Alison Martino featured on the nationally syndicated show “The Insider”

Alison has appeared multiple times on the nationally syndicated television show, “The Insider”.

In an extended segment on March 5th, Alison was interviewed by Insider host Michael Yo on the evolution of the Sunset Strip from it’s heyday in the ’60s through its current “architectural nervous breakdown”. From The Doors at the Whisky, through John Belushi hanging out at the Rainbow, and Prince performing at the House of Blues, Alison gives her unique insight from having grown up right in the center of it all. Also included are additional interviews with Bruce Vilanch and Billy Corgan.

On April 6th, The Insider brought in Alison again to discuss the impending demolition of the Sunset Strip’s “Hustler” building, which will be replaced by an exclusive “members only” club.

As segments are available online, links will be provided below.

The Insider: Hollywood’s Sunset Strip: Iconic or Thing of the Past?

From the 1960s through the 1990s, the Sunset Strip was the epicenter of American music. For years, legendary artists like the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Guns N’ Roses played the nights away at iconic clubs like the Roxy and the Whisky a Go Go. But the one and a half miles of famed pavement through West Hollywood, Calif., has seen its heyday come and go, and some of the most recognized buildings are being replaced by high-rise hotels and condos.


Be sure to stay up on everything Los Angeles by following Alison on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and in Los Angeles Magazine!

The Latest From Vintage Los Angeles

11 hours ago

Vintage Los Angeles

This is terrible news. According to Tom Bergin's, they are closing indefinitely this SundayDear patrons and revelers, family and friends, of Tom Bergin’s Public House,

It is with heavy hearts that we reach out to you today to announce that starting on Sunday, January, 21st, Tom Bergin’s will close for “regular business,” remaining open on an abbreviated schedule until further notice. It has been a decision that has proved itself almost impossible to reach, and the culmination of deliberation and grief.

Five years ago we embarked on a beautiful and ambitious journey to carry on the legendary traditions of one of LA’s most iconic establishments; a journey with formidable hurdles and soaring success. We built LA's biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebration; witnessed LA Rams Football’s controversial return to our city; and cut the ribbon on Vestry, a private speakeasy and lounge. However, we face harsh realities of the demands of both our little Irish cottage here, and also the marketplace at large.

Therefore, in preparation for closing, the remainder of this week we will offer food and bar service during shortened hours until we are unable to offer our full menu. Sunday, January 21st, will be our last day of regular business. Then we'll remain on an abbreviated weekly schedule until all this beautiful booze gets sufficiently drank: join us Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, from 5pm to midnight til it's gone, at which point, we'll make the last call of last calls, bid you all goodnight, and shut our door for the last time.

To all of you who have made Tom Bergin’s the unique and significant institution it is, it has been our pleasure to serve you. We offer you our sincerest and warmest thanks, and many, many, many, many good tidings.

Sláinte,
Derek Schreck
Owner & Proprietor

and the management and staff of Tom Bergin’s Public House

***

CLOSING BAR AND RESTAURANT SCHEDULE
*until product runs out
TUESDAY 1/16 - 5PM TO MIDNIGHT
WEDNESDAY 1/17 - 5PM TO MIDNIGHT
THURSDAY 1/18 - 5PM TO MIDNIGHT
FRIDAY 1/19 - 11AM TO MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY 1/20 - 11AM TO MIDNIGHT
SUNDAY 1/21 - 11AM TO 11PM

CLOSING BAR SCHEDULE
*until product runs out

THURSDAYS - 5PM TO MIDNIGHT
FRIDAYS - 5PM TO MIDNIGHT
SATURDAY - 5PM TO MIDNIGHT
...

This is terrible news. According to Tom Bergins, they are closing indefinitely this Sunday

 

Comment on Facebook

Also, in order for these places to stay in business, we also need to support them and patronize these old classic destinations before it's too late.

Can someone please step in and save it??!! I don't believe there's a buyer yet! This just can't become a friggin parking lot!!!!

That property is worth a fortune. Surprised it stayed open this long. Darn shame.

Does anyone know anything about the situation?

It's caused by the greedy gentrification of Los Angeles. Very sad.

What a crying shame.

Let me guess: gentrification.

I see these stories of iconic and historical places closing down..😥😣....So, what I ask is...why can't some of the wealthy show business ppl pick them up and keep them open????

Another victim of the modern world. Where soulless corporate "sack food" establishments are the norm. I am glad that my heyday was the late 70's through the 80's and I had a chance to revel in the "old school" eateries of that grand time. RIP to a great old establishment!

Just another iconic L.A. establishment to bite the dust. 20 years from now we’ll all be wringing our hands and lamenting it’s passing and wondering how this could have happened!

I think the biggest issue is that today’s restaurant patrons are more fickle than in the past, when there were less restaurant choices and more loyalty. These days the choices of nice, fun, funky, decent, theme, classy, casual, inexpensive and expensive restaurants, is seemingly endless. So people go and try out the new places, discover other ones, and meanwhile the tried and true establishments suffer a serious loss of patronage. That combined with new owners of old restaurants, who try and update menus and revamp decor, in order to make their investment payoff, make huge mistakes by altering the ambiance and history of any old restaurant. My uncle Vic (Monsignor Victor Follen) is one of the fellows, who along with his golf buddies Bing Crosby, Pat O’Brien, Andy Devine and others, began frequenting Tom Bergin’s back in the 1930’s. It was a favorite of the old Irish Hollywood Stars and others who patronized it. They’d play golf at Lakeside Golf Club in Burbank, then head over to Tom Bergin’s. My dad went there for the first time after WWII ended. He and my mother went there many times back in the day. It’s sad to see yet another restaurant landmark bite the dust.

Face it, it does not have the best location. It's all by itself over there, with limited parking in a sometimes sketchy area at night. If it was located near other restaurants and businesses, it might have a better chance of lasting longer.

Nooooooo! A friend managed it for years...when they had full restaurant menu...and we all lived there for many decades! I hope it can be saved..sad day if it leaves us!

So sad to hear this news. Another LA icon lost. So glad we were able to stop by our last time in LA and grab an Irish Coffee. 🍀😢

I hope a celebrity steps in. Sadly, we live in an age of "branding ". Please someone step in and lend their name and save this Los Angeles icon.

This is a Big Loss for L.A., so very sorry to hear this news, used to go there a lot back in the day....😥

If I had driven past that place I would have assumed it had been closed for years judging by that pic of the outside.

Always sad to see an iconic business go. Even though I was never there, I'm sure there's a great long history.

Sad, but when was the last time any of us went?

Let's find a way to save it!

Please they must try to save it!

Noooooo...oh my all those fond memories!

No. This is terrible news. Spent so many St. Patrick's Day/Nights. Hope someone steps in to save.

Wow! Spent many nights with Mike the Bartender and Keifer Southerland there in the 90s. So sad. 😪

One of my favorite places in the 80's. Best Irish coffee!

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13 hours ago

Vintage Los Angeles

Sharing this photo from my page dedicated to the Ambassador Hotel. Check it out for an endless archive of this historic property that, in my opinion should never have been torn down 😰The Ambassador Hotel during its final days. Gone now for 13 years. 😰

Photo by Jon A Hartz Sr.
...

Sharing this photo from my page dedicated to the Ambassador Hotel. Check it out for an endless archive of this historic property that, in my opinion should never have been torn down 😰

 

Comment on Facebook

A friend took this of me on the day of the auction back in 2005. If you watch Emilio Estevez's film, BOBBY you can hear bulldozers in certain scenes demolishing it. Yes, it was starting to deteriorate, but the right visionary could have restored if back to its original glory. I actually loved the spookiness state in its final years. It reminded me of the Titanic - but above water.

For those who aren't familiar with this hotel, this is where the famous Cocoanut Grove nightclub was located and Bobby Kennedy was tragically killed in the kitchen after his speech in the Embassy Room. I took this photo of the Embassy Room in 2004. Bobby left the stage and through the kitchen door on the right. 😰

Home of the Coconut Grove???

It's criminal how much LAUSD spent on tearing down that landmark and building a school

I took this photo of it in '73....

I worked on a short movie that was shot there right before it was torn down. The Cocoanut Grove was still intact and I have to say it was magical to be in that space. It's a shame they tore it down. The "earthquake damage" excuse for leveling it seems specious given the amazing history of the hotel and it's many-decades connection to Los Angeles and Myron Hunt's eminence as an architect.

What was their reasoning for not restoring it like they did with the millennium Biltmore downtown? As I recall they carefully removed all the interior components of the Biltmore and structural modernization took place, and then they put everything back inside so it appeared as it did prior.

June 1976, Ronald Reagan won the California primary for his run for president. (Later the nomination went to Jerry Ford, who lost to Jimmy Carter) Great speech at the Ambassador and saw Jimmy Stewart. Anyway, that was the last time I was there. So sad it’s gone.

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been gone that long. My son and his girlfriend were talking to one of the security guards and he let them in to look around. I saw some photos. It was pretty cool.

Back in the day ( I really don't like that phrase ), my band, The Town Criers, played many Grant High School proms in the Coconut Grove. The place was amazing!

That would have been a spectacular property; especially with today’s renovation trend. It could have easily withstood the addition of multi-use towers. What a shame it was razed.

Only went there once, for a comic book convention in “85. It was a beautiful place. The coffee shop was designed by Paul Revere Willians. A real post modernist masterpiece.

It was such a magnificent Hotel.. So many unbelievable venues were held there. I spent many fun times there and some not so great (RFK assassination) So sorry they couldn't save it as a Landmark..

Just watched "Bobby" the other night. Last film to be made at the Ambassador. Beautiful hotel..why was it torn down? Don't places like that warrant a historical landmark?

My grandparents used to stay there in the 70s. I have such fond memories of exploring the grounds, lobby, and, of course, the Coconut Grove. Hanging out in the pool area was so luxurious. I ate many Monte Christo sandwiches in the Art Deco coffee shop.

Saw Giselle McKenzie and Tony Bennett there in the 60s Calif so money hungry to tear down history and memories for other generations to learn about it's a shame that state is so greedy no wonder their having so many problems like Karen Carpenter sang We've Only Just Begun. Born and raised there you couldn't give me a house there now.

I went to a company Christmas party there back in December of 1968. I was totally in awe of the place. So much history there. It was really sad remembering that Robert Kennedy had been killed there just six months before.

Used to work in the office building just west in the late eighties. We’d play frisbee on the lawn at lunch. Once we waltzed on in through the restaurant and into the kitchen and stood on the spot Kennedy was slain.

Agree. We were on the air election night when a call came from reporter Paul Udell covering Bobby Kennedy at the Ambassador alerting the Senator had been shot. KNXT's The Big News remained on the air and provided updates throughout the night.

Spent a lot of time there for several years for political meetings. Loved the tropo bar where Ben liasoned with Mrs Robinson. Was there that fateful night and Bobby was whisked by me on a gurney.

Patricia del Campo. Do you remember when we had lunch with Peggy Hirschfeld and she took us into the hotel and snuck us into Coconut Grove? It was kind of dark but it was still a thrill.

I came to LA for a month , in sept 2015 and i was kicking myself that i was too late to see it. Was the famous final gunfight scene in True Romance fimed here ??

I remember reading that Merv Griffin was hoping to save it... . He bought the Hilton.....less repairs. All the plumbing and electric needed to be replaced.... Saving history has a cost and nobody wanted to pay it.

BTW...Director Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) filmed his remake movie of "The Toolbox Murders" at the Ambassador in the 2000's as they were demolishing it....It's a pretty good film actually & they show off the place really making it a focal point of the film...It stars Angela Bettis, Sherry Moon Zombie & Ron Howard's dad Rance Howard before he passed away...

I agree that it shouldn't have been torn down. There's a guy who's been working on a documentary about the Ambassador, but I'm not sure of the status of the project.

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Alison MartinoThe Insider