Friday, October 14, 2005

Topanga Plaza Shopping Center

Canoga Park, California - 1960's

Moody oustside view of the mall from beyond the parking lot. And hey, there's a good old Monkey Ward off to the right, too. Loved that store as a kid--especially looking through their annual Christmas catalogs we always got back then! Here's Topanga's current Westfield-owned website.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah... Topanga Plaza. Sigh.

I remember the floor-to-ceiling oil/rain fixtures they had there. It was a series of steel "ropes" where drops of oil would descend from the ceiling like rain drops.

The other crazy thing about that mall was that it was 2 blocks away from another huge mall -- The Promenade. I wonder why they built two so close to each other?

Wed Nov 02, 06:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Looks like a Broadway at the (distant) left side of the image. I miss the businesses that served SoCal's now-extinct middle class. Now it's either Nordstrom's or Wal-mart, without much in between.

Sun Nov 13, 12:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss the ice skating rink. It was turned into a food court. Also miss the corn feilds that later became Warner Center.

Wed Dec 14, 05:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They also had some tall bird cages at the other end of the mall that had parrots, a really cool Orage Julius kiosk in the middle of the mall, a precurser to their current food court called 'The Seven Kitchens', and a wonderful pirate themed restaurant called 'The Jolly Rodger'. Topanga Plaza was THE place to shop if you lived in the valley or the east side of Ventura Count.

Fri Dec 16, 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Fri Jan 20, 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger jerry said...

My name is Jerry Huth. I now live in Tombstone, Az. I was the manager of Millers Outpost in 1981. I worked for Millers for 10 years and during that time transfered in and out of Topanga 3 times. The first time I worked there in 1977 the store was small and very dark inside. The inside was medium blue and had only flood lights in the ceiling. The store was later expanded when the jewelry store next to it went out of business. At that time the store was located upstairs on the east side at the May company end. Thrifty and Imagnin were across the way. I could eat lunch upstairs in the May company balcony/resturant and watch the store.

Tue May 02, 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember the May Company "Terrace Restaurant" on the 3rd floor too ...was beginning to wonder if I made it up. I wish someone would post pictures of that place! Also remember the very tall spinning "T" facing Topanga Cyn Blvd. I bet a sign of that height wouldn't even be allowed in Woodland Hills today.

Fri Jul 28, 08:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Canoga Park High School in the late 60's, and "going to the Plaza" was a daily thing...Hanging out at "Chuck Burger" with friends and walking the mall looking for chicks...LOL Don Paul's 7 Kitchens was one of my first jobs as a young teen. Ahhh the memories

Tue Dec 26, 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger MomHarleyXL said...

My name is Peggy, I grew up in Wdhls. Spent 18 yrs in same home just a few miles from the Malls. I met both my husbands while working at the Malls- also for Miller's Outpost. I remember Jerry! Such a surprise to see him on here. I worked at Don Paul's Seven Kitchens when I was 15- then went on to work at Millers in Promenade. Eventually Topanga, Panorama City, Mission Hills, etc. I worked with them for about 4 years- from sales to Manager. I loved the Mall, the ice rink- used to skate on w/e with my friends- the oil drops, the Angels in Promenade during the Holidays....
Good Ole' Days... (sigh)

Thu Sep 06, 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous mike brown said...

Wow what great memories. I grew up a couple of miles from Topanga Plaza and learned how to ice skate there and later in high school in the 70's I worked at Kinneys and then at Wetherby Kayser. Man, Chuck burger and Orange Julius. I met my first girl friend there who worked in May Company. They should have left the fountain.

Wed Nov 21, 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

I worked for both jerry and Peggy @ millers outpost Topanga, Peggy had to fire me and 80's and drugs.

Mon Sep 21, 10:06:00 PM  
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Wed Sep 21, 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember my uncle working as a carpenter building the ice rink. All 4 of my siblings started working at 7 kitchens when we were 15. I still keep in touch with people from that place, I recently went to Don Pauls house to contact Rex Paul, and spoke with Matt, Don's other son. I have in my backyard one of those large planters that held one of the tall palm trees which were in different places in Topanga Canyon. That plaza was great. Wallachs, Pickwick books, I shopped at Millers Outpost a lot, I also worked at Leeds Shoes in late 70's. Does anyone know what ever happened to Bob Turk? He was the Janitor there and worked there for many years.

Sat Aug 10, 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Vicio Malo said...

I worked at 7 1967 I worked in most of the kitchens at one time or another...mostly in the Chinese Restaurant...also worked at The Ram's Horn on La Cienega when needed. Often ate at the Jolly Roger...was dark and just right for dates. I also worked at the Terrace Tea Room for a spell...My girlfriend went to Canoga HS...Joanne Dobmier she was gorgeous...VM

Sat Jun 21, 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know if Rex has a Facebook or email address. He was a friend back in 79 when I worked at kinderfoto right by 7 kitchens.

Mon Mar 13, 01:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can contact Rex through his company, I think it is Rex for Restaurants, he is a licensed real estate broker i believe, you can check with the State. I remember him walking over to Kinder Photo and we would rib him about it. I remember you girls. You were much more behaved at your job than employees at other jobs in the mall back then. More mature, or something, you had to be dealing with moms and babies. I watched you trying to get babies to sit still a few times.

Sun Apr 30, 07:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am wondering what eventually happened to the 7 Kitchens of Inland Center Mall in San Bernardino.... Was it also one of Don Paul's Seven Kitchens restaurants? I worked for May Company in that mall for a short time and frequently ate favorite? Liver and onions!
The subject among some of us on FB tirned to Liver and Onions and that was the best I ever had! How long has the business been gone? Does anyone know of a chain that has great L & O? Those were such good times! We were stationed at March AFB, and I left May Co to attend Riverside City College...

Sat Aug 12, 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My first job was a a stock boy at The Limited & later went on to cashier/mannequin set-up. After a year or so, I left & became a sales associate at Ziedler & Ziedler. I'd skate after work some nights & would also be able to catch my brother playing in his hockey games while my parents watched from inside the rink. It was a nice family affair. Can anyone here name all 7 Kitchens? D.E.

Thu May 02, 05:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Jay said...

I loved Topanga Plaza. It was my favorite place for Christmas shopping. I think it opened in 1964. I remember that Don Paul's 7 Kitchens was not open yet. When they did open, there were 7 kitchens: Chinese; Ice Cream; Hot Dogs & Hamburgers; Mexican; Italian; Seafood; and Gourmet, which had an assortment of Armenian (Don's heritage) Food dishes. Don was my uncle, so in 1968, I asked for a summer job when I was in high school (my cousins and stepbrother worked there as busboys). I interviewed and was put to work that afternoon in the Italian kitchen. I had to learn to toss pizzas for the purpose of entertaining the potential customers. The pizzas were actually pretty good, better than the big pizza chains today--closer to an Italian restaurant pizza. When I worked there, there was no Chinese kitchen (the chef had passed), so they separated the Hog Dogs from Hamburger kitchen. The common eating area had views of the glassed-in ice skating rink and the tall cylidrical fountains which dripped the oil (described by anonymous above). This was a food court in the mid-sxties and it had all the requirements: variety of food; fast service; and common eating area. There are other and larger courts that have been credited as the first mall food court. I beg to differ. He did it earlier. By the late 60s, Don Paul had 3 Rams Horn restaurants (the original was on Ventura Blvd in Encino) and 2 Seven Kitchens.

Mon May 27, 07:45:00 PM  

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