Check it out: the Harvey House menu from 1943

Curious what folks were eating — or could eat — at Union Station's Harvey House restaurant 70 years ago?

Answer: shirred eggs (baked eggs), fish species identified by geography and not species name and deviled egg sandwiches and prune juice. People: when was the last time you saw prune juice on a menu?

For those not in the know, the Harvey House is the old restaurant on the southern side of Union Station. It has been closed since 1967 but is used for TV and film shoots as well as special events. Metro would like to bring it back as a restaurant and needs to find someone willing to run the place; the kitchen needs a lot of work.

For those interested in old menus, the Los Angeles Public Library has an interesting online collection. And if you have never seen Harvey House, below are phots from the 1940s and from today. Not a bad place to have a pot pie, eh?

 

Categories: History

10 replies

  1. I went on a Metro tour and the Harvey House at Union Station was included in the tour. I think the place is just beautiful. I really and truly wish that it could be used for a restaurant again. I have eaten at Traxx and the only thing that is disappointing is that it is right off of the main corridor of Union Station were you get a lot of noise while eating.

  2. Union Station’s Harvey House is truly an LA treasure. It’s a shame it’s been closed to the public for so long. Hopefully Metro can get a local restauranteur in there soon (maybe an incentive is in order?). It would give a lot of Angelenos a reason to make a trip to Union Station and hopefully try transit.

  3. Wow! Such a beautiful area set aside for all these years. An upscale restauraunt would be in order, not a “fast food” court. Sort of along the lines of the San Antonio Winery ressurection style. Let the restauraunt have a theme. 1940’s/ 50’s would be neat. Something to go along with the decor of the building. Just think of the possibilities! Trains and light rail feeding the Union Station from all over. A “date night” would be an adventure not to be missed!

  4. An accomplished woman architect, Mary Elizabeth Colter designed 21 projects for Fred Harvey, including his restaurants and hotels throughout the southwest including the Grand Canyon from 1901, many considered National Historic Landmarks. Julia Morgan of course is esteemed for her design of the Herald Examiner building in Downtown LA, Hearst’s Castle and many YWCA’s and office buildings, including LA, Santa Barbara and Honolulu.

  5. Hmm. For a short time, somebody reopened the old Fulton’s Prime Rib restaurant in Old Sacramento under the Harvey House name. Sadly, it didn’t last very long. Strong railroad theme, and a really good hot turkey sandwich.

    To get the full effect, we really ought to have a restauranteur who specializes in gourmet comfort food.

  6. We visited the Harvey House at the Barstow Station. You walk through and see the history. They also had a similar menu. We were surprised at the prices for food back then. Fun facts!

  7. Someone needs to persuade “Phillipe’s” (now across the street!) to move in! It would be an upgrade all the way around!

  8. The last thing Union Station needs is an upscale restaurant that draws people in from the Westside. The Harvey House should serve local residents and travelers with food at reasonable prices. Ruby’s Diner would be a wonderful choice with it’s retro theming and popular comfort food. They did a wonderful job with their diner and “Streamliner Lounge” at the Orange Metrolink station

  9. The new Harvey House in Sacramento closed because one of the partners/main chef ran into a medical problem. Business was going reasonably well up until that point.