"The building has basically been vacant for 20 years or so and fell into disrepair," Alpert said. "Our real estate team came in, made a deal, and we set out to restore this building and show it in its -- or as close as we could bring it -- to its original state while putting in a fully-functional Starbucks experience. We wanted to be respectful to the site, respectful to the building, and we feel we’ve hit that mark."
Originally constructed in 1935, the gas station was operated by Gilmore Oil during the days of California's automobile age and around the height of filmmaking in Hollywood. In fact, Gilmore Oil purchased the land for the station from film star Wallace Beery and the station has made appearances in movies and commercials, including a scene with Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours as well as in L.A. Story, when Steve Martin makes a fuel stop, according to Starbucks. Gilmore, and then subsequent oil companies, ran the gas station there for decades until it was shuttered in the early '90s. In 1992, the building was registered as a Los Angeles Historical Cultural Monument.