The Palm is a famous chain of high end restaurants that is known for steaks and having caricatures of famous people on its walls. The caricatures started at the original Palm on 2nd Avenue in New York, because the locals were cartoonists and illustrators, as explained here.
When Pio Bozzi and John Ganzi opened The Palm Restaurant in 1926, they had no money to decorate. Luckily, their location on Manhattan’s Second Avenue was in close proximity to the headquarters of King Features Syndicate and attracted a large clientele of cartoonists. In exchange for their meals, artists would often draw their own creations on the walls of The Palm. Since then, the flagship Palm has become a living museum of cartoons and caricatures featuring such famous faces as Popeye, Batman, Beetle Bailey, Hagar the Horrible, and characters from “The Family Circus.” To preserve these legendary hand-drawn sketches – many of which were drawn in charcoal and pastels – the Palm’s walls were professionally restored in 1995.
The murals were famous—kitschy maybe but real and authentic.
And now, it looks like they’re gone for good, as Eater reports.The budding has been sold and the new owner has scrubbed the walls clean.
Back in my LA days I went to the LA Palm a few times, and it also had cartoon covered walls (And almost always Dabney Coleman.) When that location over (so that a high rise hotel could be put up on the spot) they atlas offered their caricatures to the people in them.
The NY Palm’s drawings were right on the wall so nothing could have been done. Nothing stands in the way of progress, even things that are old and beautiful.
Another cool thing consigned to the memory heap. Her’s a picture of the original LA Palm. I think this is the only place outside of wine I’ve ever ordered a lobster. It was baked and stuffed—definitely not something I’d recommend but fun for a one time thing.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.