Celebrities, a Taco Stand, and Good Holiday Cheer

Who says that a celebrity can only make a personal appearance with a publicist, manager or agent, and an entourage including a partridge and a pear tree?

Photo by Sue Facter

Elijah Wood at Save Henry’s Taco Rally.

Not Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul or The Hobbit’s Elijah Wood, who spent a drizzly Sunday afternoon outside at Henry’s Tacos in Studio City when they could have been making merriment for the holidays with loved ones. Comedian George Lopez offered to buy everyone who attended a free lunch for the first hour it was opened, even though he had an out-of-town engagement. That’s what we call generous!

As an entertainment journalist, I’ve attended many events with names not as high profile as these guys. In some cases, many of the celebrities are paid to make an appearance. This event showed the true character of these personalities. They all were lovely to their fans, signing autographs and posing with them. Aaron even took some of the pics himself.

Elijah is known to be shy, but he didn’t let that hamper his interaction with close to 500 people who attended the outdoor rally. Henry’s is built like a hut with a few outdoor tables. It’s not the typical eatery that you’d expect a VIP to frequent like some of the trendy restaurants.

“I’ve been coming here for years,” said Aaron, who grew up in the area and organized the “Eat In.” “I hate to see this place go.”

Henry’s lease was not renewed after 51 years. Current owner Janis Hood tried to make it a historical landmark, but property owners would not have any of it. Right now it’s due to close at the year’s end.

Besides locals, people flew in from as far as Europe to show support. They waited in line for hours to get a glimpse of the celebrities and of course grab some comfort food on a cold rainy day.

Many well-known names used their Twitter influence to save Henry’s. Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland, Dancing with the Stars All Stars’ Giles Marini, Star Trek’s Chris Pine, and Colin Hanks (his dad Tom Hanks turned him on to the eatery) tweeted their support for the local stand. Brad Pitt, Adam Levine, Adam Corolla, and Jason Reitman are customers.

The Patch’s Mike Szymanski broke the news of the celebrity turnout on his popular online site.

With all this support, hopefully a casual Ma and Pa restaurant without all the bells and whistles can continue to do what it does best – supply great food at reasonable prices.

Sue Facter owns a news agency that specializes in the luxury brand. Her work appears in USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Women’s Day Australia, on broadcasts and the web. Follow her on Twitter @TheFacter.

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