Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Sean Takes Over For Jay's Jayburger

The new Sean's Burgers sign -- taken after dark. Stay tuned for a better daytime pic.

Two years after Jay's Jayburger shut down, the empty burger shack at the corner of Virgil and Santa Monica finally has a new tenant.

The signs have gone up for Sean's Burgers, although the new joint hasn't yet officially opened. For those diehard Jay's fans who were still holding out hope that the Jayburger would return, this appears to be the final nail in the coffin.

Jay's Jayburger, in happier times

But at least the tiny shack will finally see some life again. Jay's was forced out -- or willfully abandoned the shack, depending on whose side you listen too -- after the family that owns the strip of land where Jay's sat decided to build a mini-strip mall around it. The L.A. Times wrote in March 2005:

JayAnn Rojas (daughter of founder Lionel "Jay" Coffin) said she was forced to close it Feb. 1, when (landowners Mary and Paul Lee) ordered the stand's storage container removed.

But the Lees contend that they own the burger stand because it is permanently bolted to a concrete foundation. And they assert they've gone to great lengths to preserve Rojas' burger business and to allow for storage space while upgrading the property around it.

Last month the Lees began developing a mini-mall behind the burger stand. To make room for construction, the stand's customer parking area was eliminated and a storage area used for Jay's Jayburger supplies was demolished.

Rojas said that after the Lees ordered her to remove the stand's temporary storage bin she was forced to lay off her six employees and close the business. A short time later, a fence went up around the construction site, sealing off the burger joint.

"I've been forced out. They're holding my building hostage. It's insane," Rojas said.

The strip mall was built -- and still is only partially occupied. In the meantime, Jay's structure sat empty (below).

With the new Sean's Burgers moving in, apparently the Lees won the battle for the shack. Anyone have any more details for "Sean's Burgers"? A Google search turns up nothing.

Previously on Franklin Avenue:
Jay's Jayburger Died in Vain (May 2006)
Food Shack Blues (Dec. 2005)
Jayburger Update (March 2005)
Jay Walks (Feb. 2005)

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