At 99 years old, the Tam O’Shanter Inn restaurant is one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles. Located at 2980 Los Feliz Boulevard in the Atwater Village neighborhood in L.A. this restaurant specializes in pub food with a Scottish theme, which includes medieval weapons, family crests, and kilts.

Walt Disney, Lawrence Frank and Harry Oliver at Tam O’Shanter (1960)

In 1922 the restaurant was opened by 2 families, the Franks and the Van de Kamps. They hired silent film art director Harry Oliver, known for Ben-Hur and the Hansel and Gretel witch house that currently is occupied in Beverly Hills (Click Here to read about the Witch House), to build the restaurant.

Interior of Tam O’Shanter

Oliver came up with the idea to make the wood look older by charring them in flame.

“Every piece of wood which was used in this structure was thrown into the fire first with the result that we never had to paint it and it got more beautiful as the years went by.” – L.L Frank

The area around the restaurant, fairly remote in the early 1920s, became popular with on-location shooting for the studios, and “the Tam” grew in popularity with big stars including Roscoe Arbuckle and Mary Pickford.

The Tam O’Shanter Inn (2021)

Due to the close proximity to his studio, Walt Disney began dining here frequently for lunch in the mid-1920s. Even after the studio moved a little further away to Burbank, Walt continued to eat there frequently until his death in 1966 and the Tam was called “the Walt Disney Studios commissary”.

Walt’s favorite table (31), has a plaque that reads:

Walt
Table 31

This particular table contains drawings and doodles done by Disney animators and Imagineers, including a stegosaurus that was carved when work was being done on what would become the Primeval World at Disneyland.

Walt
Stegosaurus and volcano carving at table 31

It is also believed that the exterior of the Tam was the inspiration for the dwarfs’ cottage in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Other Disney connections to the Tam include several drawings by Disney animators and photographs of Walt at the restaurant on the walls.

Walt
Dinosaurs and volcano in Primeval World at Disneyland

Assuming restaurants ever reopen in L.A. you can eat at Walt’s table 31 (or John Wayne’s favorite table 15) by requesting the table at the time of your reservation.

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