And a sidebar from the above article on the Empire Room:
[quote][b]Empire Room made Vic's the place for stars[/b]
Trader Vic's was home to the stars until the mid-1970s. Many acts who appeared at the Palmer House's Empire Room would adjourn to the basement bar. (The Empire Room closed in January 1976 after a 43-year run.)
Yow Low was the most famous bartender in the history of the Chicago Trader Vic's, holding court between 1970 and 2001. He's now retired and living in China. In a 1995 interview, he told me that his favorite customer was Johnny Weissmuller.
"He was like Tarzan," Low said. "But he drank straight bourbon. Old Blue Eyes [Frank Sinatra] was here. Sometimes he drank a Mai Tai, other times scotch. Debbie Reynolds was here. So was Don Ho."
When Trader Vic's celebrated its first Palmer House anniversary in 1958, Carol Channing gave the restaurant a diamond-studded coconut. She was appearing in the Empire Room. Well, hello, Bali!
In 1983, Queen Elizabeth ate at the (still standing) Trader Vic's in San Francisco. That was her first dining experience in a commercial restaurant.
Longtime Trader Vic's employee Benny Moi has waited on Channing, Jimmy Durante and Dick Clark.
"Frank Gorshin was real nice," he said earlier this week during a break. "He would always shake hands with you. One time Liza Minnelli was here. After she left the next table asked for her [empty] pack of cigarettes. I said, 'Why do you want her cigarette box for?' They said, 'Because she touched it.'"
Trader Vic's has touched a lot of people.
Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Freelance, Ph.D., D.F.S
[ This Message was edited by: freddiefreelance 2005-12-05 07:51 ]