We had the good fortune of connecting with Paula Gardner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paula, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Great food and ambience and camaraderie. So many folks have said how much better they feel upon leaving, than when they walked in. This is very important, especially in these times.
What should our readers know about your business?
I’ve always had my own business since I was 21. Since I got fired from a job in a high fashion department store in New Orleans, for being late, I knew I had to be my own boss! I went on to open a clothing boutique and later moved to LA and opened a shoe store, I learned about how to run a business through networking with others in the business and also my Dad, who was extremely successful in his field. I learned about the food business from frequenting all of the fabulous restaurants in New Orleans. When my husband opened the Cat and Fiddle in 1982 with his partners, they were all entertainers and knew loads of influential people, but nothing about running a business. I had just had my twins an another little one at home, sold my shoe store and was planning on being a Mom. We were very successful from the first days that we were open, and a lot of cash was stolen, along with the safe! I decided to have a look at things, including the fact that there was no alarm system! That ended my idea of stay at home mom…We started using my mother n law’s recipes and business was booming with all of the celebrities that came in to see my husband and his partners. We got booted from Laurel Canyon, because of that success in a sleepy neighborhood. In 1985 we found the amazing location on Sunset and 30 years later got booted because of our lease ending. in 2017 we came across our Highland location and downsized and refined the menu and have become a neighborhood staple for the past 3 years…. Guess I’m a sucker for punishment!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since we have a little gypsy camp in Malibu, we would come out here and do a beach hang. Maybe Chinatown or Little Tokyo, Camarillo shopping mall. In the old days we’d hang at the Rainbow and bar hop. But shopping and eating and hanging with my grandkids are on top of the list these days…
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family, especially my late husband Kim, whose Dad said, “My boy would do anything for a pint!”, when he opened the pub in 1982.. My partner, Ashlee who tries to keep me directed! My daughters Camille and Eva who work with us whenever needed.