The Derby Restaurant from “Step Brothers”Aug 16th, 2013 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
During a recent visit to Los Angeles, the Grim Cheaper and I stayed at an Arcadia hotel that just so happened to be located right across the street from a nine-decades old eatery that I had always wanted to stalk – The Derby Restaurant, which was featured in the 2008 comedy Step Brothers. As y’all know, this stalker absolutely loves herself any location with a history! So I dragged the GC right on over there to partake of what turned out to be a fabulous happy hour. (And correct me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t stepbrothers one word? Why, oh, why was it separated into two for the movie’s title? This is most-definitely a case for fellow stalker Owen, of the When Write Is Wrong blog!)
The Derby Restaurant was originally founded by Arcadia Rotary Club charter member Hudson M. Proctor in 1922 at a location on Foothill Boulevard near the Santa Anita Park racetrack (which I blogged about here). At the time it was known as Proctor’s Tavern. Nine years later, when the main thoroughfare in Arcadia shifted from Foothill Boulevard to Huntington Drive, Hudson decided to move his eatery to its current home at 233 East Huntington. The new site featured two dining rooms, two fireplaces and a second-floor apartment where Hudson lived with his wife.
In December 1938, the steakhouse was purchased by Canadian-born jockey legend George “The Iceman” Woolf, who is best known for riding Seabiscuit to several victories, and his partner Bill Peterson. The duo renamed the site “The Derby Restaurant” in honor of the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the U.S. Triple Crown. Woolf decorated the property with memorabilia and photographs from his racing career, most of which are still displayed on the premises to this day.
When Woolf was tragically killed during a race on January 3, 1946, his wife, Genevieve, took over daily operation of the restaurant. In 1951, she sold the property to Dominic and Lorene Sturniolo, who continued to run the eatery, along with their son, for the next fifty-plus years. Today, The Derby, which has the distinction of being one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles County, is owned by Dustin Nicolarsen and Michael Thomas. On August 11th, 2011, the Arcadia Historical Society presented a historical marker (one of only eight) to the Zagat-rated site commemorating its significance to the city that it has called home for over 90 years.
While The Derby’s menu is on the pricier side, fortunately the happy hour offerings are very reasonable (which is the only reason the GC agreed to eat there ). And I can honestly say that the food is delicious! The place is extremely popular, though, and the bar area was absolutely jam-packed when we arrived, so be prepared for a wait if you happen to venture out there on a Friday night.
In Step Brothers, The Derby Restaurant masqueraded as RJ Posner’s steakhouse, where the birthday party for Derek Doback (Adam Scott) was held. It is during the party that Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) and Dale Doback (John C. Reilly) unveil their new music video, which alerts their father/stepfather, Dr. Robert Doback (Richard Jenkins), to the fact that his beloved boat has been destroyed.
The birthday party scene was shot in The Derby’s main dining room, which is located just east of the front entrance.
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Until next time, Happy Stalking!