Longtime pop-up Thicc Burger has gone legit, landing a Nickelodeon-orange stall at the Original Farmers Market at Third and Fairfax. While some restaurant and vendor turnover is common at the historic property next to the Grove, the arrival of Thicc Burger marks a bold change in direction for the open-air market — and that’s by design.
Owner Jay Wolfe secured their 1,500-square-foot space after winning the market’s first-ever New Originals contest, which promised to pluck one lucky business from a pile of applicants and give them a long starting runway, space and all, inside the market. After a series of showcases and public events with multiple vendors in attendance, Wolfe — a native Angeleno who favors the city’s “hood style” burgers, found at places like Hawkins House of Burgers and Fatburger — was named the winner.
“It’s a dream come true for little me,” says the Inglewood-raised Wolfe at their new stall, which opened last week. “I’ve always come here, and now my daughter comes here with me. It feels good to be a part of this legacy. And it feels even better to be the only Black, queer-owned space here. I’m just setting levels for everyone else to follow in my footsteps, hopefully.”
For years, Thicc Burger was an itinerant setup run by Wolfe alone, or with friends. The pop-ups bounced between LA and Atlanta (where Wolfe went to college, and still has deep connections) mostly, with long road trips and cross-country collaborations and pit stops along the way. Wolfe was actually in Atlanta when they got word of the New Originals selection, leaving only days to make it back to the West Coast to begin prep work for what would become the current Thicc Burger stall.
“I was scared to come back home because LA is like for the big dogs,” says Wolfe, whose meatier burgers and options for turkey patties certainly stand out in LA’s smash burger-clogged scene. “But you know what? I’m ready now.”
Wolfe says that there’s been little time to process the whirlwind of scaling up from a pop-up out of the back of their Prius to an address at one of LA’s most well-known food destinations. Thicc Burger had been set to open as a food truck in LA first, but now it’s full steam ahead at the new site, with a little bit of local help. Wolfe plans to continue to lean on nearby vendors like Huntington Meats and Kaylin + Kaylin Pickles for the menu, which includes burgers as well as sandwiches, breakfast items, fries, and more.
The Original Farmers Market has attracted various levels of culinary talent for years, including names like Neal Fraser, Nancy Silverton, the Bar Moruno team, and restaurateur Bill Chait. Roxana Jullapat (Friends & Family) currently operates a pizza stall there, and vendors like Huntington Meats continue to supply some of the city’s biggest restaurants with product. There hasn’t been anything quite like Thicc Burger for a while though, which makes the former pop-up’s arrival all the more special. Find burgers and all the rest at the market daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (8 p.m. on Sundays).