The Hippo was a people-watcher's delight, as Falvey himself described well. "You may sit next to a Black Panther or a priest," he wrote, "a white-tie opera goer or a 'hippie,' a worker in soiled overalls or a whole Japanese camera clicking group."
It was also a place where local restaurateurs would converge. "It is not unusual to find Vic or Rolland Gotti of Ernie's, or Vic and Lyn Bergeron of Trader Vic's, Bumps Baldauf of Senor Pico, the gang from Los Gallos, Barnaby Conrad of Barnaby's Cabaret, Claude Rouas of L'Etoil and/or even Art Zimmerman of Zim's hamburger chain!"
Celebs dug it, too. "With a menu like the Hippo's, and its great variety of the hamburger, a guy like Herb Caen comes in and orders an omelette! Dame Margot and Nureyev came in, ate a 'Hippieburger' then went to went to Haight-Ashbury and got pot luck! What luck! The great Tennessee Ernie Ford ordered a Diet Steak and gave us a plug on his national network show. Bing Crosby eats just a plain hamburger ― ditto with Pat Paulson."
For another great time capsule, check out this 1974 menu to ogle such exotic and Hippo-tastic delights as the Montecarloburger, Peninsulaburger, Islandburger, and Bronxburger (average price: $2.35).
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