After 36 years in business, a Marilyn-themed restaurant in Ontario, Canada is taking its final bow, as the Owen Sound Sun Times reports.
“Owner Julia Gendron said she had been considering an exit strategy from the restaurant industry for the past few years, but those plans were accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gendron’s late husband Rene and his business partner Gerry Gnaedig opened Norma Jean’s Bistro at 243 8th St. E. on a cold Jan. 6, 1984.
Gendron, who most people know as Julie, started working at the restaurant that same year and became a partner around 1990.
It was a last-minute decision to name the restaurant Norma Jean’s – the given name of Marilyn Monroe – and was chosen because Gnaedig’s wife was a fan of the iconic actress.
The restaurant was decorated with photographs of Monroe and its menu also featured images of the actress, with sections on the bill of fare like Opening Acts and Red Carpet Favourites.
Gendron, in a letter to patrons that announces the restaurant’s closing, said some of the best times at Norma Jean’s included the rowdy New Year’s Eve parties, intimate family get-togethers and music nights ‘that would shake the windows.'”
As first reported here, the UK company Burleigh’s has now released their Monroe-themed pink gin in partnership with her estate, with this promotional image featuring Bruno Bernard’s photo of Marilyn in The Seven Year Itch (1955.)
Thanks to A Passion For Marilyn
‘What makes your hometown weird?’ Mey Valdivia Rude asks over at Autostraddle. Her hometown of Blackfoot is also the home of the Idaho Potato Museum, which ‘houses things like a life size pin-up of Marilyn Monroe in a dress made from a potato sack and the world’s largest potato crisp.’
The museum’s website includes ‘Movie Star in Burlap‘, an article revealing how Marilyn came to wear an Idaho potato sack, and souvenirs are available in the gift shop. (You can see more photos from the shoot with Earl Thiesen here.)
“In the early days of her struggle to attract the attention of the Hollywood community and the media, Norma Jeane wore a sexy and revealing red dress to a 1951 holiday-season party. A columnist commented in a print about the incident and observed that Marilyn’s stunning figure would look good even if she wore a potato sack. The remark prompted her publicity agent to have a dress made from a burlap bag obtained at the local produce market, which Marilyn wore for a photographic session. [NB: Another version of this story, told by Marilyn herself, is that the columnist had actually insulted her dress by saying she would have looked better in a potato sack.]
The bag had been packed at Long Produce in Twin Falls, Idaho, and displayed the Idaho identification and Long’s Sawtooth brand as never before.
The Longs wrote to Marilyn and thanked her for the publicity and she graciously responded with an autographed picture that was displayed on the office wall and reproduced for advertising and promotional purposes.
When Long Produce ceased business in the late 50’s, the prized autograph disappeared. Another print, however, was found recently at a garage sale in Minneapolis and purchased by a Union Pacific Railroad executive who presented the Idaho Grower-Shippers Association with two copies for their use. Reproduction of the picture by the Association in their yearbook publication captured the fancy of a new generation of fans.”
Although she isn’t named, the lovely lady shown on this box of Belgian chocolate, illustrated by Jaak De Koninck of the Leuven-based interior design company, Starbrook Airlines (and spotted at Brussels Airport), looks very Marilyn-inspired – don’t you agree?
More info here.
Thanks to Liesl at Marilyn Remembered
UPDATE: These Belgian chocolate selections are also available at TK Maxx (spotted by Fraser)
Some Like It Hot will be screened at Martha’s bar in Kensington, Philadelphia on February 21, with a menu inspired by the movie, as Sinead Cummings reports for Philly Voice.
“Tenaya and Andre Darlington, in collaboration with Turner Classic Movies, recently released a new book called Movie Night Menus. In the book, 30 classic Hollywood films from the ’30s through the ’80s are matched with signature drinks and dishes that either appear in the film or are inspired by the film’s setting and stars.
Doors open at 5 p.m. for the event, followed by Oscars Quizzo at 6 p.m. At 8 p.m., the movie will start and dinner will be served. The menu includes a flight of Manhattans, a wedge salad, a whiskey-marinated flank steak and red devil cake for dessert. A vegan option is also available. Tickets for the event are $35 for the prix-fixe dinner menu or $60 for an all-inclusive package, which includes drinks, dinner and a personally autographed book.
If you’re not interested in dinner, you can still watch Some Like It Hot at Martha. The screening is free, and complimentary fancy popcorn will be served.”
The Bel Air Hotel has re-opened after a $100 million facelift, reports the Financial Times. However, not everyone welcomes the news – particularly the 300 former workers who were made redundant when the hotel closed in 2009.
Marilyn’s long association with the Bel Air Hotel is reflected in the name of a new cocktail: Monroe’s Passion. She first lived there in 1948, while under contract to Columbia. She returned in 1952, while filming Don’t Bother to Knock; and spent her 26th birthday there, drinking champagne to celebrate landing the role of Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Monroe stayed at the Bel Air Hotel in 1958, while filming scenes for Some Like it Hot. She was photographed at the hotel by Andre de Dienes in 1953, and by Bert Stern June 1962, her last visit.
A recipe for Planter’s Punch, a favourite tipple among guests at the Jamaica Inn, close to where Marilyn and Arthur Miller stayed during their honeymoon at Moon Point on the Caribbean island in January 1957.
“This recipe I give to thee,
Dear brother in the heat.
Take two of sour (lime let it be)
To one and a half of sweet,
Of Old Jamaica pour three strong,
And add four parts of weak.
Then mix and drink. I do no wrong —
I know whereof I speak.”