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Is Route 66 Landmark Irv's Burgers Getting Evicted? [UPDATED]
Irv's Burgers, a landmark on Route 66 in West Hollywood, may serve its last burger by the end of June.
The 63-year-old burger stand at 8289 Santa Monica Boulevard received historic landmark status in 2006. Despite that, it was served a 30-day notice to vacate the premises by its landlord, according to Route 66 expert Scott Piotrowski.
Sonia Hong and her family have run Irv’s since 2000. Route66News.com reports that the property owners have hiked the rent by 67 percent in an attempt to force Hong out. According to LA Weekly, that means she'd now have to pay $7,000 a month in rent.
in 2004, the owners tried to replace Irv's with a Peet's Coffee. LA Weeky reports that Hong is currently fighting for an extension. "Who knows?" Hong told the weekly. "Maybe a miracle will happen and I can stay. You'll have to check back in with me in a couple of months."
Once the building is vacated, there may be a chance that it can be demolished, despite its historic status, Piotrowski says. The city (WeHo's City Hall is right across the street) might intervene, but its track record for historic preservation has been pretty shoddy.
[UPDATED, June 21, 2:00 p.m.]
Curbed LA reports that the city of West Hollywood is going to honor the restaurant's historic status but whether Hong continues to run Irv's is not up to the city.
Tamara White, a spokesperson for the city, told Curbed LA, "Irv's is located in a historic building that is not being demolished but is instead being rehabilitated in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Historic Resources ... It cannot be torn down without several stringent findings being made at a public hearing per West Hollywood Municipal Code 19.58.110."
White explained, "I don't have the details on Irv's notice to vacate and unfortunately there's not much the city can do in these cases as we have no authority with regard to commercial landlord and tenant matters." Whether the restaurant will still serve burgers is anyone's call.
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