Formosa Café set to reopen in West Hollywood following years of renovations

WEST HOLLYWOOD (KABC) -- It has been a long wait, but West Hollywood's iconic Formosa Café is finally set to make its big comeback.

The 1930's-era celebrity hangout was restored and renovated with a keen eye and a loving touch by the 1933 Group, whose other historical eateries include Highland Park Bowl, Idle Hour and Big Foot Lounge.

Black and white photos of Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, Bugsy Siegal, James Dean and more are adorned above the bar area.

"It seems that the gangsters and the celebrities used to hang out hand-in-hand back in the day. This place has so many great stories along with it," said 1933 Group Owner and Designer Bobby Green. "'Where the stars dine' and 'Meet me at the Formosa' were the two famous slogans of the place.

The gorgeous spot has been brought back to its 1940s Golden Age, including the removal of the drywall from the sides of the dining room to reveal the actual train car in disguise. It's not just any train car, but the very last existing Pacific Electric Red Car.

"It was built between 1904 and 1906. It was put here in 1940," Green said. "Back then, you would buy an old train car just to make your restaurant bigger."

The tiki-inspired drinks are back, better than ever, and the 1933 Group is determined to change the reputation of the Formosa's past, not-so-great food by partnering with Chef David Kuo from Little Fatty, bringing delicious Taiwanese soul food to the mix.

Formosa Café, located at 7156 Santa Monica Blvd., has been closed since 2016 and reopens Friday.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.