The Paul Cummins Huddle, Santa Monica, 1960s
In the 1960s, Paul Cummins operated four Huddle Restaurants in Los Angeles, including this one on South Bundy Drive near the Cloverfield Airport in Santa Monica. This large, $300,000 restaurant was designed by the Los Angeles architectural team of Armet and Davis opened in February 1955 and was notable for its "Googie" Style architecture.
The building had multiple dining rooms offering customers various dining experiences. According to an article in the Brentwood Pacer, the ultramodern facility had conveyor belts to bring dirty dishes to the kitchen and pass-through drawers for quick service. The article described the diverse dining options available: "In addition to an interesting coffee shop, the new Huddle offers diners their choice of five different dining rooms, each as unusual as they are new and beautiful.
The 'Sky Room' offers diners a panoramic view of the Santa Monica Airport, the Hollywood Hills and the Pacific Ocean. In the 'Huddle Room' the designers combined an American style dining room with designs and decorations with an international flavor. The 'Patio Room' features thirty-foot high colored glass panel windows, indoor tropical trees and planting and driftwood stone walls.
French wines, food and atmosphere are featured in the 'Petite Dining Room' as well as a saucy mural of Can-Can girls on a miniature stage. On a level above the ocean and airport is the 'Heather Room.' Truly a 'wee bit o' Scotland,' the Heather Room is replete with Scotch tartans and Coats of Arms, rough-hewn cork walls and an unusual wall mural of wood carvings and oil paintings in relief mounted on velvet."
Restaurateur Paul Cummins was born in Cedar Rapids. Iowa. He had early experience of the hospitality industry through a series of lowly jobs that gave him valuable experience later in life. He ran a hot dog and ice-cream stand as a teen and waited on tables to earn his way through college. He made his fortune in soybean processing before returning to the hospitality industry with the Huddle chain and other establishments like The Gay 90s and The Roaring Twenties.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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