There were at least three M’Goo’s Restaurants — one in Pasadena serving the Cal Tech crowd, one in Westwood Village serving the U.C.L.A. crowd, one on Hollywood Boulevard serving transients and derelicts, some of whom had once been in the Cal Tech and U.C.L.A. crowds. All seemed dedicated to the proposition that pizza is best enjoyed when the music is so loud it makes the pepperoni curl. These were “party” places that I gathered had once been exclusively in Gay 90’s decor but by the time I visited the two I visited (Westwood and Hollywood), someone had given up and haphazardly slapped modern posters and decorations on top of the classic ambiance.

My memories of the few times I could stand to be in them is that they had sports on the TV, silent movies running on a screen and a music system cranked up way beyond Spinal Tap’s infamous 11. As if that and the mediocre pizza didn’t send you babbling into the streets, employees wearing straw hats would occasionally leap up onto the tables and lead everyone in singing a song other than the one currently coming through the speakers. Some claimed that if you listened hard, you could hear the sound of one M’Goo’s at both of the other M’Goo’s. They’ve all been defunct for several decades and I’m not sure I still don’t catch the occasional echo.

58 Responses to M’Goo’s

  • Mimi says:

    I waitressed at M’Goos when I was a very young struggling actress living at the Hollywood Studio Club. The owners were cheapskates, particularly the Father. His two sons weren’t much better. It was famous for cheap pitchers of beer and pizza. We wore cute, short red & white checked uniforms and black fishnet stockings. It was fun for two weeks and drudgery, thereafter.

  • Gail Bryman says:

    I worked at M’Goo’s and do not remember go-go girls. I was also lucky enough to marry Al Bryman whom I met at his dad’s restaurant. Someone asked about the location of the original – yes, it was where Juniors Deli moved to on Westwood Boulevard & Pico. It was called M’Goo’s, then when Marty B sold that location it became M’Gee’s. M’Goo’s then opened on Hollywood Boulevard around 1959 or 1960, and a few other locations.

  • Bryman says:

    Glad to know that the memories of our restaurant is still out there.
    I remember you Rich Rosenthal, Ivan & Tim Johnson as well as
    Rudy (the other piano player)….!!
    M’Goos was a lot of fun & the original was created
    in Westwood, CA. It became M’Gees when my dad
    (Marty Bryman) sold it to open Hollywood!

    Yes, there were other M’Goos… Pasadena, Van Nuys, &

    Al Bryman

  • Natalie says:

    Hi, I have a question maybe you can help me –

    My parents recall of a sandwich place back in the 70’s to 80’s time, where you would go, watching them make the sandwich right there in front of you. They would take the bread, spread a special sauce first, then add the rest of the items like meats, cheese, tomato, mayo, mustard etc. But they were most famous and noticable for using thinnly cut lettuce and onions and the special sauce.

    Their sandwiches would sell for $1.25 back in the 70’s to 80’s time frame.

    This place from what they can remember was possibly located in the Hollywood or Los Angeles area, off of Wilcox/Cahunega or Hollywood Blvd/Cahunega or Hollywood/Wilcox something along those lines.

    If anyone can recall what this place was called and IF it is still around today, let me know the details!

  • Gene Johnson says:

    I worked at the Westwood Pico location.
    I was beginning my career as a piano player. My good friend Tim Johnson got me the gig at M’Goos in ’59. He also played and sang.
    I was a jazz player who learned to play ragtime and sing-a-long on the job. I put some “seed money” in the tip jar one evening.
    When I returned from my break, it was gone. I think a needy college student “borrowed” it. I was never hungry on my work nights. Good Pizza.
    Have had nice career in Colorado as musician for 50 plus years.

  • Howard Perry says:

    Joel Axelrod – you forgot “Biff’s”!!

  • Ellen Shaver says:

    The Pizza was delicious ! Here was another first rate place from when I actually lived in Hollywood in the 70’s

  • Mavourneen O'Brien says:

    At 82, growing up in the area (’30’s – 50’s) I remember, not only M’Goos, but most of the other eateries mentioned on this site. Dad and Mom, the late actors Pat and Eloise O’Brien, took us to so many, including M’Goos. My little sister, continuing the tradition, also attended Marymount High School, 10643 Sunset Blvd. Many date nights, all-girl nights, often ended at M’Goos. Brigie, my sister now passed, kept her high school scrapbooks. From Freshman year, 1961-2, a menu from M’Goos: 6651 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood “999 1/2 Footprints from Grauman’s Chinese” Office: HOllywood 91896 London – Rome – Paris – Canoga Park – Tel Aviv – Hollywood – Azuza illus of Bldg and street signs Hollywood & Cherokee (front cover); back cover illus and story of “A Burning Saga” The Flaming Pizza $4.00. Pizzas listed included: President John F. Kennedy Pizza; ‘Out of This World Pizza’ dedicated to Cmdr. Shepard, first Astronaut, rocket Redstone (how many remember THAT event???). Spaghetti $1.00, -.25, – 50; Ravioli $1.10, -.85; M’Goo Burger $.85; 4 desserts; Champagne Per Glass Slipper; 5 Beverages; M’s Black Beer $.50, Bucket of Beer (3 Full Quarts) $3.50. Back Room available : Getting Married or Just Having an Affair.
    Anyone interested in purchasing this item, please contact me. Funds go to her charities, including Marymount Scholarship Funds, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Red Cross.

  • Richard M Rosenthal says:

    There was also a M’goos on Van Nuys Blvd. i flipped pizza at the Hollywood location from 1969-1970, while attending UCLA. i also worked for Al and Arnold Bryman, the sons of Marty.

  • joel says:

    My uncle Marty owned the Magoos on Hollywood blvd in the sixties. There was a star on the street. He also owned Diamond Lils where he had a parade and threw diamonds into the crowd. Most of them fake but a few real ones. He was the favorite of the family. When I was 10 I asked him to get me a job as bat boy for the Dodgers.

  • Bob Hoffman says:

    I was in the Navy stationed near Oxnard on San Nicolas in the year 1960. My buddy Mack , and I would go on liberty to Magoo’s on Hollywood Blvd. We sang old show tunes, like Oklahoma, One night we sang to an older beautiful lady and Ivan told us later that she was Flynn’s mistress

  • Teresa C. Polkow says:

    I also have photos of Mom (the menu artist) and Dad at the restaurant in the 1950’s with The Keystone Cops performance.

  • Teresa C. Polkow says:

    I remember The Brown Darby too. I am sure mom did that Menu art.
    Here is my Facebook address and I will post 1950’a photo of M’Good


  • Teresa C. Polkow says:

    I remember The Brown Darby too. I am sure mom did that Menu art.

  • Teresa C. Polkow says:

    I also have photos of Mom (the menu artist) and Dad at the restaurant in the 1950’s with The Keystone Cops performance.

  • Teresa C. Polkow says:

    Hi Marty Bryman (not sure of spelling) owned a M’Goo’s in Hollywood and a Diamond Lil’s. My mother did the art work drawing for his menus. Her name was Dorothy Polkow. I am hoping I have her original menu, but not sure. In the 1050’s , I used to go to M’Goo’s with mom.

  • Teresa C. Polkow says:

    Hi Marty Bryman (not sure of spelling) owned a M’Goo’s in Hollywood and a Diamond Lil’s. My mother did the art work drawing for his menus. Her name was Dorothy Polkow. I am hoping I have her original menu, but not sure. In the 1050’a

  • Magoose Nut says:

    tHE SING ALONG SHEET says 1900 MAGOO’S in the artwork. anyone know when it first opened?

  • Nancy says:

    Went to McGoo’s while a student nurse at St. Vincent’s in L.A. 1965-1968. Remember piling 6 or more fellow students into my orange ’55 Volkswagon for good eats on a student budget. We went to those $.50 Spaghetti nights too!!Loved singing those good old time songs. Fun times.

  • Tom says:

    I worked in the McGoos on Hollywood Blvd in 1969 as a singing waiter. We all wore striped vests and wore badges with our pictures on. I still have mine. We used to sing ‘Take me out to the ball game’, Hava Nagila (sp?) Daisy, Mares y dotes and dozy dotes and little lamsydivy (Mares eat oat and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy) and other such music hall classics.

  • Liz says:

    Joey I remember you. Did you go to NHHS or Hollywood?

  • Joey D'Amore says:

    My father owned the Villa Capri Restaurant just a couple blocks away from Mc Goo’s. One Holloween night my buddy Bob Edesa and I rented two gorilla costumes from Western Costume on Santa Monica Bl. and walked the boulevard stopping in Mc Goo’s to get up on stage with Bob (in the black gorilla costume) making like he was playing the piano and me acting like I was singing (in the PINK gorilla costume…. gimme a break… thats all they had left for me to rent!) with my arms flailing. You should have seen the look on my father’s face when we walked into the Villa Capri in costume!

  • Alana says:

    M’Goo’s was my favorite place to go as a kid in Hollywood! Loved the pizza…that my Italian dad hated! Other favorite memories were the sawdust covered floor and the silent films. What a fun place it was! Anyone know the address on Hollywood Blvd. or what’s there now?

  • Peter Martens says:

    From what I can remember, M’Goo’s was THE ‘Tavern in the town’ (in the town). Lots of food and fun and of course, sing-a-longs! I STILL know most all the music by heart, mainly because my parents bought the album and played it so many times. Pressed in gold vinyl, it features a LIVE recording of their most popular songs, complete with audience participation. I still have the LP today, and have just recently remastered it to digital so that I can enjoy those jazzy ragtime sounds on CD. It’s uncanny, When I make a pizza, pour a cold one, play the CD through my stereo with the volume at just the right level, it’s like I’m right there at M’Goo’s (minus the sawdust)!

  • Alan Simmons says:

    When I was 8 years old (1965) my family visited M’Goo’s in Hollywood. I remember my dad laughing because they had Apple pie on the menu for something like $20.00!! The waiter told my father that if he still had room enough to eat dessert that the waiter would have to run down the street to the local bakery and buy a pie! I was fascinated by the saw dust on the floor of the restaurant! They sold little linen bags of “Genuine M’Goo’s Sawdust”. I still have mine!!!!

  • Harper says:

    Does anyone know if M’Goos had a location in Newport Beach? I have some concept art from the restaurant but it’s labeled with that location. However, it looks similar to the one on Hollywood Blvd. Perhaps they were all clones? Anyone know which one was the original location?

    Here’s a video of the outside of the one on Hollywood Blvd.

    Pictures here and here.

  • Judi Mooney McQuoid says:

    Those were the day’s…..

    In the sixties a group of girls from Morningside High School (’67) would squeeze into our friends brothers ’52 Chevy, take a collection of loose change to buy gas and off we’d go to Hollywood. It’s a birthday celebration, we are going to M’goo’s!

    The pizza, good or bad didn’t matter, we stood in line until a table opened and then the party began. First a trip to the ladies room to get our party hats. Those paper toilet seat covers made awesome hats! Then singing along with the player piano to songs our grandparents sang. The place was overflowing with USC students and families (no transients). Everyone was full of joy and laughter.

    To this day most of that group of ladies gathers to celebrate birthdays and Christmas. We are celebrating our 65th birthdays this year! Oh, how I miss M’goo’s.

  • ChrisP says:

    Was M’Goo’s on Hollywood Blvd? I went to school just a block or two away at Hollywood and Cherokee.
    Did they have some outrageous dessert, like around $12.00 or so. I think it was like a strawberry short cake or something. I do remember this place being very popular if I’m great pizza.

  • Victoria Thompson says:

    I worked at M’Goo’s in the late 1960s when I was just out of college. The waitresses and waiters wore 1890s bathing suits (pretty covered up) and the customers sang along to songs from the gay 90s. It was a great place and very popular. The line usually stretched around the block. Pizza, spaghetti, pitchers of beer. I had a great time. The manager was Gary and the pizza guy was Al. Al threw a terrific pizza but he often passed out on the pizza kitchen floor. This was problematic because the pizza kitchen had a huge window through which the passing Hollywood Boulevard foot traffic could watch the pizza throwing. The piano player was a religious nut who told us young folk that armageddon was just around the corner. Still waiting.

  • Mark Kraus says:

    My father’s office was down the street on Sunset, and he sometimes ate lunch there. I went in a few times as a kid, and even as a thirteen year old, thanks to my “M’Goo’s Enlightenment” I learned the meaning of mediocre food, but they were consistent-everything was lousy! PS-I know Gordon from the Apple Pan. Wonder if he’s still alive. He last serves me a great burger in 2002.

  • Grace says:

    Cindy, I have great memories of the Hollywood Blvd location in the early ’70s. It’s fascinating to ‘meet’ the daughter of its owner!

  • Cindy says:

    My father owned M’Goo’s on Hollywood Boulevard from 1968-1975 (when it burned down the second time and he didn’t rebuild). Prior to that, my Uncle owed it. My dad tried to franchise the restaurant and opened a second store on Van Nuys Boulevard, but it didn’t fly. He was a man light years ahead of his time. He thought up pizza delivery, but it wasn’t received well. He even opened a “Pizza Dog” kiosk on Ventura Boulevard that bombed as well. Who would’ve thought? Pizza wrapped around a hot dog wouldn’t be popular?

  • Kathleen says:

    Before M’Goo’s on Hollywood Blvd, there was a restaurant called Hofbrau. I used to go there with my father. I remember sitting at high stools and eating at a counter. I think there was sawdust on the floor, but not 100% sure about this. I sort of remember having roast beef sandwiches. I remember for sure that I loved the place!

  • Art says:

    I think that M’Goo’s in Westwood was M’Gee’s, a knockoff of the original in Hollywood. I loved the one in Hollywood; perfect for after a movie date. The first time I went I was in college in San Diego and a bunch of us gathered there one weekend during holiday break. It was the greatest. I loved their thin crust pizza.

  • paul gouveia says:

    why on earth would someone wait 45 minutes for a check? get up and ask for it!

  • John Hindsill says:

    Ronnie, I remember King’s very well…went there several times as a kid. It was housed in a Moorish-style domed building where Adams and Washington Blvds. junctioned just east of La Cienega.

    The Management, this morning I thought of many places not here anymore:

    The Ball, Santa Monica – one of the first topless restaurants in area c.1964. I was at the pre-opening. Tasteful, then; kinda sleazy in the 70s on.

    TIP’S Coffee Shops – several locations. I used to go to Leimert Park shop

    Tiny Naylor’s CS – several; there may still be one in Long Beach area.

    The Velvet Turtle – several from Redondo Beach to Pasadena. First had Gazpacho at a VT.

    Love’s BBQ – many around LA. Only one extant is in Indonesia!

    Van de Kamps Coffee Shops – part of the bakery chain.

    Roy Rogers’ Restaurants – Culver City (others around LA?) . Now strictly an eastern U.S. chain.

    Hajji Baba’s -Inglewood. First Lebanese restaurant I went to.

    Carnation Coffee Shops – Miracle Mile, Van Nuys, Phoenix . Part of the Carnation Dairies company.

  • The Management says:

    Never went there. Never heard of it.

  • Ronnie Sperling says:

    How come you have nothing on the FAMOUS King’s Tropical In on W. Washington near La Cienega?

  • Joel Axelrod says:

    In 1962, I was a 15 year old Uni Hi student recovering from a blast injury to my right hand after having had a homemade rocket explode while packing it.
    My parents were trying to keep their deli alive on Pico, across the street from the Pickwood Theater. I got a job at M’Goo’s as a cook and dishwasher. I also a had a great time sitting in as a pianist with a Dixie Ragtime group….the tuba player had mock bird poop on the bell of his horn. Tuesday nights were raucous and packed with students from nearby UCLA, as Tuesday night was ALL THE SPAGHETTI YOU CAN EAT FOR FIFTY CENTS!!!! Beer and root beer came in chilled mugs. The head cook was Gordon, who left M’Goo’s to be the waiter on the right side of the counter at The Applepan, just around the corner east of Westwood on Pico, across from Newberry’s, Von’s, Sally,s, Florsheim Shoes, Rexall Drugs, Buster Brown Shoes, See’s Candies, the shoeshine stand and Kiddyland. M’Goo’s became Junior’s Deli, between Smith’s Sporting Ggods and Al Marcus’ Rancho Music (record store).

  • Ron Holmstrom says:

    Used to frequent M’Goos on Hollywood Blvd. in the mid-70s. It was a fun place and Rudy, the piano player seemed to know every song ever written. Sing-a-longs were big.

  • Dr.Steven Cast'13 says:

    During my high school years we all went to McGoo’s in Hollywood a few times and we’d always get a little “rowdy” and 1 night my friends asked the house piano player if I could play and sing a song or 2 and he said sure. I did the songs and everybody sang and there were NO boo’s. I think I played some Elton…it was a great place for a lot of great nights…and good memories…Cheers

  • Dr.Steven Cast\'13 says:

    During my high school years we all went to McGoo’s in Hollywood a few times and we’d always get a little “rowdy” and 1 night my friends asked the house piano player if I could play and sing a song or 2 and he said sure. I did the songs and everybody sang and there were NO boo’s. I think I played some Elton…it was a great place for a lot of great nights…and good memories…Cheers

  • Shel Weisbach says:

    I seem to remember, “back in the day,” a McGoo’s briefly located not in Westwood Village, but in the building that was to shortly become
    Junior’s Deli on Westwood at Pico.

  • Ann & Bob Curran says:

    We at at one of these jointa. We know why they closed forever.

    After finishing a very average meal, we waited for ovr 45 minutes for our check. Could not get anyone to drop by our table. Well I considered that lack of attention as False Imprisonment”, we left, never did see a bill!They closed a few months later.

  • Scott Sperling says:

    When I was a youth group advisor in the late ’60’s, the Hollywood location was a favorite last stop on my youth group’s annual ‘mystery bus ride’. The food was pretty good, the prices were the same and for a bunch of crazed teenagers, the ambience was just perfect. The sleazy neighborhood just added to the sense of adventure ;-)

  • Mike says:

    Took my girlfriend Janie on my first date to McGoos in Hollywood, in 1961. between the car and the restaurant, my wallet fell out of my back pocket. I said nothing to my date, but had $7 in my pocket which was more than enough. I got home, my dad was waiting up and ask how my date was. I told him …… he said a lady had called and I could pick up my wallet tomorrow. I brought that kind lady flowers!

  • Don says:

    I have a M’Goo’s Sing Along Sheet from 6651 Hollywood Blvd (date not known). On the last page, it shows the correct way to eat pizza. It says only a barbarian would put silver to the delicate flavors of a fine pizza. The picture then shows an attractive female eating it with her hand. It also shows a drawing of McGoo’s firt slaming pizza in all its splindor next to a smoking volcano. It used to be a big place to go in the 60’s.

  • Michael Bryant says:

    I have sing along sheet from M’GOOS. Hard to tell what decade it’s from. Maybe the 30’s? 40’s? Really cool item that I’m fairly certain that very few, if any, others remain.

  • Mark Berney says:

    I still have a M’Goos Kazoo. Fond memories for sure.

  • Nancy Collins says:

    Did M’Goos have go-go girls? I ask, because my 1st husband’s uncle used to run a chain of pizza places called M’Goos or Magoos (my husband at the time couldn’t remember how it was spelled) in that area and time-frame, and all he remembers is that there were go-go girls who danced & waited tables.

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