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Cole's History

Cole's is an institution of historical LA food and drink culture. Our guests are immediately transported back in time as they see the historical marque upon arrival. Cole's has a history of being the local watering hole for historic poets and mobsters alike. As a pillar of the working class, Cole's is a melting pot of blue collar culture and offerings. History and hospitality are the main attraction, but most stay for our classic Old Fashioned paired with the Original French Dip.

1908

Cole's, inventor of the French Dip sandwich, and the oldest public house in Los Angeles is established by entrepreneur Harry Cole and housed in the hollow of the historic Pacific Electric Building, once the center of transit tycoon Henry Huntington's Railway network. At its peak, 100,000 passengers passed through the city's vital transportation hub daily, many of them stopping to partake of Cole's delicious French dips and a pint.

Jack Garlinghouse, Cole's house chef, dips bread in Au Jus to soften it for a customer with bad gums. Thus, he originates the French Dip sandwich, a universally beloved Los Angeles culinary invention.

1933

Cole's sells a record fifty-eight 32-gallon kegs; or 19,000 gallons of beer the first day California lifted the ban on beer, signaling the beginning of the end of Prohibition.

1974

Cole's is designated by the City of Los Angeles as Historical Landmark Site #104 and a State Point of Historical Interest not only for its location, but also for recognizing Cole's to be the true Inventor of the French Dip sandwich. There, that settles that.

1974

Cole's is designated by the City of Los Angeles as Historical Landmark Site #104 and a State Point of Historical Interest not only for its location, but also for recognizing Cole's to be the true Inventor of the French Dip sandwich. There, that settles that.

1974

Cole's is designated by the City of Los Angeles as Historical Landmark Site #104 and a State Point of Historical Interest not only for its location, but also for recognizing Cole's to be the true Inventor of the French Dip sandwich. There, that settles that.

1983

Jimmy Barela, who joined Cole's in 1918, retires after working as our lead barman for 65 years. Thanks Jimmy, or your loyalty and contribution to Cole's legacy.

2008

213 Hospitality (now Pouring With Heart), a driving force in Los Angeles urban revival, reopens Cole's after a careful, loving $1.6 million year-long restoration. Neal Fraser, Top LA Chef, works with Cole's team to create the city's best French Dip. Cole's sandwich contains the finest ingredients and the highest quality meats including USDA Prime Beef. It's the same size sandwich as that other downtown sandwich shoppe.

2009

Cole's is named a 2009 recipient of the Los Angeles Conservancy's coveted Preservation Award, recognizing outstanding achievement in the field of historic preservation.

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