(EXPERIENCE MAGAZINE) SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 — After 41 years, David Hekmat, is stepping back from his day-to-day responsibilities as owner of Mary & Robbs Westwood Cafe. He is confidently leaving it in very capable hands. Roozbeh Farahanipour, owner and president of Delphi Greek Cafe, who has been a longtime patron of Mary & Robbs and resident of Westwood, will be carrying on the Mary & Robbs tradition.
Roozbeh is well known and active in the community, and is committed to honor the restaurant’s cherished history. He will continue its legacy as Westwood’s oldest eating establishment. While there has been a change in ownership, their longtime staff, including our friendly servers and chefs, will stay on to maintain consistency in food and service. You can expect the same menu, the same quality you have been used to for all these years.
Here’s a message from Steve Sann of the Westwood Community Council;
Mary & Robbs Westwood Cafe holds a very special place in our hearts, minds, and bellies, as the oldest eating establishment in Westwood. We have all enjoyed countless delicious meals there, sharing many good times with family, friends, colleagues, and business associates. Stepping inside Mary & Robbs instantly makes you feel welcome and comfortable. Regulars always feel right at home. With its high ceilings, natural redwood paneled walls, cozy ambiance, consistently high food quality, and warm and friendly service, Mary & Robbs has been the “go to” place in Westwood for decades. Longtime Westwood locals know that Mary & Robbs began as a humble soda fountain and lunch counter inside the former Westwood Super Drugs at Westwood and Ohio, in the early 1950s. (Some reports date it as early as the 1940s.)
Over time, Mary & Robbs business grew and it blossomed into its own freestanding restaurant. Over 70 years, it has become one of the most iconic and beloved eating establishments in all of Westwood, and indeed Los Angeles. It is a throwback to a simpler time (and we can all appreciate simpler times right now!). A young David Hekmat was a frequent Mary & Robbs patron, when one day in July 1979, the then-owner approached David’s table and mentioned that he wanted to sell the restaurant. David had always loved the restaurant, which reminded him of his college years at NYU. He made an offer, and within a month he was the proud new owner of Mary & Robbs. For the past 41 years, David Hekmat has guided Mary & Robbs and been the face of the restaurant, welcoming our Westwood community for the best breakfasts, most wonderful lunches, and most delicious family-style dinners anywhere. Dining at Mary & Robbs always feels like you are dining at home with family and friends — cozy, comfortable, and truly satisfying. Just as David was a frequent patron of Mary & Robbs before he became its owner, so too, Roozbeh Farahanipour has been a longtime patron and fan of Mary & Robbs.
For years, regulars would frequently see Roozbeh and his family dining in one of the comfortable booths. David has been very thoughtful and deliberate in this process. Though he had many other suitors and potential buyers who wanted to buy Mary & Robbs, David did not want to sell his restaurant to anyone who intended to close it, gut its interior, dismiss its employees, and turn it into something else entirely different. That would have been the end of Mary & Robbs, and a tragic day for Westwood.
Rather, David selected Roozbeh Farahanipour, another very special member of our Westwood community, who is buying Mary & Robbs in order to keep it as it is, including its menu, longtime employees, ambiance, and to continue its decades-long tradition. Like David, Roozbeh is no stranger to Westwood. He is a devoted member of our Westwood community. Roozbeh is a Westwood neighbor for 20 years, a husband and father, and an accomplished restaurateur. For the past 11 years, Roozbeh has owned and operated another Westwood legacy restaurant, Delphi Greek Cafe (which he continues to own), one block from Mary & Robbs. As a volunteer, Roozbeh is President of the West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, President of the the L.A. Chapter of the California Restaurant Association, Board member of BizFed, and a member of the Westwood Village Rotary Club, the Westwood Neighborhood Council, the Friends of Westwood Library, and the West LAPD Community-Police Advisory Board. Like David Hekmat, Roozbeh also serves as a member of our Westwood Community Council, and is absolutely devoted to the betterment of our Westwood community. I hope you will make it a point to stop by and congratulate Roozbeh on his wonderful good fortune to carry on the legacy of Mary & Robbs for future generations in Westwood!
And no doubt we will be seeing David and Laila Hekmat many times and in many places in Westwood, so we can all thank them for their 41 years of devotion to our community, and for ensuring that the Mary & Robbs tradition will continue. In these challenging COVID-19 times, it is especially important that we remember to support those local family businesses that define our Westwood community.
I hope you will make every effort of patronize Mary & Robbs as you have in the past. One new feature is that beginning today, Mary & Robbs offers FREE DELIVERY by calling the restaurant directly at (310) 478-3822 to order all of your menu favorites. And beginning Monday, September 21, you can also order through Postmates, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Doordash.
This is an important announcement, and David wanted you to be among the very first to know. I know you join me in expressing our heartfelt appreciation to David and Laila Hekmat for all they have done to feed, nourish, welcome, and support our Westwood community for the past 41 years. And I am sure you also join me in congratulating our friend Roozbeh Farahanipour as he takes on this exciting new role in shepherding and guiding Mary & Robbs, its staff, and legacy through many more years of success and service to Westwood in the future.