Extra! Club Tee Gee

Club Tee Gee was another story that I cut from the book at the last minute: it was rather on the short side I thought. Now though, you get to read about it here…

Deadly Stray Bullet

Located on Glendale Boulevard, the Tee Gee wasn’t always a bar – the LA Times of May 4, 1927 announced that this address was originally given permission to open its doors as a bank – a branch of the Citizens Trust and Savings Bank, to be specific.

Today it’s rather an anonymous building. The windows are covered and the exterior is square mosaic cladding, though it’s more impressive at night when the neon signs light up in yellow and red (though it doesn’t really help with the fact that the “G” in the Gee looks a bit like a Y).

It’s definitely T and G though; the bar was named after owners Neil Tracy and Joe Grzybowski, who were in charge from day one. It was over twenty years later before this address made the newspapers again though, and this time it was in relation to something much more dramatic: a brazen robbery that led to murder.

In the wee hours of March 2, 1948, two armed youths had entered the tavern and said “This is a stick up!” prompting owner/bartender Tracy to immediately reach under the bar for a pistol, shooting 18 year old Charles Hagadorn in the arm before being shot in the chest himself.

There were only six customers present, and one of them – John R Markland, a local man aged 27 who was sitting in a booth nearby – was tragically struck by a stray bullet and killed. Lucille Tracy, sister of the now-injured owner Neil, was unseen in the kitchen and called the Police.

Officers followed a trail of blood to the nearby Los Angeles River, and the bleeding Hagadorn was quickly taken into custody, while the other robber, Sidney Moody, a 19 year old from Texas, surrendered soon after.

Tracy was listed in critical condition at a hospital in Pasadena, and when evidence later showed that it was a bullet from his gun that had killed the unlucky victim, both youths had murder charges dismissed, but pled guilty to charges of attempted murder and robbery.

Overall this spot seems to have had a quiet life – at least in terms of the city archives – though it was called Lathams for a very brief period in 2010, though that was strictly for the television cameras, when it was a location on the one-season ABC science fiction “FlashForward” television series (the episode was called “Blowback”).

Then in late February 2016, there was some sad news from here: the death of owner Betty Barlotta, who had been in charge since 1981 when she took over from the original owners, was announced.