Patrick's Roadhouse, a landmark dumpy diner in Santa Monica known for its celebrity clientele, may be closing its doors.
The diner, which has been around since the 1970s, features uninspired food, a chronic parking shortage, and a wait staff that makes you beg for a refill. What it does have, however, is a star-studded following that would make Spago green with envy.
Bill Clinton has paid a few visits (remember, this was the president who frequented McDonald's), California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has an honorary chair (the governator is partial to the Bauernfraustuck, an Austrian breakfast dish made up of eggs, sausage, peppers & potatoes), and actor Josh Brolin (who played George W. Bush in "W," and starred in "No Country for Old Men") is a regular.
"BayWatch" was filmed for years on the beach across the street, and stars of that show were known to hit Patrick's for their morning fix of pancakes or bacon and eggs. Sean Penn, Michael Keaton, Sylvester Stallone, Alley Sheedy, Julia Roberts, Linda Hamilton, Ted Danson, Ali MacGraw, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Cindy Crawford, Fran Drescher, Roseanne Barr, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman -- all frequented Patrick's, says Seeing Stars.
Yet celebrity star power apparently may not be enough in these recessionary times. According to a report in the Santa Monica Daily Press, the owner of the property has issued an eviction notice to the restaurant. The Roadhouse's manager, Silvio Moreira, a longtime waiter at the restaurant who took over as operator in 2005, said the business has been run on a month-to-month lease, which has made for a "perilous existence." Business has been slow, as is the case for many restaurants these days.
Area residents will have reason to mourn if the joint is shut down. Patrick's is one of very few historic eateries left near Santa Monica. Its easily recognizable bright green facade and interior mish-mash of memorabilia contribute to its charm, or, as one website described it less charitably, its "garage sale" decor. Some of the restaurant's booths are from the train station that once occupied the site before the Pacific Coast Highway was built.
So perhaps it will be back to Micky D's for President Bill.