No, no, there are no monsters in the eatery that’s famous for it’s monstrous corned beef on rye sandwiches. It happened in the early 1950s when your now-elderly travel4seniors.com editor wrote for the Beverly Hills Citizen daily.
I lunched there regularly with other writers, and sometimes the big guy in the photo joined us. The scene depicts young James Arness made up for his movie part as a space creature. He showed up suddenly one day in full make-up and scared the hell out of the deli diners. Later, of course, he became famous as Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke.
At the time, the deli’s famed corned beef on rye cost $1.95. Today the huge sandwich is a bargain for $20. Also, then my weekly editor’s check was for $75, and Jim Arness, fresh out of the Army, was a member of the 52-20 Club. Translated: newly-released GIs were paid $20 a week for a year to help them get started in civilian life.
A short list of the many celebs who dined at the deli include Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle, Carol Channing, Groucho Marx, Doris Day, Jay Leno, Tony Curtis and Larry King. Frank Sinatra was there shooting deli scenes for his movie, Pal Joey, in 1957.
If your travels take you to or near Beverly Hills, stop by for a delicious breakfast, lunch or whatever. Nate’n Al’s Deli, 414 N. Beverly Dr. nateenal.com