Giant Hats (page 1)

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former Brown Derby
Los Angeles, CA
The hat-shaped Brown Derby restaurant opened in 1926. The building was moved a block away in 1937. Around 1980, the restaurant closed. Around 1985, the property was turned into a small shopping center. The dome and part of the brim of the Derby were moved to the current, third floor location shown above where it houses The Red bar. For more, this website. [map]

Sombrero Restaurant [gone]
Albuquerque, NM
Sombrero Curios / Sombrero Drive-in [gone]
Tijuana, Mexico
The Sombrero Bar may have been the inspiration for the Sombrero Restaurant. The Sombrero Restaurant was built in 1949. It featured Mexican food and had curb service as well as indoor seating. The restaurant closed in 1958 and was demolished.

From the postcards, it appears the Tijuana Sombrero may have gone from curio shop to drive-in restaurant. Or possibly they were two different places (a chain?). Although the sombrero looks the same, it appears smaller in the second image and the roof line/store fronts are considerably different.

El Potrero Restaurant
Tijuana, Mexico
The El Potrero Restaurant was built in 1942. It was originally known as El Gorro Drive-in (and El Sombrero Motel). It is usually referred to as El Sombrero now by locals. These photos are from 2008. By 2009, the building had been surrounded by a round concrete wall, obscuring the view of the hat-shaped structure somewhat. For more, see this website. [map]

former El Sombrero [gone]
Colorado Springs, CO
The El Sombrero Mexican restaurant was built in the 1960s. The building housed Charlie's Pit Bar-B-Que when these photos were taken in 2004. By 2008, the sombrero had been removed from the roof and the sign was gone. For more, see this website.

Sombrero Building
Las Vegas, NV
2014: 2017:
This Sombrero Building was built around 1965. I don't know its original occupant but it most recently housed the 7-11 Bar. The building appeared to be vacant in 2014. By 2016, the building and sombrero had been repainted and it was housing El Pollo Mobile. [map]

Peddler's Steakhouse
Dillon, SC
vintage postcard: 2009:
The Peddler's Steakhouse is located at South of the Border. The building was originally used as the Motel West Center office. At that time, the building beneath the sombrero was much smaller. It was most likely modeled after the Sombrero Restaurant in Tijuana shown above. The sombrero is 200 feet wide and was produced by FAST. Previously, this restaurant was known as Las Maracas. [map]

More Sombreros:
El Sombrero: 1, 2 (Arlington, TX)
Restaurante Sombrero: 1, 2, 3 (Santiago, Nuevo Leon; Mexico) [map]

Giant Hats
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Tips & Updates. If you have suggestions about places that I haven't covered, historical info, or updates about places/things that have been remodeled or removed, I'd love to hear from you: