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A classic diner reopens in an unusual location—the L.A.P.D firing range

A classic diner reopens in an unusual location—the L.A.P.D firing range
Photograph: Jeanne W./Yelp

The Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club Café might win the award for most unusual site for a restaurant in town; it sits on the actual grounds of the L.A.P.D.’s practice firing range (the same firing range used for the shooting competitions of the 1932 Olympics, by the way), just north of Dodger Stadium in Elysian Park. The vintage diner closed in 2014 for renovations and has just reopened—to the public and police alike.

Most of the café’s clientele has historically come from the Revolver and Athletic Club, which is affiliated with the police department but is a privately-run social and athletic club. The facility is also one of the sites for the L.A.P.D. academy, though, as KCET reported, there has been a drop-off in classes held at the location, which hurt the café’s business. With the reopening, they seem to be encouraging more neighborhood locals to come in to join the recruits for old-school breakfasts and “Bratton Burgers.” 

One of the café’s signature features, along with mid-century swiveling stools and Formica countertops, is the collection of photographs and memorabilia chronicling a century of the police department, serving as something of an informal museum

Of course, that connection with the L.A.P.D. has raised controversy for some. As L.A. Weekly notes, purchases in the café don’t directly support the police, but the association is nonetheless obvious. The diner hosted a benefit event for Laurence M. Powell, one of the officers convicted in the Rodney King case, for example, and the sound of gunfire can often be heard from inside the restaurant walls, which might trigger some very unpleasant responses among those with more negative views toward the department.

Nonetheless, it might be worth a visit for some classic diner fare and a peek into a part of the city that most of us civilians rarely get to see.

The Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club Cafe is located at 1880 Academy Drive. The cafe's hours are 6am to 2pm, weekdays only.  

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