Chili’s Grill & Bar from “The Office”Jun 16th, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: The Office Filming Locations
Another location that the Grim Cheaper and I stalked two weekends ago while in the San Fernando Valley was the site of the former Black Angus Steakhouse in Panorama City which masqueraded as a supposed Scranton, Pennsylvania-area Chili’s Grill & Bar in two different Season 2 episodes of fave show The Office. I first found out about this location from fellow stalker/Office aficionado Snidley Whiplash who posted a comment about it on my site a little over a year and a half ago and, even though the structure was unfortunately torn down shortly after The Office episodes were filmed, I was absolutely dying to stalk the place. For whatever reason, though, the GC and I just never made it out there. Then, when I was randomly asked about the restaurant on three separate occasions over the past two weeks, I decided that I had best get a move on and stalk it, which I finally did two Sundays ago, shortly after grabbing lunch at Barone’s Famous Italian Restaurant which I blogged about on Tuesday.
The Panorama City Black Angus Steakhouse was first featured in the Season 2 episode of The Office titled “The Dundies” as the site of the Dunder Mifflin staff’s 2005 Dundie Awards ceremony. The real life restaurant had shuttered its doors shortly prior to the filming, making it easy for the production staff to come in and dress it to look like an actual, working Chili’s. In TV Guide’s Office Gossip blog about “The Dundies” episode, series stars/co-executive producer/writer B.J. Novak, said, “In the show, the awards ceremony takes place at a local Chili’s restaurant, which we thought would be fun and true to the show. We didn’t want to invent a fake, similar-sounding restaurant, like “Peppers,” or “T.G.I. Wednesday’s.” Since this is supposed to be a realistic show, about realistic offices, we thought setting [it in] a place like Chili’s would be refreshing. We got permission from Chili’s and spent weeks, with their help, reconstructing with painstaking detail a Chili’s restaurant in an empty abandoned building.” The results of their efforts are pictured above.
Both the interior and the exterior of the former Black Angus appeared in the episode.
And it was there that Pam Beesly (aka Jenna Fischer), after consuming far too many margaritas, spontaneously kissed Jim Halpert (aka John Krasinski) for the very first time. Sigh! So cute!
A few weeks later, the very same former Black Angus masqueraded as the Chili’s where Michael Scott (aka Steve Carell) and Jan Levinson (aka Melora Hardin) took prospective Dunder Mifflin customer Christian (aka Tim Meadows) for lunch in order to woo him in the Season 2 episode titled “The Client”. Of the restaurant, Michael says, “Chili’s is the new golf course. It’s where business happens.” LOL
And while I was hoping that some portion of the former steakhouse would still be standing, that was sadly not the case. As you can see in the above photographs, the area where filming took place is now just a large vacant field sandwiched between two strip malls in the middle of Downtown Panorama City. I am not sure why the building was torn down and not just leased out to a different restaurant chain (like maybe Chili’s ), but I am guessing that the vacant land must have been worth more than the lease for a new restaurant would have been. Such an incredible shame!
Amazingly enough, though, as you can see above, the former steakhouse is still visible on Bing aerial maps.
It is also still visible on Google Street View, as well. And while I had originally assumed that the restaurant was painted red while it was still in operation, I happened to stumble across this Facebook page about the former eatery in which the structure is shown to be brown.
Which got me to thinking that the restaurant must have been painted red solely for the filming and, sure enough, while poking around on Google Street View, I noticed that only the front and side of the eatery were red, while the backside was left the original brown, as you can see above. It is so incredibly cool that the building was captured by the Google Street View camera while in its filming state! Oh, how I wish I could have seen it that way in person, too!
And on an Office locations side note – sweetheart that he is, fellow stalker Owen recently tracked down one of the series’ crew members who informed him that the interior of Louis Vople’s Italian Restaurant, where the Season 7 episode “Michael’s Last Dundies” was filmed, was in actuality just a set that had been built at Chandler Valley Center Studios where the show is filmed. So that mystery is finally solved! Thank you, Owen!
Big THANK YOU to fellow stalker Snidley Whiplash for finding this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Black Angus restaurant which stood in for Chili’s Grill & Bar in the Season 2 episodes of The Office titled “The Dundies” and “The Client” was formerly located at 14640 Roscoe Boulevard in Panorama City.