One of Los Angeles' most revered architectural treasures, the landmark Harvey House in Union Station may get a reverent makeover in the lead-up to its second life as a trendy gastropub. The dining chain that made its home in the nation's railroad palaces was so posh in its day that its "Harvey Girl" waitresses became the subject of a Judy Garland film.
Now the restaurant, whose carefully preserved interior has been used only for photographic and film shoots in recent years, may be opened again to the public in the coming year, courtesy of the red-hot downtown Spirited Group. If approved, the restaurant will join Spirited's other popular downtown offerings like Broadway Bar, Cole's and Seven Grand.
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Excerpt: "The historic Harvey House in Union Station hasn't been occupied by a restaurant since it closed its doors in 1967. But now, a new gastropub from the guys who brought to downtown joints like Cole's and Seven Grand is in the works to fill the space.
Metro's blog, The Source, reported today that the Metro Board of Directors are deciding this month on whether to give Cedd Moses and Eric Needleman of Spirited Group the lease on the place, now dubbed the Fred Harvey Room. If the board approves the lease at its Oct. 2 meeting, then the duo, who are also known for other ventures like Broadway Bar, the Golden Gopher and Casey's Irish Pub, will get to open shop. It would take an estimated several months to a year for the restaurant to open—and the renovations would be done under the watch of an architectural historian.
The original Harvey House was owned by Fred Harvey and designed by Southwestern architect Mary Colter. Known for its fine dining and female servers, it even inspired the 1946 film, The Harvey Girls, starring Judy Garland. The prestige of the Harvey girls who waited tables was on par with something like PanAm stewardesses."