The Victor Hugo Restaurant

los-angeles-victor-hugo restaurantIn the increasingly fast-paced and chaotic world of the 1920s, The Victor Hugo restaurant in downtown Los Angeles was a refuge, free from modern distractions like jazz and sleek chrome and glass décor, harkening back to a simpler time- the French Revolution.

In late November 1925, Hugo Albert Aleidis (who was Italian,  not French) moved his Victor Hugo restaurant from S. Hill St. to 619 S. Grand Ave., on the second floor of the brand-new Masonic Club of Los Angeles building.

los-angeles-victor-hugo restaurant Masonic-club

The new Masonic Club building shortly after it opened on November 19, 1925. Victor Hugo was on the second floor where the awnings are. The Victor Hugo vertical electric sign can be seen on the right, above its marquee-covered entrance. Photo: Water and Power Associates.

los-angeles-victor-hugo restaurant

Nov 30, 1925. LA Times

The establishment was noteworthy at the time for its exceptional French cuisine and elegant Louis XVI décor. The main dining room was done in ivory and gold shades, with silken hangings, lounge seats upholstered in green, a mulberry-colored carpet and soft lighting from crystal chanedliers. There were private dining rooms and banquet rooms, and an indoor “garden room” with climbing roses attached to latticework. Another room featured murals depicting fountains, trees, peacocks, flowers and swans.

los-angeles-victor-hugo restaurant

Sept 9, 1927 LA Times

The new location proved very successful. By early 1934, when a lot of eating places were closing down, Aleidis was looking to expand. He had Claude Beelman design a new French-classical style building at 243-249 S. Beverly Dr., just off Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. He closed the 619 S. Grand location in November 1934 in anticipation of the new one opening soon, which replicated the look of the old Victor Hugo.

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