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The Sunset Strip


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Mel's Drive-In on Sunset
Mel's Drive-In Sunset Strip

Mel's Drive-In Sunset Strip

Photo courtesy of the Sunset Strip Business Association
Even though drive-ins and car-hops were first associated with Los Angeles, Mel's Drive-Ins were born in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1947, created by Mel Weiss and Harold Dobbs, who at one time ran 11 drive-ins. In 1972 the craze had died out and George Lucas used the last remaining original Mel's Drive-In as the set for American Grafitti, after which it was demolished. In 1985 Mel's son Steven resurrected the nostalgic diners, now operating four in the Bay Area and four in the Los Angeles area, including the one on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.

The 50s-feel diner sports table-side jukeboxes and a traditional burger and fries menu in a "Googie"-style building that was once Ben Frank's restaurant, a popular 24-hour coffee shop where rockers frequently gathered after gigs on the Strip.

Historic Moment: It's rumored that musicians Stephen Stills and Richie Furay were driving down Sunset Blvd with producer Barry Friedmen when they spotted Neil Young's Pontiac hearse driving the other direction. They flagged him down and they all pulled into the parking lot of Ben Frank's where they discussed forming the band that was to become Buffalo Springfield.

Despite the Drive-In name, Mel's doesn't actually provide car-hop service.

Mel's Drive-In
8585 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 854-7201
Take-out orders: (310) 854- 7200
Open 24 hours

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