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History of Damon's Steak House

In Glendale's history, Damon's Steak House is a landmark restaurant but, interestingly, the pre-restaurant Damon history includes a friend of Abraham Lincoln's, a career in the candy business and active duty in France during World War 1.

The restaurant founder, Loyal Adelbert Damon, was born in Medford, Oregon in 1891. His parents were Charles and Carrie (Brown) Damon and during the 1800's Carrie's family was active in the development of this country. Father James of Connecticut was commissioner general of a frontier outpost during the Revolutionary period. Loyal's great uncle and namesake traveled west in a covered wagon and founded Mt. Idaho. Being a close friend of President Lincoln, Uncle Loyal was instrumental in bringing the first Republican convention to the Territory of Idaho. The "convention" was held in his log cabin in 1863.

Loyal was just age 6 when the family moved to California's Bay Area. His business career began with the Townsend Candy Company of San Francisco. At age 26, he joined the military and served in France with the 144th field artillery, better known as the "California Grizzlies."

At the end of his tour of duty, he returned to Townsend Company but later moved south and joined the Christopher Candy Company in Los Angeles. Loyal was soon bitten by the "entrepreneur bug" and opened his own candy stores. One was located on South Vermont in Los Angeles and the other at Yucca and Ivar Streets in Hollywood. In 1937, he sold the candy stores and founded Damon's Steak House on Central Avenue in Glendale. It soon became a favorite with those seeking a hearty steak and a great drink.

The South Seas or Polynesian décor theme began almost by accident. A single palm tree in the middle of the original Damon's inspired the gradual addition of artifacts and furnishings. The move to Brand Boulevard in 1980 made that transition even easier with the addition of the outrigger hanging above the main dining room and the beautiful murals painted by the late Bettina Byrne. Also adding to the island theme are the large salt-water aquarium and two fresh water aquariums in the bar.

Upon Loyal's passing, his son Loyal Jr., daughter Jennie and Loyal Jr.'s wife Donna took control of the restaurant operation. At the time of the move to Brand Boulevard, long time bartender Moe Elliott was promoted to manager. Moe not only had the distinction of being the senior member of the staff (since 1956) but he also created the Damon's Famous Mai Tai. Moe still visits to make sure his time honored recipe is being followed accurately. (Bartenders, beware!)

We extend an invitation to one and all to come and join the fun and enjoy a delicious and hearty meal.

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