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Palm Springs hotel industry of 2018 wants you to believe Palm Springs is a cool place. But, deep down, Palm Springs is a retirement town. All those celebrity homes – they’re celebrity retirement homes. All those vintage car shops – they’re there for rich retired people to collect. That casino in the desert? There’s a reason the average performer age there is 70. Which is, actually, when you think about it way more cool than a “cool” place. I mean, I want to retire and move to Palm Springs, right now. And if we are going by those standards, the coolest spot in town in Melvyn’s, hands down.

Situated in a Spanish-Style resort (is there any other kind in Palm Springs)? It is a piano bar, a Old and New-ish Hollywood hang-out (they’ve got photos of Melvyn Haber with everyone from Jerry Lewis and Liza to John Travolta and David Hasselhoff to prove it on the walls) and the stories run as deep as the song-request repertoire (anything from Frank to Bruno Mars these days).

Did you know that the night they opened they had to turn away Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw? (and yet, here you are now, sitting there).

Did you know that Frank Sinatra had his rehearsal dinner here in 1976 and that Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis Jr., Wallis Annenberg were all there? (and yet, here you are now, having a pretty ok burger).

Did you know that Debbie Reynolds would trade gossip here with the staff over glasses of white zinfandel? (and yet, here you are now, wondering why the wine list is pretty shitty).

Melvyn Haber passed away a few years ago, and Melvyn’s recently underwent a renovation which was maybe the right or maybe the wrong move, I can’t decide. But it is a fine establishment not trying to be anything but what it is (a place to get a Steak Diane and sing along to Rat Pack standards, which is a solid night overall) and well worth a trip for the stories, and the stardust memories, even if they were not your own.

Now can we retire and move there already, please?

Melvyn’s Restaurant & Lounge, 200 W Ramon Rd, Palm Springs, CA 92264, opens everyday at 11:30 a.m. and closes at midnight Sunday through Thursday, 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday

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