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Meet Ashlee Gardner

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashlee Gardner.

Hi Ashlee, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?

It all started in 1982 when my twin sister and I were born two weeks before the Cat and Fiddle opened their doors. My two other sisters and I have been working for the family business for as long as we can all remember. As kids, we would play “hostess” or “server” with the staff and sometimes they would let us pass our menus or punch in orders. My parent liked to entertain, so they started the business to take the party out of our living room and into a business!

Fast forward to 2005, I graduated from USC Marshall School of Business and have been full-time ever since.

Almost 40 years later, the business is run by my mother, Paula, and I and my two sisters, Eva and Camille when they are available!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The biggest struggle we’ve had was having to shut our Sunset Blvd location in 2014. We were given three months after 33 years at this location. The outreach was amazing those last few months. So many people had met each other there and it was (and still is!) a great place to connect and meet new and old friends, family or have an event.

We found our current location on Highland and opened the doors in 2017! It is a smaller and quaint location, we were able to hire back most of our key staff and we started back on the adventure.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Our restaurant has a long-standing history in Hollywood. We serve British homemade staples such as Fish and Chips, Bangers & Mash and Savoury Pies. We also have adapted to our surroundings and offer vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. We also have mocktails, a kids menu and even a doggie menu!

Most people know us from our amazing staff, patio and great food.

We are a neighborhood hub. We cater to the entertainment industry, locals, tourists, we are inclusive of all. It’s a casual location, where people can just be themselves and unwind from their busy lives with friends, family and coworkers.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
We are a family-owned and woman-owned business.

My mom met my dad in the 70s in New Orleans when he was playing music with George Harrison and she owned a trendy shoe store on Santa Monica boulevard before opening the Cat and Fiddle. My dad, Kim Gardner, was a well-known bassist from the Brtish Rock invasion in bands of the 60s such as the Birds and The Creation. He recorded on over 27 albums alongside names such as Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Eric Clapton and many more!

My older sister, Eva, follows in dad’s footsteps and is P!nk and Cher’s bassist and tours around the world performing with them. She is the only female to have her own Fender signature bass.

My twin sister, Camille, has HR corporate experience with restaurants and has her own commercial real estate business. With her experience in restaurants, she understands the needs and goals of restaurateurs and is able to help and transition many restaurants into their space. A unique ability.

I am a published business book author and I run a music management company (Paulie Music) with my husband, producer and songwriter, Justin Raisen.

Together, we make up the girls that run the Cat and Fiddle!

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