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Hamburger Mary’s, LA’s Home For Drag Show Brunches and Burgers, May Close

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Plus, a short list of restaurants opening (or not) this week, and an inside look at the best man in LA pizza

Hamburger Mary’s signage shows in front of the restaurant at dusk.
Hamburger Mary’s
Hamburger Mary’s

Los Angeles continues to lose its many queer restaurant and bar/nightlife spaces at an alarming clip during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Historic and long-running spots from Silver Lake to the Valley to West Hollywood are either closing completely, or facing dire economic circumstances after being largely shuttered for 2020. Now one of the city’s most prominent LGBTQIA+ spots, Hamburger Mary’s, is reaching out for help. Reps for the bar, known as a delightfully raucous home for drag shows, charity events, and weeknight drinks, tell ABC7 that the business may not making to reopening this year without some much-needed help.

“The history of our very vibrant and rich LGBTQIA community in the heart of West Hollywood and in Los Angeles as a whole is in severe danger of being erased by this horrible tragedy,” said the restaurant’s Director of Entertainment Marketing, Jewels Long Beach, who added that the business has had to continue to pay for licensing with the state and other overhead costs every month while remaining closed. “We hope that we can stay here as a rock for our community and as a service to our community for many years to come.” The restaurant’s GoFundMe page is seeking $200,000, though so far it has raised just north of $10,000.

In other news:

  • Noel Brohner, LA’s longtime pizza assassin known for helping to create the pizza programs at many of the city’s best restaurants, finally gets his due in the form of a full tuxedo and flour spread over at LA Magazine. You know it’s a good story when it opens with Disney executive chairman Bob Iger raving about Brohner’s skills.
  • The Thompson Hollywood, a Hyatt hotel, is close to completion at 1523 Wilcox Avenue. The 190-room hotel should open this spring with two restaurants and a large rooftop deck and lounge.
  • Do you love LA’s innumerable fast food diners? Good news, LA Taco has a whole guide out now on where to track down the best of what they describe as ‘hood burgers.’
  • Restaurants across the city are preparing to reopen for on-site outdoor dining tomorrow, despite the heavy anticipated rains. They include Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica and the entire SocialEats Food Hall on the Promenade; the open dining area at the FIGat7th plaza in Downtown; Piccalilli in Culver City; the Cat & Fiddle in Hollywood, and more.
  • Others, like Salazar, Gigi’s in Hollywood, Tar & Roses in Santa Monica, and Violet in Westwood are taking a more cautious, slower reopening as COVID-19 cases remain high in Los Angeles County. Either way, many operators say they’re ‘emotionally drained’ at all the back and forth policy swivels, and concerned for what it means for their businesses, their customers, and their staff.

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