About 18 months ago, the crowds at Silver Lake's most popular brunch spot, Millie's Cafe, increased notably, according to owner Robert Babish.
"For some reason we're getting very famous," Babish says. "Different kind of people. European, from everywhere. They're very good customers. The hipsters tipped better, though."
Babish, who has owned Millie's for 16 years, says he misses the old, more languid days, when most of the customers were patient and generous locals. He's the rare person who will admit to liking a younger crowd in hats and tight jeans. "It was better before, mostly hipsters, but they moved. Don't know where to, but I'm not going nowhere."
Indeed, it would be a bad business decision to ignore the way Silver Lake has changed, how it's a bona fide tourist destination now. (If you suspect you've seen tour groups in buses arrive to the Whole Foods 365, you're not wrong. I checked with a Whole Foods representative — the chain is not involved in the tours but is aware of them.)
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The expanded Millie's space includes more room for storage and 12 more tables. "I didn't want people waiting in line to get bored and leave," Babish says. There soon will be more dining options in the building, as a "matcha bar" from New York will be opening shortly, with a few simple breakfast options. Next to that, a Middle Eastern restaurant is going into the corner spot that once housed Madame Matisse.
It'd be nice for Silver Lake to have more quality dining options. But the crowds will keep coming back to Millie's for those biscuits, apparently till the end of time.
3524 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. (323) 664-0404, milliescafela.com.