Kelbo’s, named after owners Thomas Kelley and Jack Bouck, was a small and very successful chain of 5 restaurants in Los Angeles. Opened in 1947, the habit forming ribs were famous, their cliental was famous, and people flocked to the Coco Bowl room to dance to big band music. The cocktail menu had more than 71 tropical drinks including a section for just “flaming fun bowls.” The decor was designed by famed tiki designer Eli Hedley, and everything from quintessential thatch and net covered glass balls to quirky lamps made from guitars and a sea anemone made from a circle of keys.
A few interesting tiki tidbits;
Tonga Hut in North Hollywood has a lamp from Kelbo’s.
At the bottom of the original Kelbo’s t-shirt, it said IItywimwybmad" which stands for “If I tell you what it means will you buy me a drink?”
The Go-Go's had a record label signing party at Kelbo’s in 1981.
The original location on Pico Blvd., became a strip club in the 90s and is now rumored to be torn down for an apartment complex.