2018 marks a major milestone for both Philippe the Original and its famous French Dip Sandwich.
The French Dip will celebrate its centennial and the restaurant will celebrate 110 years in business, and there’s an epic celebration planned, including $1.10 French Dips, live entertainment and more.
110 Years of History
In 1908, Philippe the Original opened its doors in Los Angeles. In 1918, the restaurant’s founder, Philippe Mathieu, a Frenchman from Paris, dropped a sliced French roll into the roasting pan filled with juice still hot from the oven. The patron, a policeman, said he would take the sandwich anyway and returned the next day with some friends asking for more dipped sandwiches. And so was born the “French Dip” Sandwich.
In 1927, Harry and Dave Martin purchased Philippe’s from Mathieu for around $5,000. Until World War II, the restaurant was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The restaurant, however, grew steadily during the depression of 1929 and World War II. Harry and Dave’s younger brother, Frank Martin, came into the picture to help run the restaurant full-time and brought his son-in-law on board, William Binder, in the late 40s.
After 26 years located on Aliso Street, Philippe’s was forced to move and make way for the Hollywood-Santa Ana 101 freeway and relocated in 1951 to Alameda and Ord in Chinatown, the restaurant’s current location.
William’s sons, John and Richard Binder, joined the management team in 1967 and 1976 respectively, as third-generation owners alongside their father. The restaurant is still owned by the Binder/Martin family, including fourth generation managers who run various departments today. After 45 years, John retired, but Richard is still the active general manager who oversees daily operations.
Today, Philippe’s boasts over 75 employees, serves about 20,000 sandwiches per week, more when the Dodgers are in town, and prepares about 100 gallons of its famous Hot Mustard every week.
The company has some employees who have been with the restaurant for over 30 years. Patrons love the familiarity of the carvers and staff, who even know some of them by name.
The family has strived to keep the restaurant as original as possible throughout the years; sawdust floors, décor, payphone booths and some of the cheapest coffee in town at 45 cents a cup. It wasn’t until 2014 that the restaurant took down the cash only sign and began accepting credit cards. The restaurant is known throughout the U.S. and beyond not only for its delicious French Dip Sandwich, but for being a part of Los Angeles history.
Let the Celebration Begin
Philippe’s is inviting the public to celebrate this 110-year milestone on Monday, October 1, 2018 from 4 – 8 p.m. The day’s festivities include live entertainment, raffles, games, give-aways and the chance to enjoy a Beef, Pork, Ham, or Turkey Dip for only $1.10. The offer is good for one sandwich per person, dine-in only. Excludes Pastrami and Lamb Dips, cheese extra. No exceptions will be made at any of the carver stations.
“We welcome anyone to stop by to have some fun with us,” said Richard Binder. “We anticipate a nice crowd, but we will have lots going on for people to enjoy themselves during the wait.”
The USC Marching Band will kick-off the celebration with a 15-minute performance, followed by the California Feetwarmers who will play Dixieland blues and early swing for guests to move their feet to while they wait. In between sets, DJ Curtis will be playing music and calling out names from an ongoing raffle where guests can win Philippe’s swag. Dolores Chili, the official chili sold at Philippe’s all year long, will be on site sampling chili and handing out giveaways. The kids’ area will include face painting, air brushing and a juggler showing off some tricks
Philippe’s has several novelty 110th Anniversary items available for purchase leading up to the celebration, including an anniversary shirt, mug, postcard and pin. Through the Philippe’s social media channels, patrons also have a chance to win some of those items and gift cards.
Philippe’s has been an active donor to the local community and beyond and will have several charity partners involved in their celebration, including the LA Chinatown Business Council who will also be a benefactor of the 50/50 raffle at the anniversary.
Local community leaders are expected to say a few words to kick off the event.
110th Anniversary Celebration Details
Philippe the Original
1001 N. Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Monday, October 1, 2018
4 – 8 p.m.