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The “Father of the Bride” Bar

Dec 10th, 2009 | By | Category: Movie Locations

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A few weeks ago, while wandering around Old Town Pasadena, my fiancé and I found ourselves in the familiar predicament of having to decide whether to go out to eat or cook dinner at home.  Being that the only thing I like to make for dinner is reservations, I voted to eat out and started looking around at nearby restaurants.  And, let me tell you, I just about fell over when I realized we were standing only steps away from an eatery where a scene from fave movie Father of the Bride  took place.  At the time the movie was filmed, the restaurant was known as Delacey’s Club 41 and it was something of a Pasadena institution, but for some odd reason, in my almost ten years of living in the area, I had yet to dine there.  So, you can imagine my disappointment when the placed closed down in 2007, after 25 long years of serving Pasadena patrons.  :(  A little pub called Spitfire Saloon soon opened up in its place, but it wasn’t long before that restaurant was also shuttered and the space’s current inhabitant – a French bistro named Cheval Blanc – set up shop.  So, not wanting to take the chance that the new eatery would also close, I  grabbed my fiancé and headed right in!

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And I am so glad I did because even though it has been over 18 years since Father of the Bride  was filmed and even though the place has gone through a succession of different owners since Delacey’s Club 41 closed its doors more than two years ago, both the interior and the exterior of the restaurant still look EXACTLY the same as they did in the movie.  YAY!  I mean, even the black and white tiled floor is still intact.  LOVE IT!

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Only a very brief scene from Father of the Bride  took place at Cheval Blanc.  In the scene, a fight has just erupted between Bryan Mackenzie (aka George Newbern) and his fiancé Annie Banks (aka Kimberly Williams) over his decision to give her a blender as a pre-wedding present.  To calm the situation, Annie’s father, George Banks (aka Steve Martin), decides to take Bryan out for a cocktail and a little heart-to-heart at, you guessed it, Cheval Blanc.  :)  It is in that scene that George says one of my very favorite lines from the movie, “You know, Brian, Annie’s a very passionate person and passionate people tend to overreact at times.  Annie comes from a long line of major overreactors.  Me – I can definitely lose it.  My mother – a nut.  My grandfather – stories about him were legendary.  The good news however is that this overreacting tends to get proportionately less by generation.  So, your kids could be normal.  But on the upside, with this passion comes great spirit and individuality, which is probably one of the reasons you love Annie. ”  Ah, George, I can so relate!  I, too, am a very, ahem, passionate person, and have done my fair share of overreacting over  the years.  And I just so happen to also hail from a long line of major overreactors – both of my parents would actually fit into that category.  :)  As fate would have it, I just recently learned a pretty good lesson about overreacting.  Those of you who read my blog regularly know that the guy who I paid to make my wedding dress skipped town a few months back – with my money.  Well, as it turns out, even though the guy did close up his shop, disconnect his phone, and was M.I.A. for over two months time, the whole thing was actually just a big misunderstanding.  But, let me tell you, during those two months, there was quite a bit of overreacting going on!!  LOL  So, when the guy called me out of the blue two weeks ago to let me know that my dress was finished and ready to be picked up – at his new shop LOL – I felt like a complete fool!  What a waste all that anger and worry was.  The next time something like that happens I just need to let go, relax, and let things take their natural course.  That’ll never happen, of course, but it’s a nice sentiment, nonetheless.  :)  But I digress.  Besides being featured in Father of the Bride, Cheval Blanc also showed up in I Love Trouble, Judging Amy, and in ten different episodes of Equal Justice

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I honestly cannot say enough good things about Cheval Blanc!  My fiancé and I had an absolute blast dining there!  The manager, who knew quite a bit about the restaurant’s filming history, truly could not have been nicer to us and told me I could take as many interior photographs of the place as I wanted.  LOVE IT!   The service was also spectacular and don’t even get me started on the food!  The macaroni and cheese is to die for!  :)  And even though Cheval Blanc’s menu is French, the decor is very Old New York, with dim lighting, dark paneled walls, and an incredibly ornate Mahogany bar.  The place is absolutely gorgeous inside, which should come as no surprise being that it is owned by the hugely successful restaurateur team of Bob and Gregg Smith, aka the Smith Brothers, who also started  the Arroyo Chophouse, the Crocodile Cafe chain, Smitty’s Grill, and the hugely popular Parkway Grill. 

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On a side note – Cheval Blanc also showed up in the movie Father of the Bride Part II.  Well, sort of.  In the flick, Steve Martin’s Side Kicks shoe factory is located directly across the street from the restaurant and the exterior of it can be seen very briefly in the background of the scene pictured above.  I’m not sure what occupied the Side Kicks space at the time Father of the Bride Part II was filmed, but I am guessing it was simply a vacant warehouse that producers dressed for the movie. Today, Steve Martin’s shoe warehouse space houses a restaurant named Brix 42.   It is the restaurant’s side door, which looks much different today, that Steve Martin enters in the above scene.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  :)

Stalk It: The Father of the Bride bar, aka Cheval Blanc , is located at 41 South De Lacey Avenue in Pasadena.  Steve Martin’s shoe factory from Father of the Bride Part II  is really the side entrance to Brix 42 Restaurant, which is located  at 42 South De Lacey Avenue, just across the street from Cheval Blanc.

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3 comments

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  1. I freaking LOVE your FOTB posts. I stalked the FOTB house back in 2005 on a trip to L.A. I love both of the movies so much!


Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. […] For whatever reason, when Father of the Bride Part II was filmed in 1995, location scouts found a different Pasadena area building to stand in for the Side […]

  2. […] solution to Clue Number 2 was Cheval Blanc Bistro, which I blogged about back in December of last year and which was used in the original Father of the Bride movie as the spot where George Banks (aka […]

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