop/drive-in to its former glory.

Johnie's Broiler, at 7447 Firestone Blvd., was illegally bulldozed on Jan. 7 by Ardas Yanik, a lessee of owner Christos Smyrniotis, who was once a cook for Harvey's founders Harvey and Minnie Ortner.

On Tuesday, Yanik pleaded "no contest" to three misdemeanor violations stemming from the razing.

Smyrniotis also filed an unlawful detainer lawsuit on Yanik. If successful, it would terminate the 99-year lease between them. Should Smyrniotis regain ownership, he would be required to clean up the property, said city prosecutor James Eckart.

Failure to do would result in legal action, he said.

Smyrniotis did not respond to requests for an interview.

A year-long moratorium on the 90,000-square-foot site will expire Jan. 23.

Today, all that remains of Johnie's is its sign and its "Fat Boy" mascot, which was spared when demolition was halted. That, and a fence guarding the rubble, are untouched since January.

Johnie's future

Yanik's misdemeanor violations involved the unpermitted demolition of a structure, conducting the demolition in the presence of live electrical wires, and illegal dumping.

He was sentenced to three years' probation, a $2,500 fine, reimbursement of $4,600 to the city of Downey and 15 days of community service work with Caltrans, Eckart said.

Yanik leased the 90,000-square-foot property from Smyrniotis, who in 1966 changed the drive-in's name from Harvey's Broiler to Johnie's Broiler. Yanik sub-leased the property to a used car dealership, Car Outlet Inc.

According to city records, Yanik in October filed a request to tear down the dealership to install a small retail shopping center in its place. It was denied by the city's Planning Department due to a number of deficiencies, among them the absence of an environmental impact report and a traffic impact analysis.

In a past interview with the Press-Telegram, Assistant to the City Manager Scott Pomrehn said Johnie's is eligible for listing in the state's Register of Historical Resources, but that Smyrniotis had not pursued the paperwork to receive the status.

Adriene Biondo of the Los Angeles Conservancy's Modern Committee said Ruby's Restaurant expressed interest in taking over the property in 2003.

But plans fell apart when Smyrniotis raised his price, she said.

In a Feb. 24, 2004, City Council meeting, Smyrniotis told City Manager Gerald Caton that he did not recall Ruby's approaching him.

"Christos has continued to be unresponsive," Biondo said when asked about the owner's openness to efforts and interest in restoring Johnie's.

Roads lead to Broiler

Though Johnie's ceased operations as an eatery Dec. 31, 2001, it was well-known in car club circles and received mentions in books chronicling the golden age of the Southland's car culture. It has also been used for commercial and movie locations.

Its razing affected people outside Southern California, Biondo said.

"You know what, I think that's because we feel that it touches many aspects of our culture that we're able to pull in lots of interest," said Biondo, who serves as the committee's commercial architecture chair. She's also a part of Coalition to Rebuild Harvey's. "It's amazing how people don't look at this just as Googie architecture. It is something uniquely American, uniquely Los Angeles."

Located at the corner of Firestone Boulevard and Old River School Road, Johnie's Broiler in its heyday bore the accoutrements and the fanfare of a Googie-style building. Typical of such architecture, the buildingfunctioned as a sign to attract customers.

According to a 2002 report by the state's Department of Parks and Recreation, Johnie's as Harvey's had a butterfly-shaped drive-in canopy 240 feet long and 44 feet wide and bright neon lights.

"A constellation of round, recessed downlights illuminates the concrete walkway," the report said. "There is space for 350 autos to park, and car service for 98 cars."

The "Holy Ghost Cruise" aims to bring car enthusiasts, hot rodders and other participants through a cruiser's boneyard, passing by the former sites and the surviving buildings of the 1960s car-cruising scene.

"Everybody I ever talked to always had stories about the route," said Preciado, who plotted Sunday's two routes. "They called it `cruising the circuit.' What we wanted to look for were survivors, so cruising the haunts of yesteryear's was what (the routes) are."

The cruise is free and will be followed by a post-cruise raffle at The Nordic Fox, 10924 Paramount Blvd. Proceeds will go toward a fund the Harvey's coalition says will eventually be offered to the investor the group hopes to attract.

"It's `all roads leads to the Broiler,"' Preciado said.

On the Net

Cruise map is at

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

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:05 pm
by nichols
Harvey and Minnie Ortner, RIP

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:52 am
by MD²

Ghost Cruise Pics

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:51 pm
by retrocool
Hi everyone,

Here are some pics of the Holy Ghost Cruise form Sunday Oct. 14. They are posted on the Jalopy Journal boards. Enjoy! ... &showall=1


Yanik says he wants to rebuild Johnie’s Broiler

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 4:05 pm
by retrocool
This was in the Downey Patriot Today.


Yanik says he wants to rebuild Johnie’s Broiler
By Eric Pierce

DOWNEY--On January 7, Ardas Yanik drove by the local Home Depot on Firestone Boulevard, sought out three meandering day laborers, and paid them “a couple thousands dollarsâ€￾ to get behind the wheel of a rented bulldozer and raze Johnie’s Broiler.

The demolition had been planned for some time.

In an exclusive interview with The Downey Patriot, Yanik admitted to the charges, but claimed the demolition was done with knowledge and blessing of property owner Christos Smyrniotis.

The interview was conducted last Friday at the dusty remains of Johnie’s Broiler, now mostly a pile of rubble cordoned off by a chain-link fence at Firestone Boulevard and Old River School Road.

“(Christos) lied to us. He lied to everybody,â€￾ Yanik, who was subleasing the property to a used car dealership, said. “He was here the morning of the demolition to collect the rent. He and his brother were here for three hours.

“I have the receipt to prove it.â€￾

Yanik pleaded “no contestâ€￾ three weeks ago to charges stemming from the demolition. He received three years probation, fined upwards of $10,000, and ordered to complete 15 days of work with Caltrans.

He’s due back in court Dec. 12 where details of his probation are expected to be hashed out.

“(Christos) didn’t tell me it was historic, he lied to me,â€￾ Yanik said. “I wouldn’t have done it if I had known.â€￾

Yanik, of Northridge, said he approached Smyrniotis late last year, seeking permission to demolish the diner and redevelop the property.

“He said OK,â€￾ Yanik claimed. “He said he would knock it down if I didn’t do it. He orchestrated the destruction.â€￾

Smyrniotis did not return calls for comment. In previous interviews, he denied having prior knowledge of the demolition.

The City of Downey Planning Department received an application to tear down Johnie’s Broiler last November, but it was denied because it lacked an environmental impact report. The application has a signature ostensibly signed by Smyrniotis.

Yanik had that paperwork in hand, he said, when Downey police officers rolled up to Johnie’s Broiler on the Sunday afternoon to stop the demolition.

“I showed them the paperwork and the police didn’t know what to do,â€￾ Yanik said. “They left for three hours so I went home. What was I supposed to do?â€￾

Yanik said he told investigators about Smyrniotis’s alleged role in the demolition, but was told they lacked enough evidence to charge him.

“This place is history, and I apologize,â€￾ Yanik said. “I made a mistake. I trusted a dirty old man. I’m really sorry. But I want to give back to the community.â€￾

By “giving back to the community,â€￾ Yanik said he wants to help rebuild the historic diner, and will match – dollar-for-dollar – any contributions made to a trust for its restoration.

“And I don’t want to make any profit off of it,â€￾ Yanik said. “I’m willing to do it. You can put it in writing – I won’t touch the money. I’ll donate the funds to Children’s Hospital, schools and charities. I won’t make a penny.â€￾

Yanik, who said he manages other properties in Downey, estimated the lot could sell for $2.5 to $3 million. But he recommended the City Council try acquiring the property themselves, possibly through eminent domain.

“If those elected people push, they could get this restaurant back,â€￾ Yanik said, motioning to the wreckage. “Look at it. When the moratorium is over in January, they could try to get it back.â€￾

When asked if he had the financial means to really match a restoration fund dollar-for-dollar, Yanik said he did.

“Do not underestimate me,â€￾ he said.

Yanik also said he has been in discussions with a company willing to pay $15,000 to $20,000 per month for the rights to place an LCD sign (similar to the one at Downey Theatre) at the diner.

“That will pay for the operating costs,â€￾ Yanik said.

But Yanik said he will only try to save the diner if the name is changed back to its original moniker, Harvey’s Broiler. And the city of Downey and Smyrniotis mustn’t profit from it.

“I don’t want the city or the owner getting anything,â€￾ a heated Yanik said.

Looking over the debris left over from the demolition, Yanik said the restaurant could be restored.

“The frame is still good,â€￾ he said. “The sign is still there. If we all work together, we can build (Johnie’s Broiler) back up.â€￾

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 1:13 pm
by nichols
Saw this unusual rendering on loopnet ... a00001Also

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:34 am
by nichols

City Council to review options on Johnie's Broiler
By ARNOLD ADLER, Staff Writer 29.NOV.07
Following a public hearing Tuesday, the council may decide what to do about the former restaurant.

DOWNEY ó The future of the former Johnieís Broiler restaurant, or whatís left of it, may be decided at a public hearing, set by the City Council Tuesday night for its next regular session, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11.

The hearing will be on whether to extend a moratorium on construction at the site of the partially demolished eatery at 7447 Firestone Blvd., or to cancel the moratorium and begin cleanup work on the rubble-strewn, fenced site... ... etail=6613

Downey Council to vote on moratorium extension Tuesday 12-11

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:34 pm
by retrocool
DECEMBER 11, 2007
City Council Chamber, 11111 Brookshire Avenue, Downey, California

City Council Agenda 12/11/07

Please show your support to save the broiler,

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:35 am
by egads
No matter what, the name needs to changed back to Harvey's.

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:46 pm
by Lynxwiler
Saw this unusual rendering on loopnet ... a00001Also[/quote]

I wouldn't be surprised if this was the plan all along—Brand new building to accommodate a mini-mall? This stinks.

Saving the Broiler

Posted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:34 pm
by retrocool
Theo Douglas Mon. December 10

The remains of Johnie’s Broiler–one of Southern California’s last large-scale drive-in restaurants, where custom cars were king and even the food was fast–needs your help.

It’s been nearly a year since a man driving a bulldozer managed to flatten most of the 1958 Downey landmark. What’s left of the Googie-style restaurant–replete with flagstone, exuberant script and a hamburger-loving lad on the sign–could be saved. Whether it is depends partly on you.

After the unauthorized demolition–which some say was done with the owner’s knowledge–the Downey City Council voted to put a one-year moratorium on any development at the site, at 7447 Firestone Blvd., where it curves around to meet Old River School Road.

At tomorrow night’s Council meeting, council members will consider extending that moratorium for another year, while members of The Coalition to Save Harvey’s Broiler–the restaurant’s original name from roughly 1958 to 1965–work to preserve and possibly purchase and restore the remains.

Coalition members are asking folks to show their support at the 7:30 p.m. meeting–or in writing, at the City of Downey’s website.

“Your presence and support at the meeting is critical. If you cannot attend, please send a e-mail to the council members,â€￾ the Coalition’s Analisa Ridenour wrote in a recent e-mail of her own.

“Right now, one of the things we’re doing is, we’re working with the Los Angeles Conservancy to have a design charrette–consisting of an architect, a historian, people from the community–and what we hope to do is have a one-day symposium discussing what can be done with the property,â€￾ says Ridenour, who went so far a few years ago as to hire Downey’s famed roots-rock pioneers The Blasters to headline a Broiler benefit at the city’s Rio Hondo Country Club.

That will probably happen in March, and will most likely be preceded in February by a Coalition fundraiser with a slideshow by popular historian Charles Phoenix, Ridenour says.

But why all the fuss about an old, albeit historically significant drive-in restaurant where, in its last years, the food wasn’t very good anyway? Because despite its name, the Broiler was never just about the food.

From the very moment Harvey and Minnie Ortner opened it in 1958, the Broiler became one of the Southland’s premier cruise spots for its cavernous parking lot and prime location–in car-crazy Downey, a nexus of kustom kulture. (Their son even worked on the assembly line for a while, at General Motors’ South Gate plant.)

Fiberglass fakir Ed Roth was a coupla towns over in Maywood; kustomizer Bill Hines was either headquartered in Paramount, or would be shortly. Metalflake master Larry Watson–the man with the huevos to lower and panel-paint a ‘59 Coupe de Ville–was just down the street.

Located on the former home of a poultry farm–and designed by architect Paul S. Clayton–Harvey’s Broiler was the right place at the right time.

It was situated at the precise point on Firestone Boulevard where it curved south–meaning that if you were driving west on the Boulevard, the drive-in jumped off the curb at you like a giant neon car circus.

Things were great for a long time. In about 1965, the Ortners sold the Broiler to its present owner, Downey resident Christos Smyrniotis. Smyrniotis, whose middle name is John, changed the Broiler’s name to match his own–to Johnie’s Broiler.

And while Model T Ford club members stopped there regularly as recently as 10 years ago, the cruising eventually stopped. During the late ’90s, when I covered Downey for the Press-Telegram, it was frequently closed for filming–but it survived intact until a few years ago, when Smyrniotis leased the restaurant to a used car seller.

It became, unbelievably, a used car lot–and the kitchen was gutted.

Then–in a move Smyrniotis told The District earlier this year rocked him to the core–a man on a bulldozer allegedly hired by agents of the car dealer managed to flatten most of the Broiler.

That was Jan. 7, 2007. Tomorrow night is your chance to show your support. ... 10/savin...


Posted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:00 am
by nichols
(originally posted by retrocool)

...The Downey City Council will be voting tonight on the extension of the moritorium that has been placed on the Harvey's Broiler property...lets keep the momentum going, and let the city council know we will not give up on Harvey's Broiler. Let them know justice must be served and our history must be preserved and rebuilt. The meeting will start at 7:30 pm at the Downey City Hall located at 11111 Brookshire Avenue | Downey, CA 90241 | (562) 904-7246
If you can't make the meeting please email your support to the council.


City Clerk

If you would like to write a letter to the local paper please email your letter to the Editor of the Downey Patriot

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 2:01 pm
by Adriene
Officials to oversee fate of illegally demolished restaurant.
By Samantha Gonzaga, Staff writer
Article Launched: 12/11/2007 10:41:36 PM PST

Residents and supporters of Johnie's Broiler gather at the restaurant in a February rally aimed at saving the Downey landmark. The Downey City Council on Tuesday entered into a contract between the city and Christos Smyrniotis, owner of Johnie's Broiler, which means the city will be involved in any restoration work at the site.
(Tracey Roman / For the Press-Telegram)

DOWNEY - The bulldozed remains of a beloved Googie-style drive-in diner will be an eyesore no more - at least that's the hope of city leaders.

Council members on Tuesday night opted not to extend a moratorium on Johnie's Broiler, which was set to expire Jan. 23. Instead, they made a contract between the city and Johnie's Broiler owner Christos Smyrniotis.

Johnie's Broiler at 7447 Firestone Blvd., once known as Harvey's Broiler, was illegally demolished on Jan. 7.

The contract required that the diner's future development and restoration be overseen by city leaders. The document, signed Dec. 5, also said that a historic architect also will be hired by the city to study the diner's remains and determine the options available. The extent to which Johnie's will be restored or preserved is still undetermined, pending hiring of the consultant.

"We're ready to take the next step, and we're going to do it carefully," said Councilman Kirk Cartozian.

Under the contract, Smyrniotis will pay the cost of the consultant, even though the consultant will report to the city.

The moratorium was set Jan. 23, following its illegal demolition by Ardas Yanik, a lessee of owner Smyrniotis, the former cook for founders Harvey and Minnie Ortner.

At 90,000 square feet, Johnie's was a popular venue among car enthusiasts, hot rodders and the Southland's car cruising scene. During its peak, it could accommodate 350 parked vehicles and provide
car service to 98.

Yanik subleased the property to a used car dealership, Car Outlet Inc. What remains of Johnie's are its famous "Fat Boy" sign and the debris left after the razing.

On Oct. 9, Yanik of Northridge pleaded "no contest" to three misdemeanor violations stemming from the Jan. 7 razing - unpermitted demolition of a structure, conducting the demolition in the presence of live electrical wires, and illegal dumping.

He was sentenced to three years' probation, a $2,500 fine, reimbursement of $4,600 to the city of Downey and 15 days of community service work with Caltrans.

Yanik, who attended the meeting Tuesday, recently issued a public apology through the Downey Patriot newspaper. He contended that Smyrniotis was aware of his plans to demolish.

"I felt sorry for what took place," Yanik said Tuesday, referencing his apology. "And I'm mad as hell with him."

Several efforts by its supporters have sought to focus attention on Johnie's demolition and the few surviving Googie-style buildings in Southern California.

In October, grass-roots group Friends of Johnie's Broiler organized a cruise in the hopes of attracting the attention of a potential investor willing to purchase and restore Johnie's.

Several of Johnie's supporters voiced their concern over Smyrniotis, saying that they haven't seen accountability in the past, according to Adriene Biondo, of the Los Angeles Conservancy, a historic preservation group.

Mayor David Gafin addressed Biondo's concerns about Smyrniotis' involvement by saying, "We'll give him the benefit of the doubt to live up to his agreement with us."

["The benefit of the doubt. Right..." -- Adriene Biondo]

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 10:17 am
by nichols

Getting fired up over Johnie's Broiler

While preservationists want the partially razed Downey diner rebuilt, some residents say the lot should be cleared.
By Daniela Perdomo, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
December 23, 2007

In its heyday, the sign atop Johnie's Broiler shone neon red, beckoning drivers cruising Firestone Boulevard in Downey to come in to down a shake or savor the signature chicken croquettes. Today, the sign isn't plugged in and sits above what remains of the half-demolished drive-in diner.

It sits, too, in the middle of an imbroglio that pits conservationists and nostalgic residents against those who think it's time to move on and clean up the mess left in the bulldozer's wake.

Johnie's Broiler opened as Harvey's Broiler in 1958 and evoked post-World War II car culture and the Space Age craze. Built in the Googie architectural style of the time -- characterized by strong lines, glass walls, hulking signage and brightly lighted interiors and exteriors -- it looked as if it had been plucked out of "The Jetsons." ... ... 4822.story

Harvey's Broiler may be bought by the city.

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:18 pm
by retrocool
Hi everyone,

I just was reading the Downey Patriot blog and it states that the city may be in the process of purchasing purchasing Harvey's. Also there has been an architectural preservation firm hired to study the site. Here is the link to the blog.


Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:38 am
by nichols
Big Boy has interest in Johnies site

By ARNOLD ADLER, Staff Writer 14.FEB.08
National chain is negotiating with property owner on purchase of former restaurant.

DOWNEY ó A chubby kid eating a hamburger ó the trademark sign of the former Johnies Broiler Restaurant here ó may be joined by another stocky lad, this one dressed in red plaid bib overalls.

Representatives of the Big Boy restaurant chain are negotiating with the owner of the Johnies site, 7447 Firestone Blvd., to purchase it, reports Gilbert Levas, deputy city manger for community development.

It is not a done deal, but the national Big Boy chain is interested in rebuilding the partially demolished Johnies building the way it was in the 1960s, keeping the boy and the scripted roof-top sign, even drive-in slots for car hop service, and operating it as a diner, Livas said in a report to the City Council Tuesday night... ... etail=6981

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:43 am
by Adriene
Let's all keep our fingers crossed on this deal................!
there is confirmed interest from Bob's, with lots of number
crunching and politics going on behind the scenes. More as
things develop.

Downey Patriot story

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:19 am
by retrocool
Here are the links to the Downey Patriot and Eric 's Blog. ... 0000001001

Have a great day!

Posted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:48 pm
by Adriene
We need all of you to show up in support of Bob's Big Boy rebuilding the Broiler at the next Downey City Council meeting!!!!

Tues., Feb. 26th, 2008

It's ESSENTIAL that all of us attend this meeting in person! The Coalition will be bringing banners and showing our support, but we can't do it without you!!

We need to pack the council chambers just like we all did a year ago when Johnie's was illegally demolished. It's CRITICAL we bring Big Boy signs, wear hats, badges -- there will be photographers and media there, so a HUGE turn-out is needed!

We're at the finish line..............! E-mail me at and let me know if you can be there! THANKS EVERYONE FOR STICKING WITH US THROUGH THIS LONG FIGHT -- WE'RE ALMOST THERE!

Re: Johnie's/Harveys Broiler demo - CHECK PAGE 4 FOR UPDATES

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 3:07 am
by Futura Girl
Synthetrix wrote:I just saw on Fox 11 KTTV's 10 p.m. news a story on Johnny's and evidently they just went ahead and continued tearing down most of what was left without pulling any demo permits. It did look like the signage was still somewhat intact. What a shame.


Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:54 pm
by Adriene

Jonie's Broiler may become Bob's Big Boy
LOCAL: Franchise owner would preserve still-standing parts of historic eatery while opening restaurant at site.
By Samantha Gonzaga, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 02/18/2008 09:56:10 PM PST

DOWNEY - Its famous "Fat Boy" sign isn't going anywhere, but Johnie's Broiler may soon become a Bob's Big Boy.

The City Council recently revealed the latest in the ongoing story of the illegally bulldozed Googie-style drive-through restaurant: hiring the services of a historic preservation consultation firm and revealing that a Bob's Big Boy franchise owner has expressed interest in taking over.

Torrance Bob's Big Boy owner and restaurateur Jim Louder said he has been in talks with city leaders and Johnie's owner Christos Smyrniotis in the hope of securing a lease agreement.

An offer is expected to be made this week, said Deputy City Manager Gilbert Livas.

"I couldn't be more excited to bring back to the community something it's been asking for," said District 2 Councilman Mario Guerra.

Council members on Feb. 12 also voted to hire Chattel Architecture Planning & Preservation, Inc. Their participation meets one of the provisions in a Dec. 5 agreement Smyrniotis signed, which stated that any future developments on the 90,000-square-foot site would be overseen by the city.

The firm's services are estimated to cost $25,000, an amount Smyrniotis is to reimburse per the details of the agreement.

Smyrniotis could not be reached for comment.

Bob's Big Boy and Johnie's Broiler weave a common thread in the Southland's car culture, Louder said.

"It was a little scary ... in terms of the direction we can go and what kind of hurdles we have to get over," he said, of the site's current state.
All parties are awaiting reports from the historic architecture firm regarding which of Johnie's historic building components survived the razing and would need to be preserved.

Located at 7447 Firestone Blvd., Johnie's Broiler - christened Harvey's Broiler by its founders Harvey and Minnie Ortner - was demolished Jan. 7, 2007, by Smyrniotis' sublessee, Ardas Yanik.

Yanik has since apologized for the deed, but told the Press-Telegram in a December interview that Smyrniotis had been aware of the planned bulldozing.

For nearly a year, the site remained under a development moratorium. All that remained were the "Fat Boy" sign and the resultant rubble from the bulldozing.

Livas said Louder has expressed the intention to retain Johnie's "Fat Boy" and other surviving architectural elements.

"Here's a guy willing to rebuild it," he said. "That's phenomenal."

If the project advances, Guerra said the Bob's restaurant will occupy one acre facing Firestone Boulevard, while the one-acre rear area will house Downey Nissan's vehicle inventory.

In its heyday, Johnie's was a popular venue among car enthusiasts, hot-rodders and the Southland's car cruising scene. It accommodated up to 350 parked vehicles and provided car service to 98 at the height of its business.

(((( Tuesday Night Downey City Council Meeting))))

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:31 pm
by retrocool
Hi everyone,

There will be a very important meeting regarding the proposed Harvey's/Bob's Big Boy this Tuesday night at Downey City Ha. It is my understanding that they are very close to closing the deal to restore the Broiler but they need our help. Christos the land owner is suppose to be there and they want it to be a good showing so he signs the deal. If you can please attend next Tuesday (2-26-08) nights council meeting at 7:30pm it would really help. If you can't make it, please be sure to write a quick letter to the council to show your support for the Bob's restoration project at the Broiler.

Info --------> City of Downey | 11111 Brookshire Avenue | Downey, CA 90241 | (562) 904-7246

Thanks for your support MODCOM!

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:21 pm
by nichols
MODCOM is hoping to have a huge show of people for this. Please help us and come by to support Johnie's on Tuesday. Show your support for Bob's Big Boy and their proposal to REBUILD the BROILER with your Bob's hats and shirts, pins. etc. See you there!

Go Bob's! :clap: :burger: :clap:

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:36 pm
by nichols
Johnie’s Broiler rally planned for Tuesday

By Eric Pierce, City Editor

DOWNEY –– Historical preservationists said this week they are expecting a large turnout at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to lobby support for a Bob’s Big Boy restaurant at the site of the current Johnie’s Broiler, which was illegally demolished on a Sunday afternoon last year. ... 0000001063

ACTION ALERT! ... rtbobs.pdf

Posted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:39 pm
by Adriene
This is a great chance to participate!!

Keep up-to-date with the latest news here:

If you can't attend tonight's meeting in person, please take a minute to write Downey City Councilmembers. They have been bending over backwards to work with us to preserve Johnie's since the illegal demolition and we need to give them our support, too:

Together we can make this happen!