The fight is officially on to save Molly’s Charbroiled Burger House on Hollywood’s Vine Street. L.A. Times reports that historical preservationists and supporters are protesting the sale of Molly’s to Santa Monica-based Pacifica Ventures, arguing that not only is a potential landmark from 1929 at risk, but that the deeply discounted sale of the property to Pacifica is a misuse of public funds that benefits a company helping to push jobs out of Hollywood by building backlots and sound stages in different states. And where stand the developers opposed to this rabble-rousing?
Hollywood’s Community Redevelopment Agency feels that Pacifica’s plans for a eight-story office building are an improvement on a crusty 20-stool diner as the neighborhood continues an ascent into ever-trendier tourist turf. Furthermore, Pacifica offers that the new construction could revitalize Hollywood as it requires rentals to go only to entertainment businesses for at least five years.
Meanwhile, Molly’s operator Kiok Yi hired a lawyer to stop the sale of her burger stand. Yi also has grassroots supporters who want Molly’s to remain as it is, even though the new building is offering first-floor space for a new Molly’s site and the agency claims to have put aside $120,000 for Molly’s relocation.
Though few feel hopeful Molly’s will endure, historian Charles Fisher calls Molly’s “a rare fairly intact example of a post- World War II roadside diner” that happens to be “emblematic of its time and place in mid-20th-century Hollywood.” Also putting time on Molly’s side, councilman Eric Garcetti has asked for approval on the new office building to be delayed until Molly’s historic merit can be explored further.
What do you think? Should Molly’s stay or go? Please let us know your thoughts in our comments.
Taking a burger stand [L.A. Times]