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Ships Coffee Shop
Los Angeles, CA
So CA Coffee Shops | Ships Coffee Shop | So CA Eateries

A true Southern California Coffee Shop treasure, Ships Restaurant epitomized all that was right about the googie age. Designed by Martin Stern Jr., Ships was famous for its Coffee Shop Modern style, from the restaurant itself to the spellbinding "space-age" marquee in front. From the busy West Los Angeles location near the bustling university village of Westwood to the Culver City hot spot, Ships was a favorite hangout for both Southern California locals and passersby. But alas, like all good things, the beloved Ships chain, the Southern California favorite son, met its demise in the 1980's and 90's.

This special section of Roadside Peek's Coffee Shops takes a look back at the closing day of Ships, La Cienega. Many thanks to Gerald M. Panter for contributing his b/w photographs towards documentation of this special, yet sad day in modern architecture history.

All photographs copyright Gerald M. Panter of Gerald M. Panter Photography

To the left is a photograph of the classic ships marquee with its recognizable rocket arrow pointing to the heavens. The front of the restaurant is also shown with its boomerang facade.

It's hard to believe that coming soon to this site will be a Del Taco fast food restaurant.

(Right) The marquee from another angle. Notice the reflection on the car's hood.

A classic convertible waits patiently outside the restaurant as its owner steps inside for a final meal at this coffee shop treasure.

Notice the lighting fixtures, straight from the 1960's. This scene was reenacted on a daily basis from 1963 to its closing day in 1995.


The lunch counter crowd dwindles during the day. A patron reads the daily paper as the waitress looks on. If only time stood still...

Ships, La Cienega closed its doors in 1995. However the memory of its marquee and modern architecture is instilled with all who have had to the opportunity to visit this classic treasure. 06-01


Ships Restaurant, La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles
Architect: Martin Stern Jr.
1963 to 1995





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