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After 35 Years, LA's Philippe’s Ends 10 Cent Cup of Coffee

Gerald Zanetti/FoodPix(LOS ANGELES) -- Philippe’s restaurant in Los Angeles says it is the “home of the original French dip sandwich,” and until now, it has also bragged about its 9 cent coffee special with only 1 additional cent added for tax.

But that all changed Wednesday when the historic restaurant announced that on Feb. 2, customers will have to shell out 45 cents for their morning caffeine, with 5 cents tax.

When Philippe’s first moved to Los Angeles in 1951, coffee was just a nickel.  The price was raised to a dime in 1977 and remained that way until now.  The family-owned restaurant struggled with whether to increase the price because of the 35-year tradition.

Mark Massengill, manager and fourth-generation member of the founding family, told ABC News the rising price of coffee was just too much strain on their business to keep the price.

“We made the change because we felt it was time.  It wasn’t a decision that came easily.  The restaurant is based in tradition and 10 cent coffee has been an important part of that tradition,” Massengill told ABC News.  “It was difficult decision.  It was something we all talked about within the family.”

Philippe Mathieu started the original Philippe’s in 1908.  According to their website, one day in 1918 “Mathieu inadvertently dropped the sliced French roll into the roasting pan filled with juice still hot from the oven,” and accidentally created the French dipped sandwich.  The family has been running the restaurant ever since and it has become a staple for many individuals and families in the Los Angeles area.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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