Posted 16 May 2008 - 12:08 AM
[hide_me]The first Brown Derby, also known as the Little Hat, was opened in February 1926 across the street from the Ambassador Hotel. The Derby was often the site of afterparties following bashes at the Ambassador Hotel's Cocoanut Grove nightclub. This was the only Derby that was actually built in the shape of a hat. In 1937, it was moved one block up the street.
The year was 1926 when Hollywood movie entrepreneur Herbert K. Somborn opened a coffee shop in Los Angeles. He chose the name Brown Derby because New York Governor Al Smith was in town and and happened to be wearing his characteristic hat, a brown derby. Soon Samborn moved his popular coffee shop to Hollywood and expanded it into a full scale restaurant. Celebrity friends frequented the restaurant, enjoying the flawless service, fine food and 24-hour service. Soon the Brown Derby became the in spot for Hollywood types, a place to see and be seen.