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Clifton's Cafeteria still serving -- and has no plans to stop

August 6, 2009 |  1:29 pm

Line The news that the downtown building housing Clifton’s Cafeteria is for sale worried its customers and employees, says Robert Clinton, president of Clifton’s Cafeteria Inc. But he says his family has “no intention” of closing the historic Broadway restaurant.

“We have a business that’s been going since 1931,” he said over coffee this morning. “We have a commitment to our associates [employees] and our customers.”

Regular customers asked where they'd go without Clifton's, he said.

Clifton’s was bustling with breakfast business, and Clinton says summer is often busy. Foreign tourists like the cafeteria, he says, because they can get a meal without worrying about crossing the language barriers.

Not that the times are easy. Clinton calls the sale “a strategy to help us survive this tough time.”

The family wants a buyer who will then rent the space back to them and who “has a fondness for historical properties.” The Clintons bought the building in 2006.
Clifton’s is the last of eight cafeterias the company once operated in Southern California.

-- Mary MacVean

(Clifton's earlier this year, by Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)