Denizens of the Smoke House Restaurant may feel a little old when they realize the Burbank mainstay is turning 65 on Oct. 12, but should see the celebration for what it is: a time to remember years gone by while toasting to the future. In people years, 65 certainly isn’t old; but in restaurant years, 65 is quite a feat. Simply put, Smoke House has prospered through lean and fat times, because fads come and go, but quality never goes out of style.
The captain at the helm is Lee Spencer, 72 years young, a no-nonsense, good-humored man with a palpable pride in his brand. When asked about his secret to longevity, he replies:
“I’ve been in the restaurant business for 40 years. Any good restaurant has to have a hook, and ours is ‘The World’s Greatest Garlic Bread.’” No hyperbole, a monument should be erected in honor of these delicious appetizers. The Smoke House Prime Rib and martinis are in high demand as well, but a deep, varied menu ensures that everyone will go home full and content despite differing taste buds.
The Grand Shindig on Oct. 12 promises to deliver the goods on the storied Smoke House’s 65th anniversary. At 7 p.m., surprise guests will be present to congratulate the restaurant on its many years of service, followed by complimentary champagne, birthday cake, raffle prize drawings, and live music for all guests. At 8 p.m., A Sentimental Journey will entertain by presenting “Starlight,” a melody of blues, jazz, and swing from the 1920s to the ‘50s.
Smoke House’s gift to you for continued loyalty is an excellent one: 40 percent off any entrée on the regular menu Tuesdays after 4 p.m. the whole month of October; and 50 percent off that same menu after 4 p.m. at the celebration on Wednesday, Oct. 12. A special $19.46 menu will be available that month, and early diners (4-6 p.m.) may still receive 25 percent off any entrée on the regular menu. If your birthday is Oct. 12, 1946, and you dine at Smoke House that day, you’ll receive a certificate for a free brunch for two (lucky). And, if your birthday is any day in 1946, and you dine there in October, you’ll receive a free dessert with your meal.
The Smoke House’s generosity also extends to philanthropy. Throughout the month of October, Smoke House is partnering with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles by donating 10 percent of October’s garlic bread sales and collecting donations through Make-A-Wish star sales to make a child’s dream come true. It’s their party; they can give if they want to!
When asked about the joy he gets from his job, Spencer says:
“I used to be in the insurance business, where when people bought your services, it wasn’t because they wanted to – it was because they had to. When I took over here, I was struck by how happy our customers were. You could sense they really wanted to be here, and wanted us to be part of the happy times in their lives: birthdays, anniversaries, etc. It’s our turn to extend the invitation to them.”
The Smoke House Restaurant is located at 4420 W. Lakeside Dr. in Burbank. For more information or reservations, call (818) 845-3731. It’s time to celebrate!