Ingleside Inn Portfolio

Ingleside Inn & Melvyn’s Restaurant Brochure

The Boss wanted a new brochure for the Hotel and Restaurant. It was designed for a Tri-fold glossy stock. I organized the copy to have the inside copy for Melvyn’s match the images on the sidebar. And when fully opened the Ingleside Inn images were next to its copy.

Wedding Brochure & LGBT Flyer

This was a handout to the couples inquiring into having their Wedding Ceremony, Dinner or other Wedding related event on the property. There was also a special LGBT wedding flyer created when _any_ couple could be married in Palm Springs. There have been all kinds of Weddings at the Ingleside Inn & Melvyn’s Restaurant.

Tours Handout

The Ingleside Inn & Melvyn’s Restaurant are included on many of the Coachella Valley tours. I thought it would be a great to have a special handout for the tours.

Door Tag Menu

These are breakfast menu that you can fill out and hang outside your door for the bellman to take them to the restaurant and be served to you in your room.

Writer’s Contest

Everyone, at one time or another, has pondered writing their own book. Whether it be an autobiography, technical manual or a fictional tale set in the past or future, the need to relate your own story is inherent to human nature. Mel Haber has published 2 books about his life and the day to day operation of his hotel and restaurants. His stories are a rendition of real life experiences that happened to or around him.

Bedtime Stories of the Ingleside Inn” is a charming, often hilarious book describing the forays of a novice restaurateur and hotelier, Melvyn Haber, into the exotic world of French chefs, lovable con-men and “Big Spenders.” As a raconteur, Haber has a few equals. With his droll wit and style, he wends his way through one outrageous escapade after another and takes you along for the entertaining ride.

Palm Springs: ala Carte” picks up where Bedtime Stories ends and entertains the reader with more stories about Melvyn’s and the Ingleside Inn through the eyes of the many celebrities that have graced this Palm Springs iconic hotel and restaurant.

Mel has gotten several inquiries about writing a 3rd book and has been gathering tidbits for his new book over the past few years. Many times he has stared at an empty page, waiting for an idea or thought that would prompt another story for his new book. I even suggested that he install, “Dragon Speak”, so he could speak his stories instead of typing them manually. A good friend of Mel gave him an idea about collecting stories from his guests at Melvyn’s or the Ingleside Inn. I was all for it and started to create the materials needed for his “Writer’s Contest”.

He liked the idea and his “Writer’s Contest” was born; “For a limited time, Mel Haber is seeking stories and experiences from one and all who have dined at Melvyn’s or stayed at the Ingleside Inn. From Funny, to Romantic, to Poignant, to Naughty…to Bizarre, Mel wants them ALL.”

This contest lasted over the Summer and ended on Halloween 2012. Needless to say, the contest was very popular. Mel Haber got what he asked for and much more. Now came the task to narrow the dozens of submitted stories down to the Top 10 winning authors and their fabulous stories!

One of the winning stories has the follow up to Mel’s infamous encounter with Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw on a motorcycle at the Opening night of Melvyn’s…

Over the summer, I had become friendly with a nice young man about nineteen years old who used to come around and offer any help he could. We had just taken a liking to one another. His name was Danny, he was a college student who supported himself by parking cars at a restaurant two blocks away. He had assured me that when I opened he would recommend people come to my place. That night, several people came in and mentioned that Danny had sent them. About 10 o’clock, I walked outside to have a cigarette, and just at that moment, a motorcycle pulled up with a guy dressed in dungarees and T-shirt and sporting a beard-certainly not the ‘Ingleside’ type I thought. Seated behind him was a pretty girl, just what I needed. The guy said he had come to see the “new” place. Politely I told him it was opening night and asked him to please come back another time. He smiled at me and simply drove off. I was pleased with myself for handling the situation so adeptly.

About 11:00 p.m., my young friend, Danny, showed up and said, “Mel, have you been getting all the people I’ve sent over?” I told him I had and thanked him. He asked how I enjoyed meeting Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw. Startled and disappointed that I had not, I said they hadn’t shown. He said he was surprised because they told him that they would go right over and have a drink with me. I assured Danny I would have been told if they had come in. He said, “They were on a big, blue Harley Davidson motorcycle and Steve McQueen was wearing jeans and a T-shirt!” It was only to be the first of many blunders. ~Mel Haber, excerpt from Bedtime Stories

What is not commonly known is what happened afterward… It was a sultry summer night in 1975, when the darkness of the desert and the Milky Way sky prevailed. It was a perfect night for a ride. There was a bike – a Harley… and there were… dungarees… and… The rest is simply history. My parents lived a few doors down from Steve McQueen. After he was turned away from Melvyn’s grand opening celebration that hot September evening, he came to OUR house! In his jeans, on his motorcycle, with Ali McGraw, and partied with US all night long! He spoke briefly about some uptight guy who threw Ali and him out of some new restaurant in town. We all laughed!

Sorry Mel, you missed a great time. It was one we will always cherish and remember…He was tired from working on a movie that he had just recently wrapped, and really “just wanted to sit around and eat sandwiches and drink beer” ~Hilary Garber, a winning “Writer’s Contest” story

Another told a story of meeting Mel’s “favorite” actor and governor that regularly frequented Melvyn’s. “He’ll be back”…

Now in my mid-60’s, the specific date and day are long forgotten – but a very special lunch never will be. Mid-80’s, weekday, late Spring I think – had been a busy morning and I had neither listened to the news nor read the paper -left my job at the then Palm Springs Desert Museum around 11:30 to have lunch with a new friend who’d suggested Melvyn’s, had spent a few warm and engaging evenings at the Inn’s wonderful bar – great Irish coffees, friendly staff and patrons, fascinating people watching and, at times, incredible music and vocals from some of the greatest artists alive. Had never been there for lunch. Seated in one of those almost cocooning and comfortable, high winged chairs, polite chit-chat with my friend, and the not so pleasant wafting of really foul cigar smoke coming over the back of my head and down into our little oasis of fine china and Bloody Mary’s.

Ever the gentleman, or so I’d been raised, after a few minutes I quite calmly rose, placed my napkin on my chair, and took four or five steps behind my chair to the side of the one behind me. “Pardon me, would you mind putting y our cigar out?” I pleasantly asked, “It’s really bothering my guest and me“. And then he stood up. He wasn’t much taller than me, but he was twice as wide and sculpted, and I mean sculpted, and he wasn’t pleased. As my sphincter began to tighten I realized that there was very little likelihood that I’d be enjoying my Eggs Benedict. I fought the urge to back peddle. Couldn’t take the words back.

I suppose that if I’d known that the future Governor had rolled his Ferrari on Highway 111 coming into town earlier that morning and miraculously escaped injury while pretty much totaling a piece of automotive art, I might have just sat there and ignored the smell. I didn’t know and I hadn’t just sat there, and now I had a really red-faced, incredibly strong looking Austrian glaring at me. I’d been in combat and played some fairly rough sports but I was way past looking for a fight. I fought the urge to slink away and stood my ground, if tentatively.

After what seemed like an eternity of his withering glare and my ever tightening innards, he sat back down and not so gently mashed his cigar out, looked up over his left shoulder at me and said, “Go enjoy your lunch.” Took a couple more drinks to calm the adrenaline rush, but eventually I did! I had the good sense not to ask for an autograph. – David Tucker, a winning “Writer’s Contest” story –

Mel even got a story from Mel Haber. Yes, another “Mel Haber”. It is a very rare occurrence to meet yourself on the path of life. This and many other stories that were submitted would be video taped and later become part of the “Through The Eyes of Mel Haber” DVD. This DVD would become his 3rd book.

Mel Haber congratulated all of the writers with a personalized certificate thanking them for their stories about the Ingleside Inn and Melvyn’s.

Mel read every story that was submitted and quickly discovered “that he loved all of them and found it hard to pick the winners”. He called upon his long time friend and professional writer, Frank Furino, with instructions to decide the Top Ten winning entries. Frank spent 2 weeks reading the stories and deciding the Final TOP 10 winning authors of the contest.

The top 3 winners of his contest were awarded the grand prizes of A Three Day/Two Night stay at the Ingleside Inn, 3 Course Gourmet Dinner for 4 plus a bottle of Melvyn’s champagne, and 3 Course Gourmet Dinner for 2 plus a bottle of Melvyn’s champagne. The other 7 winners got their choice of Lunch for 2 at Melvyn’s, an autographed copy of Bedtime Stories or Palm Springs: a la Carte, or an Ingleside Inn long or short sleeve T-shirt.

Through the Eyes of Mel Haber

This project was truly a labor of love. The Boss was still having trouble with his 3rd book and I suggested that he video his stories and make a DVD collection of his best stories. Doing this on a shoestring, I setup a tripod and small camera. A few test videos showed that the audio was picking up the fountain outside of Melvyn’s and the air coming from the air conditioner. Now having reduced the noise level, I found that my smartphone was a better device for capturing just his voice. I used a spoon on edge of glass for the clapboard to sync the video to audio track from the smartphone. We were ready to record some videos. There was a total of 46 videos included on the DVD. The smile on the Boss’ face was always a great incentive to arrive to work and start setting up the equipment for that day’s videos. Upon review of a couple of the videos, the Boss opted for a full suit and tie with hankie in jacket pocket, of course. He was always impeccably dressed for the videos.

Professor of Love

…Several years later, I was approached by another radio station for me to do a show from Melvyn s. At that time I owned a very popular and successful disco called Cecil’s. The concept of the show would be that I would be “The Professor of Love” and take call-in questions about affairs of the heart. It would broadcast from Melvyn’s every Saturday morning from 10:am to noon. Witnessing the interactions between women and men every night at my disco I felt qualified to a least have an opinion on boy-girl relationships. Because 1 worked very late on Friday Nights I would show up Saturday mornings slightly under the weather. My staff would immediately feed me Irish Coffees and I would be off and running. It was a lot of fun and I thought 1 was doing pretty well with my advice and answers.
One of the highlights I particularly remember is when a women called and asked “Mel, what do you say when a girl says she doesn’t want a 1 night stand?’ I said “I usually ask how many nights do you want?” “We can’t get to the 3rd or 5th night without the first.” I explained that nobody wants the experience to be so bad that they don’t want more. Does anybody go to restaurant hoping that the meal is not good enough to go back? Definitely one of my better moments!
I never had guests- only call-ins. There was one exception. Helen Gurley Brown of Cosmopolitan Magazine had just conducted a sex survey of 100,000 people and was sending a representative around to promote the magazine based on the survey. What really made it significant was that the only other sex survey was done by Dr. Kinsey but he only had 5000 respondents. Because of the concept of my show I agreed to interview the representative. She explained how the survey was conducted and the value of the findings. I asked her “What was the most significant thing you learned from the survey?” Without a moment’s hesitation she responded “That the women who read Redbook Magazine have more anal sex then the readers of Cosmopolitan” For the only time in my life I can remember I was totally flabbergasted.. Fortunately the producer had the presence of mind to immediately go to a commercial. Needless to say that was the last guest I ever had.

Walk of Stars

Palm Springs created a “Walk of Stars”. Celebrities, local V.I.Ps etc. received a star on the sidewalks of the city. It was an important occasion because of the recognition but even more important the fact that the star would be there forever. There would be a formal dedication by the Mayor of Palm Springs attended by the public. Several speakers would pay homage to the honoree. It was quite an event. The famous author, Sidney Sheldon was being honored with a star. My manager suggested that it would be a nice idea to invite Sidney and his wife to be my guest for dinner the night of the award. I agreed and sent the invitation. Three days later Sidney’s secretary called and made a reservation for 12 people for the night of the star dedication. To say I was crazed is an understatement. I was even thinking of firing my manager for his brilliant idea. All I could do was grin and bear it.
Two days later my invitation was returned. I had sent it to the wrong address! The next time I saw Sydney I told him the story and he said “Well, I am not sure whether you owe me two dinners or twelve dinners!”

The Sinatra Photo

By this time I knew every photographer in the area and all of them knew I would love to have my picture taken with Frank Sinatra…”Mel, tonight is the night you’re going to be in a picture with Frank Sinatra. Just position yourself next to him and I guarantee you a picture.”

I was torn between acting cool with my new date and getting a picture with Mr. S. I opted for the picture.
Mr. S. casually greeted me as my date and I passed by on the way to the buffet table. I told my date to remain there until I took care of some important business and then proceeded to locate Mr. S. I sort of sashayed next to him, the photographer gave me a thumbs up sign,and as he went to shoot the picture, Mr. S. turned around to greet somebody. Everytime I positioned myself next to him for the photographer Mr. S. turned to chat with somebody. This went on for 30 minutes! The cat was out of the bag and it was obvious to my lady what my “important” business was. After chasing him like a puppy dog for some time, Mr. S. engaged in a conversation with a certain gentleman. The photographer signaled to me where I should stand and as he counted one to three with his fingers, I popped between them and he snapped the picture. Both Sinatra and the man he was talking to looked at me like I was crazy but had no idea what I had done.

A week later I received the picture and if I had not told you the story you would think that Mr. Sinatra, this gentleman and I had been engaged in a serious conversation! Today the picture proudly hangs in the lounge of Melvyn’s. (Excerpt from Bedtime Stories ~ Mel Haber) Watch the video to learn the name of the 3rd man in the picture!

The Boss did tape “his” story from Mel Haber. Yes, another “Mel Haber”. It is a very rare occurrence to meet yourself on the path of life. This story borders on the paranormal!