Can you solve the mystery before dessert?
OVER THE LAST TWENTY YEARS, Lawry’s guests have delighted in our signature C.C. Brown’s Hot Fudge Sundae. In 2015 alone we dished up over 23,000 servings of this popular dessert.
Like Lawry’s The Prime Rib, C.C. Brown’s is a multi-generational family business with a rich history — almost as rich as the creamy Fudge Sauce chocolate lovers crave.
tourists, locals and celebrities drawn by his classic dessert creation
In 1906, candy maker Clarence Clifton Brown brought an old gas stove, a marble work slab and copper kettles out west in a covered wagon from Ohio. He set up an ice cream shop in downtown Los Angeles where he also made and sold candy while perfecting his Fudge Sauce. By heating his chocolaty confection and spooning it over ice cream, Clarence created the original Hot Fudge Sundae.
vanilla ice cream in a silver bowl, topped with hot fudge sauce poured from an individual pitcher, hand-chopped roasted almonds and whipped cream
Eighteen years later, he passed his business on to his son, Cliff, who moved the store to Hollywood Blvd. near Grauman’s Chinese Theater. In its Walk of Fame location, C.C. Brown’s ice cream parlor quickly became a gathering spot for tourists, locals and celebrities drawn by his classic dessert creation. Such stars as Marilyn Monroe, Marlin Brando, Bob Hope, Shelly Winters and Kirk Douglas were regulars.
a multi-generational family business with a rich history
In 1963, Cliff sold the business to his friend, John Schumacher, a Carnation dairy chemist. The Schumacher children ran it throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. In 1996, they decided to close the store.
Enter Lawry’s The Prime Rib.
Bryan Monfort, then our Beverly Hills General Manager and now retired company Vice President of Operations, went to the shop on its closing day to find a half-mile long line snaking down the boulevard and news choppers swooping overhead.
He asked the Schumachers for permission to put C.C Brown’s Hot Fudge Sundae on the Prime Rib menu and promised Lawry’s would faithfully recreate the original Sundae.
The owners themselves sampled our version of C.C Brown’s invention prepared tableside: vanilla ice cream in a silver bowl, topped with hot fudge sauce poured from an individual pitcher, hand-chopped roasted almonds and whipped cream.
the hundred-year heritage of what has become another iconic Lawry’s tradition
They declared it was “exactly right” and agreed to supply us with their Fudge Sauce.
A decade passed. The Schumachers, facing the complexities of expanding on a national level and wanting to pursue other interests, decided to close the Fudge Sauce business.
By that time, the Sundae was our best selling dessert. To keep it on the menu, we bought the C.C. Brown’s company and began the exclusive production and sale of the Fudge Sauce whose historic recipe was passed down to us hand-written on a yellowing piece of paper.
Today, we continue to offer C.C. Brown’s Hot Fudge Sundae at all our restaurants. C.C. Brown’s Fudge Sauce, still made in copper kettles, is available by the jar online and at the Prime Ribs, the Tam O’Shanter and Five Crowns.
In our corporate headquarters, we even have a well-used wooden stirring paddle with a lingering chocolate aroma to remind us of the hundred-year heritage of what has become another iconic Lawry’s tradition.
If you haven’t already joined the legion of C.C. Browns fans, try our Hot Fudge Sundae on your next visit. It’s the first and, we think, the best there is.