The Leslie Brooks Dining Room
The dining room at the Historic Argo Hotel is named after the model and Hollywood starlet, Leslie Brooks. She was born in Lincoln, Nebraska as Virginia Leslie Gettman.
Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Hoig were her grandparents and they bought the Argo Hotel in 1923, renaming it to “The New Meridian Hotel” after the “The New Meridian Highway”, (Highway 81) which formerly ran through Crofton. Virginia lived with them at the hotel for two years after the separation of her parents and attended Crofton School in 1932 and 1933. She then lived with her mother in Lincoln, Nebraska but spent her summers in Crofton. When her mother died, she moved in with her aunt who moved to Hollywood, California, taking Virginia with her. Virginia won a beauty contest which led to modeling offers. Soon she was selected as a chorus girl in Ziegfeld Girl at MGM.
She then went to Warner Brothers and changed her name to Lorraine Gettman. She became one of six starlets widely advertised as “The Navy Blues Sextet” in the movie Navy Blues (1941). In 1942, after several movies, she ended up at Columbia Pictures where she went from brunette to blonde and became Leslie Brooks. She was known for her roles in You Were Never Lovelier (1942), Cover Girl (1944), and Hollow Triumph (1948). She appeared in 19 films produced by Columbia. In 1944, Leslie was heralded as having the “most beautiful legs in America” by the Hosiery Designers of America.
In 1948, Leslie’s ex-husband kidnapped her daughter and they disappeared. Leslie never made a movie after that and spent the rest of her life looking for her daughter but never found her. She died in 2011 in California at the age of 88.
The Leslie Brooks Dining Room is dedicated to this beautiful star. Numerous chandeliers hang from the ceiling and a baby grand piano sits atop a small stage where various entertainers perform. It seats approximately 60 and is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 until 9 pm. Reservations are highly recommended. The dining room is also available for special occasions, reunions and corporate events outside of restaurant hours.