This recent contribution came to us via Becky Cortez, who recalled some great lunch memories at the Cockatoo with her grandfather. She writes:
My grandfather owned a furniture store in Inglewood in the 1940 & 50’s. He would often take me to lunch at the Cockatoo. He and Andy Lococo were friends from the good old, very corrupt days of L.A. gambling and bootlegging…
Her grandfather was none other than JB Finch, owner of JB Finch Furniture. Here’s an image of her grandfather at a grand opening for one of his many locations. (Images courtesy of USC Digital Library. Los Angeles Examiner Photographs Collection.)
Becky also shared a couple of funny memories about those days:
When I was about 14 my parents picked me up at LAX after a visit to my other grandparents on the farm. We went to the Cockatoo for dinner. Jockeys from Hollywood Park hung out there, so after dinner we went into the lounge and there were a few very nice looking, small men. Since I was only 14, I was a perfect size dance partner. I looked much older. I had so much fun that night!
An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse
She also admitted that they went to the Kopper Kart for dinner often, as well. As we’ve mentioned on this site before, the Kopper Kart was one of the many spots Andy’s brother Frank worked during his long career. It was there that Becky’s grandfather, JB Finch, made an interesting proposition:
My grandfather’s favorite waiter – who would do hand stands for him – was gonna be a father. My grandfather told him if he named the baby after him, he would give him all the baby’s furniture. Somewhere out there is a man named John B. Finch Gonzales! I have lots of fond memories of the Cockatoo, The Kopper Kart and the Mermaid at the beach. In the 1960’s, my friends and I would go there to dance…such fun times!
Well, John B. Finch Gonzales, if you’re out there, we’d love to hear from you! Thanks to Becky Cortez for her great stories! Do you have any lunch memories at the Cockatoo Inn, Kopper Kart or other LA establishment you’d like to share? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you love the Cockatoo? Show everyone what the best midcentury hotel and restaurant were with the official Cockatoo Inn t-shirt! (This link will redirect you to our shop fulfillment partner, Royale with Tees).