Not much has changed at Philippe The Original since the cafeteria-style eatery first opened its doors 106 years ago. There's still sawdust on the floor, Depression-era coffee prices and those classic French dip sandwiches are forever soaking up meaty au jus.
But one thing has finally come around to the 21st century at Los Angeles' oldest continually operating restaurant over the weekend — you can now pay for your food with plastic. That's right: after decades of holding onto to their old school financial-transaction ways, Philippe's "Cash Only" signs are finally a thing of the past as the restaurant began accepting credit cards this weekend.
"One of the main reasons we never took credit cards was that it took too long to process the transaction,'' said Richard Binder, a member of the ownership family. "Because we have long lines, fast, courteous customer service was always a priority. Now that it's much faster to process credit cards with the use of new technology, we do not have a sacrifice speed."
The restaurant began testing accepting credit cards a few weeks ago and, satisfied that the process did not increase wait times, officially rolled out the new policy to all customers over the weekend.
Use your credit card to purchase everything from meals at the deli counter to newspapers, candy and merchandise from the counter store up front. Last-minute holiday presents — such as Philippe's hot mustard and branded coasters, bags and T-shirts — are also available.
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And if you're feeling nostalgic, you can of course, still pay for all of it with good ol' cash.
Philippe The Original, 1001 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles. (213) 628-3781. philippes.com