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Update: Do You Remember the Highland Hofbrau?

Construction efforts at the Little Cave have revealed a glimpse of the eatery's past.

Update: Charles Fisher, local historian, author and preservationist, had this to say about the Highland Hofbrau sign:


I don't know much as I don't frequent bars, but I do know that before it became the Little Cave, it was known as "Richard's Hofbrau".  I would assume that the name "Highland Hofbrau" is probably earlier.  The building hasn't changed much in my memory.  There was an unpermitted addition at the rear years ago, but the city forced its removal.  There used to be a wooden apartment house at the rear which was accessed from Figueroa via the side yard that now serves as a patio.  I believe it was demolished in the 1970s.  I did find a 1950 obituary for a Wilfred M. Hubert, who was 80 at the time and lived in the rear building.  He had a son named Richard.

That's about all I can recall.  They have not come to us on any current permits, nor have any been applied for, but I did get a call about them taking the facade apart.

Previously: on 5922 N. Figueroa St. was closed on Tuesday evening for construction efforts to the building's facade.

A tweet sent by The Little Cave's Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon indicated that the local hole in the wall will be back in business on Wednesday.

In the meantime, though, the facade work has unveiled an interesting glimpse into the building's past.

Beneath the layer of bricks that line the front of the local bar was a sign for the Highland Hofbrau--which purported to offer beer, pool and sandwiches.

Prior to becoming The Little Cave, the N. Figueroa St. location operated under the moniker of Richard's Hofbrau; however, it's history as the Highland Hofbrau is cloudy?

Do you remember the Highland Hofbrau? Have you even enjoyed cold beer and sandwich before playing a round of pool at the restaurant?

Share your stories about the Highland Hofbrau in the comments section below.

ChickenBoyFan September 07, 2011 at 02:41 PM
I hope they leave the old facade there. It's pretty cool.
Amy Inouye September 07, 2011 at 04:46 PM
Does anyone know about the neon bat? Is it coming back?
David Fonseca (Editor) September 07, 2011 at 06:00 PM
Hey Amy! I'm not sure about the bat. From what I understand the Cave is not going away, it's just being remodeled. I've reached out them on Twitter, so hopefully I can speak to them about the extent of the work soon.
Alberto September 07, 2011 at 06:18 PM
I was about 12 years old and walking along Figueroa in the afternoon when I suddenly really needed to pee. I pushed through the door (the one directly off the sidewalk), half-surprised it was open. I was immediately struck by how dim it was inside and the men, perched along the bar, leaning into it, beers inches from their faces. They all turned to look at me at once. I made a beeline for the bartender and asked if I could use the restroom and he made a quick nod to his right, "in the back". I ran in, nervous from my first time in a bar and aware that I Did Not Belong There. I finished up and practically ran out, shouting my thanks behind me at the door. I remember thinking later about how early in the day it was and how I was surprised people were already drinking. I concluded that the men must have been guys who worked on the roads and freeways overnight and how they could just be having their after-work beers. Anyway, that's the only time I ever saw the inside of that place. But I remember the sign and seem to remember a portrait of a bearded guy staring down at the sidewalk.
David Fonseca (Editor) September 07, 2011 at 06:19 PM
That's a great story, Alberto!
Patrick Lee September 07, 2011 at 06:20 PM
Great story, Alberto! Thanks for sharing it!
Monte Vista Neighbor September 07, 2011 at 06:56 PM
Had a corned beef sandwich in there, once, in about 1990, shortly after moving to the neighborhood. It was dark. There were always two or three motorcycles out front in those days.
Joe Walker September 07, 2011 at 07:09 PM
The Hofbrau was owned and operated by Richard "Dick" Post. He passed away a few years back. He was born in the mid-late 1920's, so he would be in his 80's if he was alive. Richard's Hofbrau was always a very dark and rough place to hang out Lots of bikers and guys you would not want to mess with. Alberto's description of the place is right on.
David Fonseca (Editor) September 07, 2011 at 07:17 PM
Interesting, Joe. So was the Highland Hofbrau the same thing as Richard's Hofbrau? http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/richards-hofbrau-los-angeles-269246
Bob Bailey September 08, 2011 at 08:43 PM
I think Joe's description is about right on. Also I never heard it called anything but the Hofbrau. Not the kind of place you would take your wife unless she was your old lady (biker term).
Frank Mackey September 08, 2011 at 09:46 PM
As junior high kids we were always leery of this place and Club Casbah on 55 because of their cave like atmospheres when we got that rare peek inside. Police Academy jokes were in style back then.
carol van beek September 08, 2011 at 10:32 PM
In the early 90's a fire dept. captain at station 12 told me that it was a hangout for junkies. It was common, when they o.d.'d, for someone to run over and bang on the fire dept. door seeking assistance. They have something that they inject in the unconscious person that counteracts the drugs and instantly brings them to consciousness again. What would typically happen, he said , is that they'd get cursed out for their efforts. So, after saving a life, they'ed get cursed at for "ruining my high' or for "wasting my money". So yeah, definitely a place to be leery of.
Alberto September 09, 2011 at 03:19 PM
Yeah, although it was the first time the notion of an "early morning after-work beer" for night-shift guys occurred to me, I wasn't actually sure that was the story for these guys. Nobody growled or anything but they definitely seemed like serious dudes. I'm happy for the reminder of that experience though so thanks Patch for bringing the story. (Oddly enough, I hadn't noticed the renovation work in spite of my job only a block away.)
Bob Bailey September 09, 2011 at 04:35 PM
Not 100% sure but I believe there was another beer joint on Fig & San Fernando RD called the Hofbrau.
Joe Walker October 05, 2011 at 10:50 PM
Bob,,the place you are remembering was called Footsies. It is now another hipster bar and doing well last I heard. Footsies had the interesting honor of having a light bulb that was not replaced and continued burning for over 40 years.
Margarito Martinez April 25, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Footsies was the place to buy cocaine back in the '80s...I am told. In my drinking days (I'm 11 years sober now), I frequented the old Casbah. I did my fair share at the T Bowl, but never really had fun there. I never liked "Joe T", and had several run ins with him. When I was a kid back in '70s I recall my friend's grandfather always had lunch there. He was a detective w/LAPD. I think motorcycle cops used to frequent the place. It morphed into a quasi-biker bar, but wasn't really hard core. The owner Richard was a real nice guy and loved motorcycles. There were pictures of him on his Harley on the wall, and I believe he was an former motorcycle cop. I've had many times in that place. Got jumped closing the place back in 2000 by a couple of goons. I suffered an incomplete spinal core injury when one of them punched me between the shoulder blades. I remember they had a great juke box selection, and it was a fun place to have a good time. Never been in the Little Cave, but wish I had bought one of thier T-Shirts. They were cool. The last bar I patronized is The King Eddie's Saloon on 5th & Los Angeles Down Town. Nice crowd. Reminds me of the old Highland Park days...
Tom Allen April 25, 2012 at 05:58 AM
now that's a story. glad you survived. thanks for sharing it!
sally owen June 13, 2012 at 05:22 AM
Just got through reading all the comments. I moved from the Hiland Park area about mid 70's. when i turned 21 i worked for owner Richard Post at the Hofbrau, He had just taken it over from owner Bob ! can't rember his last name. It was a friendly bar where people came to play pool and shuffel board in the back room. In the afternoons he served Awsome Sandwhiches,beer,wine and somtimes i would make chile when they would have a footballgame going on TV. Some of the fire Dept would come over after work and some of the postal workers that worked next door. The bikers really dident start coming in there until later in the 70's. I remember alot in the Hiland park area. Been there since 1944. I also remember Johnny's on Figueroa st. before he had the bar, he owned a Burrto stand across the street called Johnny's Burrto's, they only cost 25 cents each. Good memorys!!
David Fonseca (Editor) June 13, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Thanks for the story, Sally!
Roxanne Morris July 29, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Yes, there was. I believe it was calle 'Hofbrau Haus", however, I was never in that establishment. Please see my other comment.
Roxanne Morris July 29, 2012 at 07:12 PM
As Dick Post's daughter, I can confirm some of this info. Dad bought the bar in the late 60s. It was dark and cave-like, but in early in his ownership, it was a decent neighborhood bar with regular customers, even some husbands and wives. I vaguely remember Sally Owen, and Alberto's first impression was not unlike my own as a young teenager. My dad was a retired motorcycle cop. Margarito's account of pictures on the walls, memorabilia, is accurate. There was one of my dad in uniform astride his police issue bike, and a poster-size image of him with full beard wearing an "Injun' Joe" hat which hung near the juke box. Alberto may be remembering a logo that was used of a guy in a top hat and cape. Later signage was illuminated and 2-sided, depicting an eagle crest. It hung over the entrance. When my mom sold the bar, the sign was dismantled and my son and nephew each took one side. The previous owners were Bob Mac Isaac and another guy named Bob, but I don't remember the last name. My dad died in 2002, and my mom continued to run the bar for another 2 years, and then sold it to, yet another 'Bob', Bob Green, a partner in Little Cave. I am sad to see the brick being torn down. When Dad refaced the building it gave the entrance a cleaner look. Neither the brick or the old 'Highland Hofbrau' facade fit 'Little Cave' style, so it will be interesting to see what's next!
Mike Galaviz March 05, 2013 at 02:27 AM
I remember the first time I went to Richards I was about 18 years old. My uncle was a MC biker and I remember enjoying a of picture beer and a sandwich. And after returning from the military I became a regular customer till they served their last beer. I miss going to work in the morning and passing by and honking and waving hi to Richard while he would water and sweep the front area every morning. Then I would go after for beer or two after shoots some pool. "if them walls can talk"

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