Beloved burger joint Irv’s Burgers reopens in West Hollywood
Irv’s Burgers is back.
The venerable West Hollywood burger stand that was shuttered in October reopened in a new Santa Monica Boulevard location just after the new year, owner Sonia Hong said Wednesday.
“It’s a new place for the new year,” Hong said. “My customers are excited. I’m so happy to stay here. We were so worried.”
The 63-year-old walk-up eatery originally at 8289 Santa Monica Blvd. was once a haunt for musicians such as Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin and featured as album artwork for a Linda Ronstadt recording.
The restaurant owners were squeezed out in October, Hong said, when their landlord, Standard Oil Investment Group, raised the rent and demanded the Hongs replace the restaurant’s leaky corrugated tin roof -- something Hong said she could not afford.
The new location at 7998 Santa Monica Blvd. is less than a half mile east of the original Irv’s.
Hong is known for serving hamburgers and fries on paper plates decorated with customers’ smiling portraits and the inscription “just for you.” She said Wednesday her old customers were already returning to the new location.
The Hongs -- Sonia, her brother, Sean, and mother, Mamma-Soon -- purchased the original burger stand in 2000 from Irv Gendis, who renamed it after himself when he acquired it in 1970. Before that, it was known as Queenies’ Burgers and Joe’s Burgers.
A cafe called Beach Nation is expected to open soon next door to the now-empty burger stand.
West Hollywood designated the original Irv’s building as a cultural resource in 2005 after a group of residents calling themselves the Burger Brigade protested a potential demolition. City officials have said that because of this designation, it would be extremely difficult to get permission to demolish the structure.
Customers contributed more than $7,000 to an Indiegogo crowd-funding drive to defray the cost of relocation.
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