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Passings : Alice Broude

Longtime waitress at Redwood bar

September 09, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Alice Broude, 89, a colorful character at the downtown Los Angeles restaurant-bar originally known as the Redwood House, where she worked as a waitress for more than 50 years, died Monday at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Hollywood after a stroke, her family announced.

Mobsters and movie stars were fodder for her stories -- she said gangster Mickey Cohen was a great tipper and joked that she hadn't washed her hand since customer and actor Burt Reynolds had kissed it.

Many regulars were Times journalists because the Redwood's longtime location on 2nd Street near South Broadway was near the newspaper. The bar closed in 2005 but has reopened under new ownership as the Redwood Bar & Grill.

When she first worked at the Redwood, it was downstairs from the Times newsroom in Times Mirror Square, enabling one reporter to place his usual order with Broude by stomping three times on his office floor, Times columnist Al Martinez wrote in 2001.

Born in Coon Rapids, Iowa, Broude was the 17th of 20 children of a mother who lived to be 109.

Tired of harsh winters, Broude came to Los Angeles in 1945. A longtime resident of Echo Park, she went to work at the Redwood in 1952 and stayed until 2003.

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