This past week the Smokehouse Restaurant held a farewell party for outgoing Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge whose district included Toluca Lake. The Smokehouse has been in Burbank since 1946 and is a favorite local watering hole for celebrities and politicians.
The famous Burbank establishment has been the home of many gatherings for LaBonge during his years as a Councilman. Owners Lee and Marti Spencer wanted to present him with a book of remembrances and a loaf of their world famous garlic bread for their appreciation and thanks.
Several guests of the evening have been regulars such as fellow City Council member and current Council President Herb Wesson who presented LaBonge with a certificate from Mayor Garcetti who was traveling out of state and unable to attend.
Also in attendance was former Burbank school board member and now Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian. An additional local celebrity in attendance was George Barris whose famous cars include the world reknown Batmobile.
John Lewis, Director of the Los Angeles Zoo, shared jokes and highlights of LaBonge’s close relationship to the zoo and many of its animals. Michael Shull, General Manager of LA’s Parks and Recreation Department, shared stories and highlighted the love that Councilman LaBonge had with his department.
Several community members were present including Mardi Rustam, longtime owner of the Tolucan Times newspaper who presented LaBonge with a front page signed edition of his newspaper. Sherman Oaks Chamber President Pedro Manrique shared stories of his communities love for LaBonge.
Burbank’s largest employer Warner Brothers Studios was represented by Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Lisa Rawlins who spoke of how much Councilman LaBonge’s love for movies and keeping filming here locally was appreciated. Rawlins stated that more film permits were issued in LaBonge’s district than any other council district in the City of Los Angeles.
Dr. Lee Davis, a board member of the museum of the San Fernando Valley, shared many local tidbits of history.
Sneaking on stage following his latest weather report was Mayor of Toluca Lake Fritz Coleman who used some of recent comedy attire on LaBonge. It was time to toast and thank Councilman LaBonge for everything he has done locally including Toluca Lake, Burbank and surrounding cities.
Champagne was poured as several toasts were shared, followed by a cake cutting ceremony and pictures of guests in attendance.