LOS ANGELES IS A TREASURE trove of historic sites related to Walt Disney, but the Scottish pub in Glendale called the Tam O’Shanter is not among the best-known of them. That’s a shame, since Walt Disney himself was once a regular there.
In the 1920s, the Disney studio was located on Hyperion Avenue. Compared to the media empire it is today, the studio was quite small and had no cafeteria. Disney and his crew dined at the Tam O’Shanter almost every day in the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s. They frequented it so often, the pub even gained the nickname “the Disney Studio Commissary.”
Established in 1922 by Lawrence Frank and Walter Van de Kamp, the Tam O’Shanter is one of Los Angeles’s oldest restaurants and still run by the same family in the original location. It features the exterior of a storybook-style cottage and an interior decked out with medieval-inspired decor, including English and Scottish weaponry, kilts, and coats of arms. According to local lore, the setting may have partially inspired Disney’s first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
When dining there, Disney would always sit at Table 31 in the corner of the main dining hall, presumably enjoying the pub’s famous prime rib and Yorkshire pudding, next to the large fireplace. Today, this history is commemorated by a plaque, which reads, “This was a favorite spot of Walt Disney and his imagineers.”
The “Disney table,” as it’s known, still bears a few well-worn etchings supposedly carved into the wood by the crew. There’s also a caricature of Lawrence Frank drawn by John Hench, one of the studio’s legendary animators, which was signed by Walt in 1958.
Know Before You Go
If you wish to dine at Walt's favorite table, it's best to make a reservation well in advance.