Email Template To Cultural Heritage Commission in Support of Walker’s Cafe


Subject line: Walker’s Cafe – Case: CHC-2021-10727-HCM

Dear Commissioners,

I am writing in support of Cultural-Historic Monument designation for Walker’s Cafe at 700 W Paseo del Mar in San Pedro.

Walker’s Cafe has been serving the community for almost eighty years, with its origins going back more than a century. Walker’s is one of the oldest restaurants in San Pedro—and indeed in the Los Angeles area—and played a formative role in the early development of the Point Fermin neighborhood. Its founder, the legendary Bessie Mae Petersen, is still remembered fondly by many for her unfailing generosity to those in need and for creating a welcoming gathering place that has stood the test of time.

As a long-standing local institution, the cafe’s diverse clientele is a microcosm of San Pedro’s community, with longshoremen, fishermen, service members and others all coming together. Generations of San Pedrans have come to Walker’s to eat the famous “Bessie Burgers,” enjoy the view of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island, and talk as neighbors and friends. People have gotten married there, brought their children and grandchildren there.

From the original neon sign to the friendly yellow stucco building and the time-warp interior, Walker’s is a fully intact slice of 1940s Americana. Its period features have made it a popular filming location for countless iconic productions such as Chinatown, Inherent Vice and Gods and Monsters, and—importantly—a touchstone for people wishing to connect with San Pedro’s past. Losing it would significantly impoverish the heritage of San Pedro. We urge you to protect this San Pedro landmark for future generations by supporting the nomination for this extraordinary place.

Please include a copy of this letter in the case file.

Thank you.