Sugie's Original Tropics, Beverly Hills, 1946
Sugie's Original "The Tropics" restaurant and club, was opened by an Englishman named Harry "Sugie" Sugarman in Beverly Hills in 1936. It had a Polynesian theme and billed itself as "the informal cocktail lounge and dining room of the motion picture industry."
Certainly, if walls could talk, this bar and restaurant would have many tales to tell. Hollywood directors brought impressionable young starlets here and big-name stars of the 30s and 40s often dropped by.
Sugie was quite a character and a self-promoter, which is evident in this menu he wrote and created. Born in London, he was brought to Hollywood by his parents in 1902. He ran a series of cinemas and theaters, including Grauman's Egyptian Theater in Hollywood before opening The Tropics in 1936. He was always discreet, hence the three monkeys and the "hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil " slogan.
The Tropics with its list of cocktails named after movie stars such as Bette Davis' Liquid Lightning or Robert Taylor's Coquette, was a popular spot until the 1950s when it was bought by Steve Crane, an ex boyfriend of Lana Turner, who renamed the place, The Luau.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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