Fundraisers for major local organizations are often painted as lofty, grandiose affairs, the kind of soirees that come complete with violins and fancy ball gowns and canapés presented upon gleaming silver carts.
Rarely does a person picture queuing up with a cafeteria tray in such a setting. But that's about to change on Monday, Sept. 21, when Clifton's Cafeteria throws an opening night party that's set to double as a fundraiser for preservation organization the LA Conservancy.
The historic Broadway-based cafeteria has been shuttered for the better part of four years, undergoing extensive renovations, a full-scale refurbishment overseen by owner Andrew Meieran (he owns the sumptuously steampunky The Edison bar, located a few blocks away).
What to do, where to go and what to see
Those "extensive renovations" very much kept the woodland theme inside the '30s-era cafeteria. And, yes, it is still very much a cafeteria, complete with trays and the ability to see and select your own dishes before purchasing.
Dishes that will be lined up for tray wielders on Sept. 21, when Conservancy supporters and Clifton's fans and those excited to poke around for themselves will be in the house.
Tickets are $125, and a few VIP tickets remain.
A VIP ticket scores you a further peek at what's happening on the building's upper floors alongside Mr. Meieran. (The cafeteria's third and fourth floors will open a bit down the road.) Cost? Two hundred and fifty bucks, which also help out the LA Conservancy's programs and the organization's many help-our-history causes.
It's a big sign, as big as Clifton's iconic neon sign, that the Conservancy is so chuffed about this re-opening, and that the dynamic duo have teamed up for one big blowout of an opening night fundraiser.
Not every refurbishment of every older building is met with joy and fanfare, of course, but the time, capital, and consideration that went into the spiffying up of Clifton's Cafeteria is meeting with a chorus of approval from those who closely watch what happens to our storied structures.
It turns out, too, that a cafeteria is a fine spot to host a fundraiser, no fancy ball gowns or tired tropes required. Of course, you can ball gown it up, if you choose, but considering that Clifton's Cafeteria's design style is Upscale Woodsy, a flannel dress or lumberjack boots might be more in theme.