The Story

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The “programmatic architecture” movement bloomed with the introduction of automobiles, causing business owners to design thematic buildings to catch the attention of quick passing motorists.

1920s

Bulldog Café erected on Washington Blvd. near Downtown, selling tamales and ice cream.

1925

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Connelly built Idle Hour Café in the shape of a barrel, which served as a taproom.

1941

Dolores Fernandez bought the barrel and converted it to a flamenco bar called La Caña.

1972

Dolores closed the business and lived out of an upstairs apartment that existed on the top half of the barrel.

1983

National History Museum constructed a replica of the Bulldog Café for the Petersen Automotive Museum. Another reproduction resides on a back lot in Florida, showcasing a scene from the 1990s classic, “The Rocketeer."

1991

Los Angeles Magazine columnist Chris Nichols petitioned to save the building through laborious work with the City of Los Angeles.

2009

Idle Hour was declared “Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #977."

2010

1933 Group purchased the building in auction and began the restoration process.

2011

After 30 years of being closed, and with 75 years to preserve, Idle Hour reopened on February 13, 2015.

2015

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