Dining -- and not -- at the Magic Castle

Where local magicians eat, meet, and greet.

Postby Scott M. » 11/11/09 11:17 AM

Hi everyone,

Hoping someone can help with some advice regarding the Magic Castle.

I've only attended the Castle once, a couple of years ago, when I happened to receive an invite from a magician performing there during a trip to L.A. I'll be in L.A. on business next week and would like to attend again, and while not an IBM/SAM member, I have an invite card another magician gave to me a little while ago. My question, though: are non-members stuck having to have dinner there? Yes, I realize that's how they make their money, but I'm only in town for two days and it'd be much better if I could do a business dinner and then head over there for the later shows. (The business dinner unfortunately won't work at the Castle...) If that's not possible, since I'll be by myself, what's the solo dinner experience there like? I just feel it will have a depressing tinge to it.

Best,

Scott
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/11/09 11:20 AM

You must make a dinner reservation. They make their money on the food and beverage operation. The meager cover charge isn't what keeps them in business.

There's nothing depressing about eating on your own unless it comes from within you.
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Postby Scott M. » 11/11/09 12:11 PM

You put your finger on it -- I'm a pit of self loathing. But, I'll try to overcome it for the experience of seeing John Carney and Bob Cassidy next week. Thanks.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/11/09 01:16 PM

That's a bit of an overstatement, but it was funny. Actually quite a number of people are uncomfortable eating by themselves in a restaurant. I find that the latest issue of The New Yorker makes the meal pleasant.
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Postby DanV » 11/11/09 02:57 PM

I ate there last week, also alone. The staff was wonderful and didn't blink at the request for a table for one...they were very attentive, almost as though I was the sole diner in the room. It made for a very enjoyable, non-rushed dinner.

If you arrive early but can't catch a show before your reservation, then you'll be stuck sitting at the bar alone unless you explore. This was my second time at the Castle (alone both times), and the first time I wasn't aware that I could roam. This time I did...go downstairs and explore the WC Fields bar exhibits while you wait...also go through the restaurant to the waiting area by the Palace of Mystery. Most times there's a magic video playing on the TV above the entrance.
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Postby Donal Chayce » 11/11/09 03:20 PM

I quite often dine alone at the Castle. When that's the case, I find that I'm more comfortable eating in the Owl Bar rather than the dining room. I sit at the end of the bar, where I can say hello to friends as they pass up and down the stairs.

I don't know if management permits guests to eat in the bar in connection with their dinner reservations, but it's worth asking.
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Postby Scott M. » 11/12/09 01:02 AM

Thanks, everyone. Appreciate the advice. Funny thing is, I eat alone all the time, whether at a diner or sitting at the sushi bar. My wife, however, will never eat alone. She'll snack or do take-out rather than sit by herself in a restaurant. So, it's not that I'm adverse to the concept. It's just that the whole suit requirement makes the dinner seem more formal, so sitting there with my Blackberry or even the New Yorker seems off -- but that's what I'll do. Thanks again.
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Postby Mark Collier » 11/12/09 01:56 AM

I'm pretty sure you can eat at the bar if you would prefer to be more informal.
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Postby Maurice Newman » 11/12/09 02:18 AM

Call the club and ask to speak with Mark Felicetti the executive director also there is a Friday night Larry Horrowitz Dinner Group where people meet and eat including those who havent met anyone before. Check into this and see if its still on going its usually Friday nights at 6:30pm.
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Postby Larry Horowitz » 11/12/09 04:37 AM

Friday night at 6.30pm is the Larry Horowitz Memorial Dinner. All are welcome to attend. The dinner takes place whether I am there or not. Stop upstairs at the M'tre De stand and ask for the table.

I do not know yet whether I will be there this Friday night.
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Postby mrgoat » 11/12/09 07:44 AM

Larry Horowitz wrote:Friday night at 6.30pm is the Larry Horowitz Memorial Dinner. All are welcome to attend. The dinner takes place whether I am there or not. Stop upstairs at the M'tre De stand and ask for the table.

I do not know yet whether I will be there this Friday night.


The Larry Horowitz Memorial Dinner was my first experience of the Castle, as I was on my own as well. I was delighted to find out that Larry had miraculously dodged his own death and actually attended the dinner. I met him, he sponsored me for membership of the castle myself and now we are good friends. Despite the whole death thing.

Take advantage of this offer.
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