RIP – Bill Binder, Philippe’s Patriarch


William “Bill” Binder (seen above left, with sons Richard and John circa 1982), who for years ran Philippe’s, the Los Angeles eating institution famous for its sawdust-covered floors and trademark French dip sandwiches, has died. He was 94.

Binder, who retired in 1985, died Jan. 28 of natural causes at a care facility in Pasadena, said his son John, who runs Philippe’s with his brother, Richard.

“He had a real mild temperament; he always tried to treat everybody with respect,” John Binder said. “He had a very, very deep religious belief. He felt we were just so blessed to have the business.”

Philippe’s — or as it’s officially known, Philippe the Original — has been a fixture on Alameda Street near Olvera Street and Union Station since 1951 and has been in Los Angeles for more than 100 years.

The French dip sandwich has always been the restaurant’s star attraction — roast beef, turkey, ham, roast pork or lamb on a French roll, with the bread dipped in the roasts’ gravy. And alongside the salads, desserts and drinks on the menu, there are some surprising touches, such as hard-boiled eggs pickled in beet juice and pigs feet.

“We were just so fortunate to keep drawing people back,” John Binder said, noting the many changes the neighborhood has gone through over the years. “People never forgot about this place.” SOURCE

While this news story below is out of date (Philippe’s archnemesis Cole’s French Dip has since reopened and is thriving once again), it gives a quick explanation of the battle over who invented the iconic sandwich.
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3 Responses to “RIP – Bill Binder, Philippe’s Patriarch”

  1. Culver says:

    I love this place. I recommend the roast beef double dip with lots of the fiery house mustard. Good stuff!

  2. yourmom says:

    uhh coles is not closed like the video says. GD ya cant trust the media at all. Philippe’s > Cole’s though.

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