Situated on Studio City’s Ventura Boulevard, the Lodge became famous (a) as a hang-out for Hollywood’s rich and famous and (b) for the fact that you caught your own dinner at the on-site trout pond. Clarke Gable and John Wayne are among the stars said to have taught their children how to fish at the Lodge.
From Wikipedia: “In the first half of the 20th Century, the Sportsmen’s Lodge was known for its trout-fishing lake where families came to catch and eat their own dinners, cooked courtesy of the lodge’s restaurant. In the 1910s, the Lodge was called “Hollywood Trout Farms” and was described as ‘a ramshackle collection of huts’. The ponds were augmented with man-made lakes in the 1920s, and fish were grown and delivered as far as Las Vegas and San Luis Obispo. From the late 1930s until the end of World War II, it was known as ‘Trout Lakes’.”
While the fishing stopped in the 1970s, there are plans to bring it back, according to owner of the site, Richard Weintraub, who has denied reports by his tenants that the place is to be demolished.
Weintraub prefers to call it ‘renovation’ and a little refurbishment may not be entirely out of place, judging by this mixed bag of reviews. Mind you, when you’re talking about the spot where Gable fished and Bobby Kennedy spent his last night, wouldn’t you think people’s sights might be raised a little higher than to grumble “Sunken lobby not roller suitcase friendly…”?