Notable Deaths ›

Mario Maglieri (1924 - 2017)

Getty / Mark Mainz

Mario Maglieri (1924 - 2017)

Mario Maglieri, the entrepreneur and restaurateur who owned Hollywood’s famous Whiskey a Go Go nightclub and the Rainbow Bar & Grill, died Thursday, May 4, 2017, according to multiple news sources. He was 93.

His clubs, on Hollywood’s famed Sunset Strip, provided both a performance venue as well as food and drink for generations of aspiring and bona fide rock 'n' roll stars. The Doors, Van Halen, and Guns N' Roses all played at the Whiskey a Go Go early in their careers.

"The Doors loved Mario," the Doors' drummer, John Densmore, told Billboard magazine. "It was impossible not to."

Hundreds of musicians frequented the Rainbow Bar & Grill including Led Zeppelin, Motörhead, and Cyprus Hill. Fans and groupies often flocked to the restaurant in hopes of catching a glimpse of their favorite artists.

Upstairs at the restaurant, a private drinking club formed, known as the Hollywood Vampires, whose members included Alice Cooper, Keith Moon, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon. Comedians Cheech & Chong recorded a track titled "Rainbow Bar & Grill" that took place there.


Click to get weekly celebrity death news delivered to your inbox. 


Maglieri was born Feb. 7, 1924, in Seppino, Italy. He came to America when he was 4. After managing restaurants and clubs in Chicago, he moved to Los Angeles in the 1960s to manage the Whiskey a Go Go. He eventually took over ownership of the venue, and with partners opened the Rainbow Bar & Grill in 1972.

Throughout the years, he befriended many young musicians, often giving them free food while they struggled to make names for themselves. Although he was a music fan, he didn’t approve of the drugs that were often a part of the scene; he wasn’t afraid to eject bands from his restaurant if their behavior crossed the line.

“I had to put them out I don’t know how many times!” he told the Los Angeles Times about the band Guns N' Roses. “They’d get rowdy and throw bread at people. They’re good guys, but they get out of hand.”

Maglieri is survived by his wife, Scarlett; his son, Mikeal; and three grandchildren.

We invite you to share condolences for Mario Maglieri in our Guest Book.