By Carleton Cronin, West Hollywood, California
It was cold enough in Montreal to cause Ed Blumstein to consider moving to a warmer clime – and he did.
In 1960, Ed and his wife Sybil found themselves in Los Angeles and looking for a small business which would be their livelihood.
It did not take long for Ed to meet people who were impressed with his natural warmth and demeanor and suggested that he purchase a small restaurant on Robertson Boulevard, then in the unincorporated county area of Los Angeles.
Ed gave up selling shoes, took most of his savings and purchased the restaurant. Ed and Sybil rolled up their sleeves and founded Ed’s Coffee Shop.
Their local competition at the time, Mildred Pierce a few doors away, and a diner where Ceccones once stood faded away as the area changed.
But the energy of its owners and the good food they produced carried Ed’s along for 54 years.
Speaking at length with Ada and Sybil, her daughter, was taking a trip back in time and finding a guidebook to the area.
Our conversation was often interrupted as people, both coming in and leaving, stopped to speak to Ada, or give her a hug.
“There,” she said at one point, “it’s just like family. I love it here and all the old friends who continue to come in.” Ada is there every day.
Now, many of those old friends are some people we could easily recognize. Ed’s has become a place for well-known Hollywood folk, design industry gurus, politicians and other familiar faces to come for a meal.
They know they won’t be bothered and the homey atmosphere is so welcoming – and the food is just great.
A number of their standard recipes have come from regular customers. Ask about the macaroni and cheese dish next time you stop in. Even that basic item has a history.
Daniel Munoz, a waiter for 29 years treats all customers like old pals, warm, friendly and informative. It is not a surprise to learn that he has another life, one not associated with restaurants.
He is the president of the Associated History Societies of Los Angeles. No wonder he knows so much about the area. Danny is another reason for the success of Ed’s.
This year Ed’s celebrates its 54th anniversary.
Sadly, Ed Blumstein passed away not long ago, otherwise he most certainly would have been there with his grin and well-pressed shirt and trousers to greet all those who would bring their best wishes to him.
The year 2014 marks fifty-four years for Ed’s as West Hollywood celebrates its first 30 with Ada and her top hands at the helm.