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Fast Food Gives Way to Gourmet at 6th and Grand

By Lauren Mattia
Published: Thursday, January 27, 2011, at 03:53PM
Lauren Mattia

Carl's Jr. at 6th and Grand will be closing on Friday and will be the future home of a more upscale bar/restaurant.

Today's patrons at Carl's Jr. on 6th and Grand may not know it yet, but they are some of the last customers that this location will serve after over 20 years of business.

"In the late 80s, [Carl's Jr.] did a lot better," says Eric Schomof of Pacific Investments, owner of the Milano Lofts. "But Downtown has been changing-- the demographic has changed a lot."

Replacing the burgers and fries will be Industriel, restaurateur Armen Hakobyan and Ari Babaei's second eatery. The duo opened Old Pasadena's Green Street Tavern in 2008. Renderings posted on Flo Design Studio's Facebook show that Industriel will be a "farmhouse mod abstraction and an unrivaled mix of art and industrial elements."

While Industriel's menu is not yet available, Green Street Tavern features "the finest California Comfort Food with a European influence" and has 218 reviews as well as a four star rating on Yelp.

Hakobyan and Babaei are new to Downtown but are "Downtown believers," said Schomof.

Schomof is a supporter of the upscale restaurants becoming an integral part of Downtown's revival. "The bad pockets are beginning to connect with good areas," he said. "There are a lot of beautiful areas--it's just the one or two blocks in between that are a problem."

For most of Carl's Jr's 20 years on 6th and Grand, L.A.'s homeless have panhandled for change outside of the restaurant. "They say they want money to buy a burger when in reality they will do something else with it," Schomof said.

Both Schomof and the owners of the business came to an agreement that the restaurant closure was the best solution to the Downtown revitalization effort.

Schomof notes that the process of bringing in new businesses is a labor of love. "We are always working with owners and restaurants, doing what we can to get these businesses off the ground."

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