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How Robert Forster surprised new restaurant owners when his favorite restaurant closed


In an interview for the 10th anniversary of Connie and Ted’s, the West Hollywood seafood hotspot, 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 much-loved Silver Spoon restaurant, a favorite restaurant for working actors. “We did have some setbacks,” Cimarusti explained, noting how many regulars like Forster suddenly had no place to call home. “He was at the Silver Spoon every day, literally every day. We would see him all the time. Finally, the news came that the last day of surgery was coming up on New Year’s Eve, so we asked, “What are you going to do tomorrow?”

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

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

“He explained that every time he wrapped (a project), he handed his co-stars one of these. We later opened it and it contained silver letter openers. He has given us all. He was such a cool guy, and I don’t think he ever got to see Connie and Ted.

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

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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