Redwood Bar & Grill from “Bridesmaids”Jan 3rd, 2013 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
Once the rain finally stopped falling this past Saturday morning, I dragged the Grim Cheaper out to downtown Los Angeles to stalk a Bridesmaids location that has been at the very top of my To-Stalk list for months now – Redwood Bar & Grill, where Officer Rhodes (Chris O’Dowd) and Annie Walker (Kristen Wiig) went on a spontaneous date towards the end of the movie. I found this locale thanks to Geoff, from the 90210Locations website, who has a page dedicated to a few of the spots featured in the 2011 flick.
Before arriving at Redwood Bar & Grill, I knew virtually nothing about the place, other than the fact that it had been used in Bridesmaids. And because so little of it was shown in the movie, I had no idea what to expect of the interior. Boy, was I in for a surprise!
While fairly non-descript on the outside, the interior of Redwood Bar & Grill is all dim lighting, dark wood paneling and themed nautical décor. Dining there feels like dining in the middle of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, only better. Unfortunately, because the lighting was so low, though, the vast majority of my pictures did not come out. Ugh! Mike, from MovieShotsLA, has promised that he will teach me how to use the aperture settings on my camera in the near future, but in the meantime, you can check out some cool photos of the bar here. (Now why couldn’t my pics have come out that clear?)
Redwood Bar & Grill actually saw its origins as a 1930s-era hamburger stand where Philadelphia native Samuel “Eddie” Spivak sold 10-cent burgers out of a small storefront located at 234 West 1st Street, just downstairs from the Los Angeles Times newsroom. In 1942, Eddie expanded his eatery, as well as its menu, added a bar, and renamed the place the “Redwood House”. Due to its proximity to the newspaper offices, the restaurant became extremely popular with the journalist set, who dubbed the site the “Red Dog”. According to the obituary of Alice Broude, who worked at the Redwood House for more than 50 years, a certain unnamed reporter would place his daily order by stomping his feet three times loudly on the floor. Ha! You can see a photograph of the original Redwood House here and a picture of its former menu here. When the Times Mirror Co., owner of the L.A. Times, decided to expand into the Redwood space in January 1970, Spivak moved his restaurant one block south, where it remains to this day. Despite the move, the watering hole remained popular with Times journalists. So much so that for years the bar was equipped with a special red phone that was connected directly to the paper’s main news desk, just in case any last minute tips came in. It was not only journalists who were drawn to the site, though. Over the years, the Redwood House was frequented by the likes of actors Burt Reynolds and Jack Warden, former presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, and such notorious gangsters as Frankie Carbo (who, according to Broude, refused to eat meat on Fridays) and Mickey Cohen (who, also according to Broude, was a fabulous tipper).
At some point in time, the establishment’s name was changed to the Redwood 2nd Street Saloon and it was taken over by new owners In and Ho Park. Sadly, in June 2005, due to dwindling business and failed lease negotiations, Ho and In closed the eatery, which most regulars had described as a real life Cheers (where everybody knows your name). Thankfully though, restaurateurs Christian Frizell and Dev Dugal stepped in, signed a new lease, renovated the interior, and, in September 2005, re-opened the site as a pirate-themed watering hole named the Redwood Bar & Grill. The décor is now decidedly unique and swashbuckler-esque. I absolutely fell in love with the skeleton candelabra pictured below. I so need to find one for myself to add to my Halloween decorations!
Besides spicing up the décor, Frizell and Dugal also revamped the Redwood menu, and, let me tell you, the food is to-die-for! I opted for the Redwood’s Veggie Burger, made on the premises out of mushrooms, vegetables, and quinoa, and not only was it divine, but absolutely HUGE! The GC ordered a cup of the restaurant’s New England Clam Chowder, which was also fabulous, especially considering the chill in the air that day. I honestly cannot more highly recommend stalking Redwood Bar & Grill! It is a shame that we only just discovered the place as I have a feeling that, were we not moving to Palm Springs in three weeks, it would have quickly become a favorite.
In Bridesmaids, Redwood Bar & Grill is where Rhodes and Annie grabbed a drink after her ill-fated flight to Las Vegas. It is there that Rhodes uttered the super-cute line, “There’s something about you – something about you that sticks.” As you can see below, the place looked quite a bit different onscreen.
Because Bridesmaids was set in Milwaukee, the exterior of an actual Milwaukee-area watering hole – Norman One Step (which is now closed), located at 3218 West Cameron Street – was used for the establishing shot of the bar in the movie.
Redwood Bar & Grill also popped up in the 2009 flick (500) Days of Summer, as The Mill – aka the spot where Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Summer (Zooey Deschanel) and their greeting-card-writing co-workers karaoked on Day (28).
The stage where Summer and the rest of the gang performed is actually there in real life, too, although the Redwood does not actually host karaoke nights.
And the skeleton candelabra that I fell in love with was even pictured briefly in the flick. Love it!
Big THANK YOU to Geoff, from the 90210Locations website, for finding this location.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Redwood Bar & Grill from Bridesmaids is located at 316 West 2nd Street in downtown Los Angeles. The eatery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can visit the Redwood’s official website here.