The Brown Derby Restaurants photographs span the years 1926-1960 and encompass one linear foot. The
collection consists of approximately 400 items, including copy negatives, contact prints, and modern
archival prints all generated by the library from the Cobb family's vintage prints and original negatives
loaned by Peggy Cobb Walsh, daughter of Sally Cobb and stepdaughter of Robert Cobb. The photographs
depict film stars, studio executives, and other industry personnel dining at the restaurants and are
interior and exterior views of the four restaurants.
The Brown Derby Restaurants were a Los Angeles-area chain of four restaurants owned by Bob Cobb. The
restaurants were founded by producer Herbert Somborn, screenwriter Wilson Mizner, and theater impresario
Sid Grauman. The first Brown Derby restaurant, and the only one actually built in the shape of a hat,
opened in 1926 on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, across from the Ambassador Hotel. Restaurateur
Robert Cobb managed this Brown Derby at the request of his friend Somborn, and after Somborn died in
1934, Cobb took over the remaining Derby restaurants, located in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Los Feliz.
In their heyday during the 1930s and 1940s, the Brown Derby restaurants were a mainstay of Hollywood
social life. Due to waning patronage, the restaurants gradually closed between 1975 and 1985.
1 linear feet of photographs.
Property rights to the physical object belong to the Margaret Herrick Library. Researchers are
responsible for obtaining all necessary rights, licenses, or permissions from the appropriate companies
or individuals before quoting from or publishing materials obtained from the library.
Available by appointment only.