Vintage Matchbooks From Classic L.A. Places: The Penguin


A peek into my crazy huge collection of L.A. matchbooks: The Penguin

The Penguin is the first matchbook I’ve posted for a defunct restaurant. The business may be gone, but the architecture lives on. The little Santa Monica coffee shop with the fanciful mascot was designed by Armet & Davis, opened in 1960 and closed about 25 years later. It was resurrected in the late ‘80s with a misguided “fifties diner” redesign, which clashed with the lines of the googie masterpiece. The last of the original restaurant interior was gutted in the ‘90s when it became a dentist’s office, but the sharp roof, Palos Verdes stone and cartoony sign still greet those that pass Lincoln and Olympic. Today, the little bird is beckoning you in for a root canal instead of an ice cream sundae.