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Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's (1997)

In 1995, Chasen's closed its doors after 60 years of serving chili to movie stars and visiting dignitaries, Presidents and the Pope. During its two final weeks, Chasen regulars (actors and ... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Raymond Bilbool ...
Himself
Ronald Clint ...
Himself
Tommy Gallagher ...
Himself (waiter)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Trisha Absher ...
Herself
...
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Maureen Arthur ...
Herself
...
Himself
...
Himself
...
Himself
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Himself
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Himself (as Chuck Fries)
...
Himself
Neal Gabler ...
Himself
Patrick Gallagher ...
Himself / Waiter
Dale Gross ...
Himself
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Storyline

In 1995, Chasen's closed its doors after 60 years of serving chili to movie stars and visiting dignitaries, Presidents and the Pope. During its two final weeks, Chasen regulars (actors and producers), staff, and management sat for interviews. There's an Oscar party for 1500, footage and photos of famous diners, and time with Tommy Gallagher, the ebullient head waiter until retirement in 1994, his son Patrick, catering head Raymond Bilbool, general manager Ronnie Clint, hat check girl Val Schwab, ladies' room attendant Onetta Johnson, and foreign- born waiters, including Jaime. When he started in 1970, like other Latins, he wasn't allowed out of the kitchen. It's a family farewell. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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October 1997 (USA)  »

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References The Producers (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

The golden days are gone forever
2 March 2004 | by (Denver, Colorado) – See all my reviews

Just watched it last night on cable and I gotta tell you, my eyes were moist at the end. Remember, it's documenting the "last days" of a Hollywood institution, so it's understandable that the staff, many who were there for decades (working their butts off) are seen as being a little more than bitter. It's the place they called home for years, and it was being taken away from them (as well as their livelihood). The doc is right on in re-telling how Chasen's became overshadowed by the hipper, trendier dining spots frequented by young Hollywood. It was only after the announcement that it was closing that it become the "in" spot again - but it was too late, the writing was already off the menu and on the wall. I went there in 1990 and the place was nearly empty - only a few diners. But the image of the duo sitting at the front table will always linger in my mind - Jimmy Stewart and George Burns enjoying a quiet meal together. It doesn't get any better than that.


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