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Monday, Jul 4, 2022

Hamlet Destined For Tragic End?

Long-time patrons of Hamburger Hamlet’s “home town hamburger” and mesquite fries may want to hurry and make a trek to get to their favorite burger. Hamlet Group Inc. of Sherman Oaks shuttered the doors of its Pasadena location this month, leaving only the location at 4419 Van Nuys Blvd. remaining. But it may not be open for long. The 6,500-square-foot Sherman Oaks outlet, with its dated dim lighting and upholstered booths, will be staying – for now, anyway. The store is currently on the market and offers will be considered from potential business investors, said Seymour Floyd, vice-president of development for Hamlet Group. “We’re keeping the store open now, carrying on the grand tradition of Hamburger,” Floyd said. “Hopefully the brand will have a resurgence.” The Pasadena location quickly reopened as a 24-hour outlet of Du-par’s, the coffee shop and diner started at the Farmer’s Market in Fairfax. Founded by actor Harry Lewis and his wife Marilyn, Hamburger Hamlet opened on Sunset Boulevard in 1950, eventually expanding to more than 20 outlets. In its heyday, actors, singers and starlets could be spied at the burger joint. The family sold the chain in the 1980s for more than $30 million, which included now-defunct locations on the East Coast and around the greater Los Angeles area. Lewis’ sons Adam and David went on to operate upscale restaurant chain Kate Mantilini. But the family no longer has any connection to the Hamlet chain. Floyd said it’s possible the Sherman Oaks location could be the cornerstone of an expanding Hamlet chain. “It could go either way,” he said. – Jacquelinne Mejia

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