What he didn't know at the time was that there was a huge kitchen in the Green Street wing that hadn't been used for a very, very long time.
Ron got himself a visit to the Green Street wing, where he found not only the 1200 sq. ft. kitchen you see behind him, but also a ballroom that was once the main dining room for the historic Hotel Green. The kitchen had not been used for decades, and the ballroom hadn't fared much better. A scene from the 1977 Liza Minelli/Robert DeNiro film, New York New York, had been shot there. When Hobbs first saw the room in 1984, the set was still standing.
But Ron believed in the place. He renovated both ballroom and kitchen, and named the ballroom the Romanesque Room. (I like the pictures on his website better than mine). The Romanesque Room seats 250 with the dance floor, even more without it.
the bar at the Romanesque Room
I have another picture or two, and more to tell you tomorrow. For now, something to think about: in 1984, the concept of Old Pasadena as a high-end shopping area was just that--a concept. It was a neighborhood folks didn't walk in at night. Making it better took a lot of people with chutzpah, or nerve, or even a bit of the crazies.
Whatever it was, it worked.