Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Southern California Oddity

Times were tough during the Great Depression and southern California was no exception. In 1931, possibly inspired by the blimps stored just south in Carson, an enterprising soul rolled the dice and opened the Zep Diner, shaped like a zeppelin and "Home of the Hinden-burger" (terrible play on words). Located on West Florence, near Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles, the postcard above shows it in all its glory, while the picture below shows it still under construction, before painting or signage.

The Zep Diner was located near a Goodyear tire plant and north of the blimp hangers in Carson, where Goodyear has anchored its West Coast blimp fleet since the late 1920s. Interestingly, starting in 1926, blimps in the Goodyear fleet were named after American yachts that had won the America's Cup Sailing Race, as the chairman of the board considered his blimps to be yachts of the sky. Unfortunately, it's a custom that has been discontinued. And the Zep Diner is long gone, as well.


High Desert Diva said...


I was raised in Milwaukie, OR. There was (and still is) a restaurant there call The Bomber. Located in a vintage plane.

Strange indeed.

Anonymous said...

I note the menu items painted on the restaurant in the first picture. "Frog dinners"??

Delwyn said...


I too notice FROG on the list...
french cuisine??

Happy days