Author: Johnny Cosmo

The Formosa Café

  My fondness for the Formosa Café was compounded with respect about twenty years ago when the inveterate, classic bar refused offers from big business to demolish and move on.  This little joint that began as a trolley car with food and liquor, quickly became a destination for celebrities, and a stubborn favorite for neighborhood locals.     I remember when the corner of La Brea and Santa Monica Boulevards was a dated collection of small shops that fixed vacuum cleaners, served coffee, and sold flowers.  It was far from the bustling corner of commerce it is today with a Target, Best Buy, Starbucks, BevMo, and a string of chain food and retail names you would recognize. It had a heyday, survived a rough neighborhood era, and is now a Hollywood relic.   When the gentrification project was underway, it was hard to miss the little red box with an awning that was protected from big machinery by strewn barriers and a chain link fence.  The word on the street was The Formosa Café was either a holdout, or no one made them an offer they could not refuse.  Regulars visited to either support the owners, or have a drink while discussing the local construction project.  Inside, you are immersed in a dense collection of trinkets and memorabilia that take you back several generations when ashtrays peppered the bar,...

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