Highland Park residents who have yet to notice the Manning’s Coffee Store sign sitting on the roof of restaurant, might spot the historic sign after it’s all lit up.
The sign, which has been positioned on top of the HLP eatery since it went out of business sometime during the 1960s, is getting a well-deserved makeover thanks to a little bit of elbow grease from a number of community members and organizations.
“It turns out, it’s kind of important in terms of signage history because it combines neon with opal glass, and there’s very few of those in existence,” said Amy Inouye of . “As well as the fact that there’s not any signs like this from Manning’s that we know of at all on the entire West Coast.”
Innouye, Nicole Possert, Highland Park Heritage Trust and the North Figueroa Association worked together to obtain a grant from the National Park Service's Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.
The program offers cost-sharing grants to those who seek to preserve important pieces of history from the route’s period of significance, which was between 1926 and 1970. The earlier this May in conjunction with the same project.
According to Innouye, the group has also collaborated with the Museum of Neon Art in addition to completing research in attempt to replicate the historic, neon colors on the original sign.
Richard Ankrum, a neon restoration expert, is currently working on painting the sign and is scheduled to install the neon lights later this week. A note on the flyer for the relighting ceremony taking place at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10, states that original materials will be used in the restoration and only missing and broken pieces will be replaced.
Innouye said, “Then it will join the Highland Theatre, and it will be lit up we hope, every night. It should be pretty groovy.”