Star Trek Lounge – Schriever, Louisiana

Often I come across something in my collection and need to learn more about it. Most of the time I’m able to find out something about it and/or where it was exactly located.

It comes as no surprise that the Star Trek Lounge in Schriever, Louisiana piqued my interest. According to the matchcover the lounge had dancing, music and table service to suit your needs. Other than that, I could find no information about this place. I decided to try to find the building.

Schriever is a rather small census-designated place in Terrebonne Parish, just south of Thibodaux, home of Nicholls State University. The population is around 6,000 and covers only about 14.4 square miles.

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Stock art on the back cover of Star Trek Lounge matchbook

According to the matchcover the Star Trek Lounge was located on the Morgan City Highway, which is also known as LA-20, 2 1/2 miles from the 3-way junction (where LA-20 and LA-24 meet). Due to the vague nature of the description I was not totally sure where it was located.

If I had to wager a guess, I think this might be the building. The awning and general lounge-like vibe seem to fit how I’d picture the Star Trek.

I wish I knew more. If you can find any information, please let me know.

Pinafini – Los Angeles, California

Matchcover from the Cardboard America Collection

Pinafini opened on April 15, 1985 at 8612 Beverly Blvd. on the ground floor of the Beverly Center in Los Angeles. Started by Walter Shui, shopping-mall mogul and Los Angeles, via-Italy chef Antonio Tommassi, the modern Venetian restaurant was a big hit from the start.

The Los Angeles Times called it a “..slick, hip, high-tech place with its white tiles, hard edges and loud music serving extremely interesting Italian food – and at rather reasonable prices” The interior was self-proclaimed to be “hip, chick, sleek.” Coral booths, coral and blue neon – red and white ’50 style wire chairs, white tile with red grout, red wire tables and various glass-bricks filled the 200-seat space in the Beverly Center.

However, the July 28, 1985 Los Angeles Times stated “Pinafini is something to see. Like the city, the restaurant bears a resemblance to an amusement park; unlike the city, this one is purely 20th-century vintage. The place is a high-tech paradise, all white tile and neon lights and modern art. Modular wire sculptures hang overhead, echoing the little wire bread baskets that sit on the table and the little wire chairs on which you sit.(Extremely uncomfortable chairs, the Reluctant Gourmet was quick to note.)”

The LA Weekly described the menu as “a mix of seafood, meat, vegetable and pasta dishes, includes polpete de came, Venetian meatballs sautéed in tomato sauce; broeto ciozoto, fresh seafood soup with garlic toast; risoto de sepe nero, black risotto with calamari; figa a la venessiana, calfs liver sauteed with sweet onions; pizzas made from potato-dough; and tortes

LA Weekly – March 27, 1986

The location – next to the Hard Rock Café – and staying open until 4am kept Parafini busy for a few years. Reggae music and live DJS kept the party pumping. However, the food and modern atmosphere were very evocative of a short period of time and the operation was never really sustainable.

Pacific Shanghai, Inc., parent company of Parafini, declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy on December 27, 1988 with assets of $1,493,200 and debts of $1,051,266.

Parafini was pretty short-lived and didn’t leave a major legacy, but it is places like this that make me love collecting matchcovers.

Andre’s L’Omelette – Palo Alto, California

Andre Frelier and his brother Pierre owned and operated L’Omelette on El Camino Real Street in Palo Alto, California from 1932 to 1970.

The original restaurant burned to the ground on August 12, 1941 when Harry Gillette, the 57-year old caretaker of the building, inadvertently started a fire when he lighted the gas stove in the café preparing in his breakfast. The flames engulfed the building quickly, killing Gillette.

The San Francisco Examiner – August 13, 1941

A new building was erected in October 1941 at 4170 El Camino on a stretch of highway that was alcohol-free. However, L’Omelette did not always adhere to the prohibition-like rules and were raided and fined on at least 2 occasions for liquor sales. In fact, the place became widely known for their liquor sales.

Postcard showing Andre Frelier mixing his 3,000,000th Martini (courtesy of HipPostcard)

The rebuilt interior evoked a charming bistro with a multi-colored awning and French décor throughout. The chimney near the middle of the restaurant was a popular gathering place.

Interior of L’Omelette (postcard courtesy of CardCow)

Specializing in French cuisine and strong drinks with “sec-appeal” the restaurant thrived under the Frelier brothers’ leadership.

L’Omelette menu from 1953 (courtesy of Reddit)

L’Omelette was part of the fabric of Palo Alto. Countless wedding receptions, gatherings and events were held in there. However, the Frelier brothers were getting older and looked to get out of the business.

The restaurant was sold to a group of Stanford investors headed by former basketball coach Bob Burnett for $500,000. The new group struggled through multiple management changes and even changed their name to L’Ommies in hopes of attracting a younger crowds. Regular patrons were alienated by the changes to the venerable old restaurant and business suffered.

Louis Borel purchased the restaurant in 1977 and changed its name back to L’Omelette. However, in 1981, Borel would change the name once more to Chez Louis. It would enjoy success throughout the 1980s, but as neighborhood and tastes changed, business suffered and Chez Louis closed in April 1995.