In 2010, Robert Clinton, whose family had owned Clifton’s Cafeteria on Broadway for more than 70 years, announced the business had been sold to Andrew Meieran, the owner of The Edison nightclub. One year later, Meieran told that a $3 million renovation of the historic restaurant had begun. He said it would reopen in late 2012. The renovation, supposed to last just a few months, stretched on and on, and now after $10 million renovation which lasted for four years, the 80-year-old, LA-staple is getting ready to re-open its doors to the public on October 1.
When the restaurant finally reopens in few days, patrons will find a three-story atrium has been carved into the building — where they will encounter a 250-pound meteorite perched on a Gothic-style bar fashioned out of a century-old church altar from Boston. That’s just for starters. Walk downstairs, and hiding behind a sliding shelf is a speakeasy furnished with tables made of giant slices of sparkling geodes. Visible under the glass floor is a nest of real dinosaur eggs, which were scanned to reveal the skeletons of baby brontosauruses.
In every direction, on every floor, there is something unusual to see, including machinery dating from the 19th century, elaborate murals and wildlife habitat displays — even a 9-foot-tall woolly buffalo. The interior basically looks like a giant Natural History Museum that serves food.