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The First-Ever Johnny Rockets Location Just Closed on Melrose Avenue

After lasting nearly 30 years.

Johnny Rockets
Johnny Rockets
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

The restaurant churn continues along Melrose Avenue, with the recent announcement that the iconic Johnny Rockets there has unceremoniously shuttered. Workers were only just informed of the closure on Monday, says local blog Melrose Action.

It’s a swift shutdown for one of the most iconic restaurant spaces along uber-trendy Melrose Avenue. Sure, Johnny Rockets maybe wasn’t the sort of trendsetting high-brow restaurant that critics could point to as a shining dining star, but as a fast casual vintage-inspired burger joint the place certainly held its own for nearly three decades.

What’s more: this is actually the first ever Johnny Rockets location, and helped to shape the 1950’s-era focus of the brand from day one. Signage has been torn down completely and the place is buttoned up tight, with Melrose Action saying workers were given the opportunity to relocate to other franchise-owned locations nearby.

As for that particular corner location at the intersection of Melrose and Gardner, there’s still plenty of restaurant activity to come. Stephen Kalt, former Iron Chef contestant and Caulfield’s chef, is opening Spartina there in the former Melgard Public House space.