Hollywood History from WeHo’s Chasen’s Goes on the Auction Block

Chasen's chairs
Chasen’s chairs

You may not have been famous enough, or old enough, to have experienced Chasen’s, the celebrity hotspot at 9039 Beverly Blvd. near Doheny Drive until it closed in 1995.

Now, however, you have another chance at seeing, and perhaps owning, some part of the restaurant, which is the site of a Bristol Farms store.

Interested in dining chairs on which Elizabeth Taylor, James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock or Frank Sinatra (might have) sat? One could be yours if you participate in the auction set for April 11 and 12 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills.

Among the other items on the auction list are Chasen’s women’s restroom doors, serving vessels and serving trays, its piano and a portrait of James J. “Jimmy” Walker, mayor of New York City from 1926 to 1932. That portrait can be seen hanging just behind Edward G. Robinson in a photograph taken during the premiere party for Elizabeth Taylor’s film “Suddenly Last Summer” (Columbia, 1959).

Chasen’s opened in 1936 and for many years hosted the entertainment industry’s most famous Academy Awards party. Its chili was so famous that Elizabeth Taylor is said to have had it flown to Rome while she was on the set for “Cleopatra.” Ronald Reagan proposed there to his soon-to-be wife, Nancy.

While Chasen’s remained the go to place for older celebrities, newer restaurants such as Spago lured away many of its customers. Chasen’s final days are documented in the film “Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasens.”

Two years after its closing, much of Chasen’s furnishings were put up for auction. Most of the building was demolished and the Bristol Farms store was built to replace it. Some of what remains will be on the auction block next week.

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