Arts & Entertainment

New gastropub may bring Union Station's 'Fred Harvey' room back to life

Fred Harvey room at Union Station.
Fred Harvey room at Union Station.
Photo by Steve Hymon | Courtesy of Metro (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority)
Fred Harvey room at Union Station.
In the new terminal, the Fred Harvey restaurant was ready to open with its staff of Harvey Girls. Photo by the Santa Fe Railway.
Photo by the Santa Fe Railway/Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation | Courtesy of Metro (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority)
Fred Harvey room at Union Station.
Fred Harvey menu | August 20, 1943 | Los Angeles
Los Angeles Public Library
Fred Harvey room at Union Station.
Fred Harvey menu | August 20, 1943 | Los Angeles
Los Angeles Public Library


Metro's The Source reports that Union Station is considering a "gastropub" for the gloriously preserved "Fred Harvey" room at the train station. If the proposed lease is approved by the Metro Board later this fall, it could be the first new restaurant to occupy the room since the original Harvey House closed in 1967.

The new proposed lease is with Cedd Moses and Eric Needleman, proprietors of Seven Grand, the Golden Gopher, the Broadway Bar, Coles other downtown establishments. Also being chewed over by the Metro Board are proposals for two kiosks in the East Portal — one to serve bento boxes and the other for coffee.

The Source reports on a prospective timeline, saying it would likely take several months to a year to convert the Fred Harvey room to restaurant-ready:

Most notably, the kitchen area needs to be completely redone and the necessary permits secured from the city of Los Angeles. Metro staff say that all renovations and/or restorations will be done under the watchful eye of an architectural historian.

Presently, the room is used an event space, popular filming location, and the venue for a live music and dancing series, "Metro Presents," that's part of the transportation authority's robust art program.

The room's history was spelled out in a visual essay last June, on The Source:

By the time Los Angeles started building its own Union Station in the 1930s, Fred Harvey’s restaurant network had been in existence for sixty years. Fred was long gone, and the family business was passing to a third generation in the midst of an economic downturn and the continued rise of automobile and air travel.

Here's a peek at what it's been up to since... 

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