Like Cafe Trocadero and Ciro’s, the Mocambo was a world-famous nightclub on the Sunset Strip catering to celebrities. Located at 8588 Sunset Blvd. [map], it was opened by Charlie Morrison and Felix Young on January 3, 1941. It featured Mexican-themed decor that was said to have cost over $100,000 (about $1.6 million today). The main room was dominated by glass-walled aviaries that housed live macaws, cockatoos, parrots and other birds. (And, yes, the ASPCA objected to this arrangement.)
During its 17-year run, the Mocambo was the scene of a number of celebrity brawls. In 1941, a movie agent named William Burnside cold-cocked restaurateur Michael Romanoff there, for reasons now forgotten. “I wish they had let me go just for a minute and I would have annihilated him,” Romanoff said later. In October that year, Errol Flynn punched Los Angeles Times columnist Jimmy Fidler at Mocambo in retaliation for purported derogatory comments Fidler had made in his column. After Frank Sinatra left the Tommy Dorsey orchestra in 1943, he made his debut as a solo act at Mocambo.
Charlie Morrison died in 1957. The Mocambo closed a year later, on June 30, 1958. Another club called the Cloister opened in the space briefly. The building was later demolished, and a retail plaza occupies the lot today.