Storefront Report: Don’t expect a Starbucks at Tom’s Burgers in Silver Lake

What is going to replace the former Tom’s Burgers in Silver Lake? How about  a Starbucks? Nope, said a man sitting in a black Range Rover  parked in the Tom’s parking lot, which was, along with the rest of the property, wrapped in a construction screen on Monday afternoon. “It will be something else,” said the man, who offered no other details.

A check on building permits offered no clues as to what might be going on with the building.

The approximately 40-year-old Sunset Boulevard stand served its last charbroiled burger last month.  The 1,600 square-foot building with off-street parking – a rare amenity on this stretch of Sunset – went up for lease for $11,000 a month.


  1. Nope, you won’t see a Starbucks in this part of Silver Lake just like you don’t see one anywhere in El Sereno!

  2. Clearly it’s going to be a coffee bean & tea leaf.

  3. who could afford that rent, except a fancy abbot kinney restaurant or a weed shop.

  4. This would be the perfect location for a mixed-use building. Sunset in Silver Lake is such an ugly mess that you’d never guess the homes off it are selling for over a million dollars. Only in LA.

  5. well, if its a Coffee Bean or Starbucks that would be sad because I would never go there… Cafe Tropical is way better.

  6. I hope it is not a chain restaurant. It would be great to have a local cafe with parking there, but I suppose only chains could afford $11k/month.

  7. I hope its not a restaurant at all — that’s all we get here now, restaurants, coffee shops and places that serve alcohol. And all far too expensive, as anything paying $11,000 a month in rent will have to be. Greedy, gouging landlord. I think no one should go in there and let the landlord go bankrupt, as that is all his/her greed deserves.

    • Echo Park Devil's Advocate

      If more bars and restaurants are added to the neighborhood wouldn’t that actually have the effect of making bars and restaurants less expensive?

  8. It’ll be a Chipotle…

  9. 9DoubleOh2Sixxxer

    I wish Alegria would move there and start to thrive again. They’re so good, but have been pretty dead since Mixto opened. I fear they’ll go outta business, support them!

    • Echo Park Devil's Advocate

      Exactly. If you don’t want chain restaurants popping up in the area you actually have to support the local fair with your patronage instead of just your EastsiderLA comments.

  10. Infrastructure can’t handle a In-n-Out although their over due on showing their face in this hood. They’d create a traffic nightmare at that intersection.

    • Silver Lake resident

      An In N Out would spell death for that stretch of Sunset. There’s hardly enough parking to handle the congestion, and the intersection can get bogged down on weekends as it is.

      Whatever it is, I know I’ll still prefer going to Tropical just across the street.

      • Yeah, In N Out would turn that area into the San Gabriel Valley. Hoping for something that can retain some Silverlake charm.

      • An IN-N-OUT would also spell YUM for that intersection.

        • Silver Lake resident

          There are plenty of spaces in between Hollywood and Highland Park that could handle the congestion an In N Out would bring. Silver Lake — especially this intersection — cannot. Would it be really so horrible if you had to walk/bike/drive to somewhere like Glassell Park or Atwater for an In N Out?

          Now that I think of it, the Hollywood location ain’t that far either. I would prefer if there were no additional fast food restaurants brought to SL/EP. They aren’t beneficial to the community and residents; we instead need more affordable, healthy fare. (Not a Whole Foods. Not a frou frou organic restaurant with $20 entrees.)

    • ….they’re overdue….

  11. Landlord had to sign a non-disclosure so to not say anything about who the tenant is. Not a coffee bean… the drive through is not a legal one. I wonder…

    • Umami? Five guys? some other ‘fast-casual’ chain? I’m just trying to think of tenants who could afford that rent. In perfect world it would somehow become a WaWa.

  12. A permanent, brick-and-mortar location for Taco Zone please!

  13. Well if they don’t want anyone to know what bussiness is opening it makes me think that they probably don’t want the area to know until the last minute. Maybe because its something that might be controversial or unwanted, otherwise there would be signs up saying “——– bussiness coming soon”. Most businesses want to get the word out ASAP.

    • I’m not following your logic. If it’s a controversial or unwanted, how would it thrive once opened?

      • Starbucks and in and out are 2 examples of businesses that might be controversial or unwanted but no matter what will still do well and be profitable. Get it?

        • But why the secrecy? Do they think that an announcement would cause people to take to the streets in protest thus somehow thwarting the efforts?

          I mean I get your point, but it still doesn’t make sense as a logical tactic.

          • ” Do they think that an announcement would cause people to take to the streets in protest thus somehow thwarting the efforts?”

            Yes, they might not be in the streets because that’s not silver lakes style but wealthy affluent residents who appose a development could possible stall, stop or impede an unwanted bussiness. If McDonalds tried to move in there do you really think that residents wouldn’t go out of their way to stop them. How could McD’s open a restutant in the area? One part of the formula would be draw as little attention, so if there are opponents hopefully the process is far enough along that its too late to be stopped.
            This is just my theory, I have no real idea what’s going to be built. It just seems strange that they’re not advertising before, look at whole foods, they came out and said hey everyone were coming soon, get the word out. Most businesses advertise before they open.

  14. Been thinking for years it would be a perfect spot for another Oinkster.

    • Truth, but 11K is steep for any independent business owner.

      • I always thought Tom’s was a front. I don’t know how it stayed open for the last 10 years. I’ve lived a block away and always used the drive thru. But ONLY ordered taquitos. After my son was born, as a mom, lettin your kid nap in the car is a ritual and Tom’s saved me so many times, cuz what are my drive thru options? Mc D’s, Del Taco, Taco Bell.

        Two years ago I discusses with a restaurant designer a possible family friendly fast healthy food drive thru there. Where working parents can pick up snacks before soccergames or full dinners to pick up before home. He said that it is rare to have a location for a drive thru and as much as it was a great idea, to remodel and restructure a place would start at 3 million.
        I put that idea in my back pocket. I am really hoping the people who pay 11 grand a month a) make Tom’s owners laugh so hard they pee as their “front” just became legit and b) honor the eastside culture

        Does any one know when the secret will be revealed?

  15. I would be genuinely surprised if it’s anything but a fast food chain.

    But I agree with Lester, they should just tear it down and build a mixed use there.

  16. They also had to pay close to $300,000 to get in the space. wowzaa

  17. maybe a dunkin donuts-I was reading that dunkin donuts it in the process of opening 45 locations in the southland. I imagine they would want to make a statement of intent with an iconic location

  18. Oh no…I will sorely miss the deliciously greasy and fried 2-for-99c tacos from Toms. I know I know you can get fresher ones down the street but these were pretty delicious, and obviously, cheap.

    I’ve searched on here but does anyone know what is giong up in the Silverlake Furniture building at Sunset/Benton?? I would love to invest in a live performance/indie comedy club there…

  19. Tom’s was a wreck, and I am so glad it’s gone. That said, I really hope it’s not some bland chain restaurant that will traffic up an already busy intersection. I agree with Rockets Mom that Tom’s was a front for shady dealings. I’ve passed it every weekday for the last 5 years and on countless weekend walks, the number of patrons I’d seen inside I could count on one hand, no way that ghost town of a restaurant could’ve made any money. I really hope it’s something useful for the area and not overbuilt like those two disgusting double-decker mini-malls on either side.

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