Sunset Strip 1980’s and 1990’s Timeline

  • 1981: Wolfgang Puck opens the restaurant Spago after the 1981 publication of his first cookbook, Modern French Cooking for the American Kitchen. Instant success helps put Wolfgang, Spago, and Los Angeles on the culinary map.

  • 1984: Voters in the West Hollywood area pass a proposal on the ballot to become an independent city.


  • 1993: Actor Johnny Depp buys the night club Central and turns it into the infamous Viper room. It will become a regular hangout for Jennifer Aniston, Sean Penn, and other popular young Hollywood actors.


  • October 30th, 1993: Actor River Phoenix dies of a drug overdose outside the Viper Room.