How Robert Forster Surprised New Restaurant Owners When His Favorite Diner Closed

In an interview for the 10th anniversary of West Hollywood seafood hotspot Connie and Ted’s, James Beard Award-winning chef and owner Michael Cimarusti served up a heartwarming anecdote about the late Robert Forster.

When the restaurant opened in 2013, it replaced the beloved diner Silver Spoon, a favorite hang for working actors. “We did get a bit of backlash,” Cimarusti explained, noting how many regulars like Forster were suddenly without a haunt to call home. “He was at the Silver Spoon every day, literally every day. We’d see him all the time. Eventually, the news broke that the last day of operations was going to be coming up, on New Year’s Eve, so we asked, ‘What are you going to do tomorrow?’”

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Forster already had a plan. “He said, ‘Well, I’m going to be honest with you. I’m probably going to Starbucks. I’m going to buy a cup of coffee; park my car and I’m going to sit here.”

Sure enough, a few days later, there was Forster behind the wheel of his car in the parking lot at 10 a.m. But to the new owners’ surprise, he got out of the car and approached with a gift.

“He explained that every time he wrapped [a project], he handed his co-stars one of these. We opened it later and inside, there were silver letter openers. He gave us each one. He was such a cool guy, and I don’t think he ever came to Connie and Ted’s.”

A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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