Tick Tock Tea Room

Founder of the Tick Tock Tea Room, Arthur was a native of Norway and he first arrived in California in 1930. With a scant initial outlay of $500, he bought an old house and established the restaurant in 1931. An old clock from his residence provided some initial decoration which later became the theme of the restaurant. The restaurant had a tradition of closing for two weeks each year to give not only the owners but the entire staff a vacation. The restaurant was also renown for its service, with each waiter or waitress having only three tables to look after. Famous for their Sticky Orange Rolls. The Hollywood branch at 1716 N. Cahuenga had an early American design.
Other addresses were 301 N. New Hampshire and Wilcox at Yucca (pre-dates the Cahuenga Restaurant) (also apparently called the Town House Tea Room for a while). Also a branch at 10123 Riverside Dr. in the San Fernando Valley.

Arthur Johnson died at age 84 in 1980.
The Tick Tock remained open as a family owned tea room until the late 80's and then quietly closed their doors.

They Always Come back:
No Arthur is not a zombie.

The famed secret recipie to Tick Tock's famous Orange Sticky Buns and other Hollywood staples can be found in handy book form located here.


Anonymous said...

My father Johnny was a cook at Tick Tock until the early 50's.

Anonymous said...

I worked there as a cashier during the War, 1944/45. I enjoyed the Johnson family, their children, and the special kindness they gave me, taking me with them on their vacation to Balboa Beach (Newport). I think they wanted me to stay with them forever, but the war ended, my brothers were coming home, and I went back to Minnesota for college. --Bernie Thureson Brice

Anonymous said...

I was the best one there. Good times.

Anonymous said...

My aunt used to take us there (Riverside) on special occasions back in the early 60's. Was a really nice place with a stellar reputation. That part of SFV was so nice back then.
Ray Gress Salem OR

Pip said...

The Toluca Lake Tick Tock was our family's favorite restaurant and we'd go there every week. The "Sticky Buns" (Pecans and regular, not orange, Sticky glaze) were to die for!!! Mrs. Johnson was always there to chat with everyone that came in. Each of us children had our favorite clocks. My brother's was a white porcelain mantle clock with a little boy sitting on a swing beneath an arch. The swing went back and forth. I loved the beautiful antique ceiling oil lamp light fixtures (converted to electricity, of course) that the Johnsons collected. They filled the restaurant. Not to forget the exceptional food. Great memories that will last a lifetime.

Patrick L. Cazneau said...

I remember very well visiting the Tick Tock with my family many times during the 1960s and 70s. My uncle Horace Thomas of Hollywood and his wife Ava invited us on Sundays after church. We would drive over from Sepulveda and join them and their daughter Harriet McGovern a school teacher in Van Nuys. The Tick Tock was their favorite fancy restaurant in Hollywood. Horace Thomas was for many years an usher at the First Methodist Church in Hollywood. I liked the lamb chops the best.

jerry V said...

I remember the tic tock from my early days as a struggling actor who did extra work on lots of show when the studios were right in the neighborhood. The staff was always friendly no matter if I just came in for coffee, or a full meal. I miss it, and The buns were the best.