You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

James N. Kitchens

Bartender - Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hilton, Hotel Bel-Air

James N. Kitchens, bartender who worked 50 years at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Beverly Hilton and the Hotel Bel-Air, died Saturday Aug. 24 of heart failure at Sherman Oaks Hospital. He was 78.

Arkansas native settled in Hollywood after WWII service in the Navy. He began as a bar boy at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1947, moved to the Crystal Room and later the Polo Lounge. In 1961 he was promoted to bar manager, where frequent guests included Judy Garland, Cary Grant, Howard Hughes and John Wayne.

He began a 15-year stint at the Hotel Bel-Air in 1972. Promoted to bar manager a few years later, he invented the Bel-Air Royale (a flute of champagne topped with a splash of peach schnapps and one slice of fresh peach) with his assistant, Jose Martin del Campo.

Kitchens joined the Beverly Hilton in 1988 and remained there until his retirement in 1995.

He is survived by wife Mary, two daughters, three sisters and two brothers.

More Scene

  • Robert Downey Jr'Avengers: Infinity War' film

    'Avengers: Infinity War' Premiere Draws Largest Contingent of Marvel Superheroes

    James N. Kitchens, bartender who worked 50 years at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Beverly Hilton and the Hotel Bel-Air, died Saturday Aug. 24 of heart failure at Sherman Oaks Hospital. He was 78. Arkansas native settled in Hollywood after WWII service in the Navy. He began as a bar boy at the Beverly Hills […]

  • Beautycon Festival

    Laverne Cox, Paris Hilton Promote Self-Love at Beautycon NYC

    James N. Kitchens, bartender who worked 50 years at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Beverly Hilton and the Hotel Bel-Air, died Saturday Aug. 24 of heart failure at Sherman Oaks Hospital. He was 78. Arkansas native settled in Hollywood after WWII service in the Navy. He began as a bar boy at the Beverly Hills […]

  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

    The Duchess of Cambridge Gives Birth to Baby Boy

    James N. Kitchens, bartender who worked 50 years at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Beverly Hilton and the Hotel Bel-Air, died Saturday Aug. 24 of heart failure at Sherman Oaks Hospital. He was 78. Arkansas native settled in Hollywood after WWII service in the Navy. He began as a bar boy at the Beverly Hills […]

  • J.K. Rowling on the Future of

    J.K. Rowling on the Future of Harry Potter Stories on Stage

    James N. Kitchens, bartender who worked 50 years at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Beverly Hilton and the Hotel Bel-Air, died Saturday Aug. 24 of heart failure at Sherman Oaks Hospital. He was 78. Arkansas native settled in Hollywood after WWII service in the Navy. He began as a bar boy at the Beverly Hills […]

  • Chanel x Tribeca Film Festival Women's

    Chanel's Tribeca Film Fest Luncheon Toasts to Women's Movements in Industry

    James N. Kitchens, bartender who worked 50 years at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Beverly Hilton and the Hotel Bel-Air, died Saturday Aug. 24 of heart failure at Sherman Oaks Hospital. He was 78. Arkansas native settled in Hollywood after WWII service in the Navy. He began as a bar boy at the Beverly Hills […]

  • Doug Davis Power of Law

    Doug Davis Discusses Using Music for a Cause at Variety's Power of Law Event

    James N. Kitchens, bartender who worked 50 years at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Beverly Hilton and the Hotel Bel-Air, died Saturday Aug. 24 of heart failure at Sherman Oaks Hospital. He was 78. Arkansas native settled in Hollywood after WWII service in the Navy. He began as a bar boy at the Beverly Hills […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content