While most of us were checked out gearing up for the 4th of July weekend, a little piece of Hollywood history bowed out with grace after 82 years of serving up an all-American diet of shamefully greasy fast food. Even if you'd never dined there, you've driven past Molly's Charbroiled Burger hole-in-the-wall shack on Vine Street enough times to notice when it's gone.
Surrounded by mammoth, flossy new developments like the W Hollywood, The 1600 Vine complex and The Redbury, even a tourist would be able to discern the humble walk-up hut as something left behind from an earlier era with its rusted bar stools and vintage signage. But under its most recent ownership, the Korean Yi family operating the joint for the last 13 years, Vine Street's grimy vestige of the '20s that had long escaped corporate construction overhauls could no longer dodge redevelopment and turned off the deep fryers for good last week as hundreds lined up for their last nitrate-loaded Molly's meal.
Opened in 1929 under the name Mom's Place, the burger stand enjoyed over eight decades of serving seriously wallet-friendly fried fare, undergoing little change in both appearance and menu despite surrounding transformations throughout it's extensive run along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But what many perceived as charm and authenticity despite its intrinsic seediness made Molly's an eyesore to the Los Angeles Redevelopment Agency and "contributed to the blight along Vine Street between Hollywood and Sunset boulevards." As part of the project for a complete overhaul of the block, the burger stand was acquired for a total of $1.1 million.
Before the takeover to turn the property into a slick $57-million office tower, the Yis found a way to give back to the community that had embraced them for so many years with all sales raised from the hundreds who got their final fix on Molly's closing day benefited the Social Services at Blessed Sacrament Inc. for the homeless.