After more than four decades, Hamburger Hamlet in Pasadena is closing its doors to hand off its landmark location to Du-par's Restaurant & Bakery, another one of Los Angeles' legendary restaurant chains.
The Hamburger Hamlet has been at its 214 S. Lake Avenue location in a building constructed specifically for the family-friendly, upscale casual restaurant since 1967. It opens as Du-par's on Saturday.
"We're really excited because it's right in our wheelhouse. People know us there so it should go really well for us," said W.W. "Biff" Naylor, owner of the Du-par's restaurant chain.
This isn't the first run at transforming an old Hamburger Hamlet into a Du-par's for Naylor. The restaurateur changed the Hamburger Hamlet in Bethesda, Md. to a Du-par's in December 2012 and experienced a 22 percent customer increase, Naylor said. Still, after only a year, Naylor said he had to shut its doors, mainly due to issues with the landlord.
The Crystal City Hamburger Hamlet in Arlington, Va. also closed Thursday, but manager Kayser Bhuyan said it has nothing to do with Du-par's. Naylor confirmed that he discussed taking over of the Virginia Hamburger Hamlet but was told that the shopping center it is housed in is not renewing any leases as it undergoes a major overhaul.
The last Hamburger Hamlet left in the L.A. area is in Sherman Oaks at 4419 Van Nuys Blvd. and Naylor said he doesn't plan on touching that piece of area history.
Read the full story in tomorrow's newspaper or check back here for updates. ___