Milwaukeean Andy Lococo moved to Southern California in 1943, and worked in Oceanside before purchasing a dingy place called the Cockatoo Cafe. When a fire destroyed it in 1958, Lococo relaunched with lavish improvements. Labeled by the FBI as a member of organized crime, Lococo died in 1973 at the age of 55. Ownership of the Cockatoo Inn changed hands a number of times after his death. Despite the various legal battles and questions surrounding certain events, the efforts of Andy and the Lococo family at large helped build a community. They created a lasting legacy – a place that enriched the lives of so many.
Frank G. Lococo
Frank was Andy Lococo’s cousin and was a partner in the Cockatoo Inn. He later purchased the Kopper Kart Restaurant in 1964. His love of restaurants and people was evident in his many workplaces from the Cockatoo Inn, Lococo’s, Del Rae, Kopper Kart and Hungry Tiger establishments.
Born in the Third Ward of Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Rose and Joseph Lococo. Frank was the oldest of four sons. After graduating from Lincoln High School, Frank served in the US Army Air Corps stationed on the island of Espiriu Santo which was a part of the New Hebrides Archipelago during WWII, where he was active assisting Pappy Boyington and the ‘Flying Tigers.’ On his return, Frank married Mary Maggiore and later settled in California where he raised sons: Joe, Tony, Frank and Steve.
Frank Lococo peacefully passed October 25, 2016 at the age of 91. (Source: Legacy)
John F. Kennedy
JFK was the 35th President of the United States. According to a 1997 New York Times article, he was rumored to have had a reserved room at the Cockatoo Inn. On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. After Kennedy’s death, Congress enacted many of his proposals, including the Civil Rights Act and the Revenue Act of 1964. Kennedy ranks highly in polls of U.S. presidents with historians and the general public.
In the same New York Times article referenced above, actress and socialite Marilyn Monroe was rumored to have had rendezvoused at the Cockatoo Inn with at least one of the Kennedy brothers. By 1953, Monroe was one of the most marketable Hollywood stars; she had leading roles in the noir film Niagara, and the comedies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire. She was married retired baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller (“Death of a Salesman,” “The Crucible”). She died August 4, 1962 in Los Angeles.
The American director is forever linked to the Cockatoo Inn for using it as a location in its final days. Tarantino’s adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s book, “Rum Punch” became the 1997 film, Jackie Brown. According to IMDB, Jackie Brown is the only movie in history that captured Cockatoo Inn on film.
Tarantino burst onto the scene with the release of the critically acclaimed, Reservoir Dogs, and followed up with his magnum opus, Pulp Fiction (1994). Other classics followed, including Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, and The Hateful Eight. His latest film, 2019’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Al Pacino.