Hawley's Tough Steaks, Sherman Oaks 1960s Menu Art
Hawley's Tough Steaks, Sherman Oaks 1960s Menu

Hawley's Tough Steaks, Sherman Oaks 1960s

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Product Description

Groucho Marx is one of the comedians who contributed to the jokes in the menu for Hawley’s Tough Steaks in Sherman Oaks, California.

In the 40s, when the San Fernando Valley was sparsely populated and restaurants were few and far between, Bettye Hawley opened a steakhouse that boasted about its ‘terrible service and even worse food.’

‘It was the comics who came in…they’d say ‘what have you got tonight, Bettye?’ and I’d say ’Well, I saw a miserable New York steak in the back of the kitchen.’ then they’d laugh and order the food. It was hard to know if they were coming in for food or laughs,’ recalled Bettye.

The jokes kept coming. From the coat of arms on the front cover, depicting an intimidating steer and a mangled knife and fork, to boasts about the tough steaks, disappointing gravy and bum booze, everything was about ‘dining discomfort.’

Groucho Marx, Johnny Carson, Ernie Kovacs, Steve Allen and Edgar Bergen were among the customers who provided the laughs on the menu. We’ve spotted two that seem suited to Groucho Marx’s sense of humor.

Needless to say, the service and the food at Hawley’s was perfectly acceptable and Bettye’s place was popular with both celebrities and civilians. The menu became a collector’s item.

Between 1950 to 1957, Bettye had her own cooking show on television, was a guest on Jack Paar’s Tonight Show and Groucho Marx’s radio quiz show You Bet Your Life. She was also a tireless charity worker.

After leaving the restaurant business, she opened an antique store and sold real estate.

Bettye reached the remarkable age of 97, still with her sense of humor intact, and died in 2010.

Courtesy Private Collection.

Gallery quality Giclée print on natural white, matte, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson archival inks. Custom printed with border for matting and framing.

Each order includes a print of the interior menu.

All printed in USA.

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