EaterWire: RIP Chez Jay Founder Jay Fiondella

OBITS: Chez Jay's Jay Fiondella---former actor, man about town, hot-air balloonist, treasure hunter, and Cosmoplitan's "Bachelor of the Month" in 1970---died Thursday after a long bout with Parkinson's Disease. He was 82. According to Variety, Fiondella opened Santa Monica's Chez Jay in 1959, which has been a hot spot for celebs like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Marlon Brando, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson and Sean Penn. The restaurant is "known for its stiff drinks, potatoes au gratin with bananas, and for the historic 'Astro-nut'---a peanut which astronaut Alan Shepherd took to the moon and back," and for being just a great, local, old-school watering hole. A memorial celebration will be held at Chez Jay on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 2-5 p.m. To RSVP, call (310) 395 -1741. [Variety, photo from Eating L.A]For more stories from Eater LA, go to

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