When Jack and Jean Twohey opened the first Twohey’s Restaurant on Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, CA, a bottle of Coco-Cola cost 5 Cents, a new car sold for around $900, and to fill it up cost 15 cents a gallon.
Just a short drive from Hollywood, Twoheys was a favorite hang out for Hollywood legends Cary Grant, Mickey Rooney and Bill Murray. They drove to the San Gabriel Valley area to enjoy a specialty hamburger, onion rings, and hand-dipped fountain beverage.
Their logo of a man with a close pin on his nose is ‘Stinko’. According to co-owner Tanya Christos, a man sat at a counter and ordered a hamburger with just onions and pickles. When it arrived there was a generous amount of onions and pickles stacked between the bun. A lady sitting next to him muttered, “Oh stinko!” and when the staff and owners overheard her, they got the idea to make ‘Little Stink-o’ into the logo of Twoheys trademark.
In 1955, Twoheys relocated to the corner of Huntington Drive and Atlantic Blvd. in Alhambra, CA, offering American diner food and carhop style service. The restaurant became a popular destination for both young and old alike. When the Twohey family passed ownership to a local Pasadena family in 1997, the family promised to continue to preserve the traditional menu items that has attracted generations of loyal customers.
Now, after 75 years, Twoheys renovated a space in South Pasadena on Fair Oaks. The new look is modern and clean with a retro vibe, featuring a full bar, two outdoor patios, a soda fountain counter and designated parking carhop service.
I was able to chat by phone with Tanya Christos about the new location. “We opened in October, 2020 and everyone who came in to dine were so grateful and happy we opened.” I learned they did a soft opening and in less than two months the word got out and the outdoor patio was filled with diners. “Little did we know when we took over the lease, the outdoor patios with 90 seats would be essential during the pandemic,” said Christos. Since South Pasadena is part of LA County, they had to closed their outdoor dining towards the end of 2020. “The state is under so much pressure for restaurants to reopen, we just hope numbers continue to come down, and we can offer sit down service again to our customers.”
“We had to incorporate new dining concepts, takeout and delivery, and were forced to get creative with Family Meal Kits, Cocktails to go, and carhop service,” said Christos. “We have 6 parking spots to bring out curbside delivery during breakfast breakfast, lunch and dinner.” Just call in your order 30 minutes in advance and call the restaurant again upon arrival. Tell them which parking spot number you are at, and your order will be delivered on a classic carhop tray if requested, or in a bag to take home.
Ordering their family meal packs, we received meatloaf for my 88 year old father and a roast turkey dinner for my husband, daughter and me. Both were served with garlic mashed potatoes, carrots and green beans, house salad, dinner rolls and a choice of dessert – ice cream sundae or rice pudding. They also offer large salads, a variety of burger and sandwich packs that feed four people, as well as Prime Rib Wednesdays.
Order one of their cocktails to-go to enjoy at home. They bottle their most popular drinks that pour into three servings, yet cost the price of two.
Click her to see the Twoheys menu. They are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., six days per week, and closed on Tuesdays. 424 Fair Oaks Ave., (626)284-7387.
This review is also featured in the Beverly Press on January 21, 2021.