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Legendary LA Butcher Harvey Guss Closes Up Shop After 79 Long Years

The longtime Fairfax butcher shop to the stars has closed

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Harvey Guss
Farley Elliott
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.

Sad news for steak fans, as it seems that one of Los Angeles’s quiet meat masterminds has finally retired. Harvey Guss, the longtime butcher operating out of a hard-to-find Fairfax shop helped to change the steakhouse landscape in Los Angeles decades ago, but has now sold off the building and moved on.

Checking in on the Harvey Guss Meats Yelp page reveals the place is closed up tight, and has been for weeks now. There’s no word as to what Guss might be up to these days, but it’s a fair assumption to believe that the building the butcher shop occupied will be torn down to make way for even more development, particularly as the subway extension prepares to open up not far away. The butcher shop had been in continuous operation since 1939, with Guss taking it over from his father in 1954.

Back in 2014, Eater interviewed Guss to get a sense of his high-flying life, cutting meat for dozens of the best restaurants in town and traveling with Wolfgang Puck himself for special events. Restaurants like Spago, Angelini Osteria, Mozza, and the Peninsula Hotel have all for years relied on Guss’s cuts, but his sons never seemed keen to take over the family business and even half-a-decade ago there was talk that the place might just fold up one day for lack of a new generation to take it all on. That day has now come.