Thursday, June 7, 2007

Searching for Bradley's 5 and 10


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.

5 comments:

Tabu said...

Bradley's sold short beers for a nickel and tall beers for a dime.

Andrew Wood said...

Thanks for that info, tabu!

Anonymous said...

My dad was a bartender at Huntington Park (HP) Bradley's from about 1949 - 1954. In those days there was no 21 Only Law, so little 5 year olds like me could shimmy up to the bar for a Shirley Temple or Roy Rogers. It was very busy bar & restaurant. I have some interior pics I found on the LA Public Library website. HP has changed significantly from those days.

Andrew Wood said...

That is so cool. Thanks for sending this along!

Nicholas said...

Thanks for the post - I'm trying to run down info on Bradley's too. I have the same matchbook as yours. Here's a link to my site:

http://vintagematches.webs.com/