Admiral’s Dinghy – Playa del Rey, California

CA - Admiral

The Admiral’s Dinghy is a new restaurant, 8360 Manchester, Playa del Rey. This is an informal and attractively nautical spot – the piano bar is an old boat, the bar tables are hatch covers – geared for dropping by. The Dinghy is a sister restaurant of the Frigate at Manhattan Beach, built by a group of nonrestaurant men, known as 12 apostles, who simply wanted a good place to eat and gather. As planned by Fred Schmid Associates and managed by Chappie Foote, it should do well.
The menu is not astonishing, but they are proud of their rack of lamb and I found the black bean soup, laced with sherry, to be worth a trip. They are open seven days and seven nights, dancing every night with a special Sunday night entertainment, featuring “undiscovered Mary Kaye Trios.” Sunday bruncheons. Dinner prices from $4 to $5.25.

Los Angeles Times, February 5, 1967

Admiral’s Dinghy officially opened for business on December 8, 1966. The restaurant was a very popular nightclub for many years, converting a discotheque in the late ’70s. The popularity of the disco ultimately led to its demise. By the time the fad had ended the restaurant was struggling. It was sold in 1981 and had a grand re-opening on September 2, 1981 featuring a concert by former lead-singer of the Union Gap and all-time mortal enemy of my wife Gary Puckett.

CA - The Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug 1981, Sun, Page 409
The Los Angeles Times – August 30, 1981

The new restaurant didn’t last long. The restaurant closed at some point in the 1980s (I cannot find a date). It later became an Acapulco Mexican Restaurant. I believe the building is gone, too.

5 thoughts on “Admiral’s Dinghy – Playa del Rey, California

  1. Hello. My parents owned and operated the Dinghy as locals called it for many years. They changed the name to Senior Dinghy after a sewer pipe bursted under the building and had to remodel. They ended up loosing it to the IRS due to owed back taxes because one of their business partners stole alot of money from them. It was a very successful and busy restaurant and night club. It inspired me to become the chef I am today. Thank you for posting this article.

    1. My parent had an apartment on Redlands, the Dinghy was my go to on Friday night. Loved that place, would go bowling with the workers after hours!

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