Meet Andrew Meieran, LA Restoration Expert

Brenda Garcia Davidge

Andrew Meieran has a knack for rejuvenating bygone eras through his various restoration projects in Los Angeles. As the proprietor of the newly re-opened Clifton’s Cafeteria and the Edison Club, Meieran restores iconic locations with an eye toward high, modern standards, while paying homage to the glamour of LA’s past. Meieran took some time out to chat with the Culture Trip about his recent work and long-term vision.

Kitsch at Clifton’s Cafeteria

How did you get started in creative restoration?My freshman year in college, I didn’t get into the dorms, and the only alternative was to acquire an inexpensive ‘fixer upper.’ I purchased a 1906 Craftsman cottage from the original owner, and I slowly restored it throughout college and rented it out to roommates. What is the most unusual piece you’ve acquired for your projects?The meteorite at Clifton’s is such a unique piece. It is part of the largest iron meteorite to ever fall to earth in recorded history. And also, part of an ancient, 1700-year-old Indian temple that was installed as a ceiling and doorway in my house.

A giant faux redwood dominates the center of Clifton’s

Have you ever acquired a piece for a project that you ended up keeping for yourself? Actually it’s the reverse — I find wonderful pieces for myself that I love and then I find projects to suit them. What advice would you give to someone else who was trying to restore/recreate the former glory of buildings or spaces?Be very, very patient. There is no hurry. [The place has] been waiting long enough to be restored, so take the time to do it right. If you can’t find the right elements initially, do your best and come back to them. What’s next on the horizon for you?I am working alongside Disney to create some exciting, immersive environments that have a remarkable historic context and will be blending history, technology, and interactive performance in truly unexpected ways.

Seating at Clifton’s Cafeteria

How would you describe yourself and your work in 80 characters?Adventurous entrepreneur with a passion for history. What is your dream project?Designing an entire cruise ship environment that is reminiscent of the golden era of travel that takes you to exotic environments, both real and imagined. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?Jules Verne.

Foliage adds atmosphere to Clifton’s Cafeteria

What is the most memorable moment of your career?There are two. First, Tony Curtis telling me that he hadn’t seen real nightlife since the Coconut Grove in its heyday, until he came to the Edison. And Dianne Disney Miller’s response after I told her about one of my projects — she said, ‘Daddy would have loved that,’ referring to her father Walt Disney. How would you like to be remembered?As a conscious caretaker of the past.

Inside Clifton’s Cafeteria

If you opened up a fortune cookie what would it say?Opportunity exists for those with open eyes. If you could only bring three things to a desert island, what would they be?The Internet, a fishing pole, and a good aged rum. Charles Bukowski or Ray Bradbury?Ray Bradbury

Clifton’s Cafeteria boasts colorful charm

Salvador Dalí or Vincent van Gogh?Dalí Great Wall of China or Pyramids of Giza?Pyramids Blade Runner or Reservoir Dogs?Blade Runner

The Edison’s moody interior. Image courtesy of the Edison

Goonies or Stand by Me?Stand By Me Tiramisu or New York Cheesecake?Tiramisu

Lounge space at the Edison. Image courtesy of the Edison

iPhone or Android?iPhone Amy Poehler or Tina Fey?Tina Fey An Old Fashioned or a Moscow Mule?Old Fashioned Ginger or MaryAnn?MaryAnn Interview by Brenda Davidge

Culture Trip Summer Sale

Save up to $1,395 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article