But while Glendale is aiming for the future, it’s also trying to recapture the town’s heyday of “fine dining at the Colorado Mining Company, spending Saturdays at the Disney-backed Celebrity Sports Center, waiting in line to watch the original Star Wars on the Cooper Theater’s curved screen, or dancing all night at The Lift,” according to the project’s promotional materials. All of those businesses are long gone — but definitely not forgotten, even if Glendale today muffs the Colorado Mine Company’s historic name. The restaurant lives on as the creator of Fool's Gold, Elvis Presley's favorite sandwich, but there's a lot more to remember.
We asked Elise Cagan, Westword’s restaurant critic thirty years ago, for her thoughts on the project. “Anyone who equates ‘fine dining at Colorado Mining [sic] Company’ with anything that uses Disney in the same sentence doesn’t know what he/she is talking about,” she says. “It is like the gentrification of 42nd Street in NYC. You either want a family-fun place (not that there is anything wrong with that), or you want to relive Colorado Mine dining, where ‘smarmy’ wasn’t a scary word. It used to be fun to be dirty. But not anymore….
“The Colorado Mine Company was one of those places that wasn’t what it seemed. It was a restaurant where no one I knew ate a meal. Buck and Cindy Scott — the well-groomed, handsy proprietors — made sure there was always a martini in your hand and appetizers in front of you. Off-duty cops, big-name athletes, some unctuous types you’d never question and journalists alike were all ushered into a back, grotto-like room. Everybody was everyone else’s best friend, although you’d never recognize them during daylight hours. It was the night’s last watering hole. There was always a sense that something dark and untoward could happen at any second. It was the kind of place your mother had warned you about, making it that much more fun to hang out there.”
Bring it on, Glendale!