Harry Lewis’s “Toots”: “S’matter, doncha get it? A con. Guaranteed for life.” Thomas Gomez’s “Curly” Hoff: “Oh, we get it, all right.”
Never forget that in 1950, or roughly two years after Key Largo opened, Lewis and his then-girlfriend (and future wife) Marilyn Friedman invested $3,500 to open the Hamburger Hamlet restaurant at the corner of Sunset Blvd and Hilldale Ave. on the Sunset Strip. (That’s not the longtime location on the north side of Sunset near Cory Ave. but a block west of the Whisky a Go Go.) The restaurant was successful and grew into a chain of 24 locations. Harry and Marilyn sold all the HH restaurants for about $30 million in 1987. The couple also launched Kate Mantilini on Wilshire in 1987, and then a Woodland Hills location in ’03. Both KMs are now dead and gone. Harry passed on 6.9.13 at age 93.
I’ve been to the actual Key Largo. The Warner Bros. sound stage atmosphere ain’t what it used to be, if it ever existed at all.