Thursday, June 7, 2007
One year when I was a kid, I went Christmas shopping at Ben Franklin's 5 and 10. Even then, virtually nothing cost only a nickel or a dime, but I found plenty of bargains nonetheless. Since then I've been intrigued by these sorts of fixed-priced places. So, a few years ago I purchased a matchbook for Bradley's 5 and 10. I was attracted to its fine-detailed lines and that slogan, "From High Silk Hat to Working Cap . . . Bradley's is for everybody" How often does a place define itself by the hats of its wearers anymore? Looking at this matchbook I wondered, did Bradley's simply adapt the five and dime concept to its bar and grill business?
The problem is: I can find precious little information about Bradley's. Turning the matchbook over, I learned that Bradley's had locations in Hollywood, Southwest Los Angeles, Huntington Park, Belvedere Gardens, and San Diego. I've heard that northern California locations came later. Recently I came across a postcard of the San Diego Plaza, which also featured a tantalizing glimpse of Bradley's (with the "5 and 10" apparently painted over). A blog entitled Tempus Fugit, Elizabeth Short, Howard and Grace offers a reference to Bradley's, noting that Elizabeth Short, the so-called Black Dahlia, was seen at its Hollywood location on her way to a terrible fate. Beyond that, I know nothing about this place. If you have memories or information about Bradley's, feel free to drop a comment.