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LA’s Last Remaining Hamburger Hamlet Location Closes, For Now

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This isn’t the first time the 68-year-old Sherman Oaks property has been in trouble

hamburger hamlet
The Hamburger Hamlet
Hamburger Hamlet [official]
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.

It’s been a rather wild ride for The Hamburger Hamlet, a Southern California-born chain of burger restaurants that at one point stretched across the entire country. Back in 2014 the then-last location in Sherman Oaks fell by the wayside briefly, before two prominent restaurateurs purchased and reopened it months later. Now there’s word that a “remodel” is underway at that address, with no firm timeline for reopening.

At its height, The Hamburger Hamlet was one of the most recognizable burger chains in all of Los Angeles. There were even outlets running as far as Washington D.C., though those remaining dual locations closed back in 2014. The real blow to the company came when the iconic Sunset Strip address closed in 2011, with Pasadena following a few years later. There was briefly a plan to craft a new, exciting version of The Hamburger Hamlet over on Larchmont, but that was short-lived.

So, for a time there has only been Sherman Oaks. Now that location is in flux yet again, as a tipster tells Eater that the place is closed up tight. Eater reached out to ownership directly, who say they are “only closed temporarily for planned renovations.” They declined to offer a timetable for the remodel, and have not posted publicly about the shutdown on their website or social media channels.

It’s unclear what will ultimately happen to the nearly 70-year-old restaurant. Sometimes, like in the case of the 20-year-old O’Brien’s Pub in Santa Monica, a remodel means nothing more than a protracted closure, but in other cases a bit of nip-and-tuck has actually helped an aging restaurant to return and stay relevant for years to come. Got any idea what’s going to ultimately happen over at The Hamburger Hamlet? Hit the tip line, anonymity guaranteed.