HIGHLAND PARK — A demolition crew is busy gutting the interior of the former Classic Burger as a “Coming Soon” banner heralds the arrival of the first Starbucks to Highland Park.
The owners had won city approval to convert the burger stand on the east end of York Boulevard into a drive-thru Starbucks last year but the building had remained fenced off and tagged up for several months as neighbors wondered what had happened. Now, after pulling building permits for everything from new signs to plumbing, workers have been busy gutting the former dining room. It’s not certain when the Starbucks will open but a worker told an Eastsider reader that it could be ready for business in about two months.
The 1,200-square-foot building, which will receive a drive-thru addition, will be able to accommodate 30 customers inside and on an outdoor patio. Other planned renovations include a retaining wall that will act as a buffer to the nearby homes, a new rock garden and a bike rack. Another addition would be a state of the art drive-thru speaker box presented by Starbucks’ representatives at last year’s zoning board meeting.
The former Classic Burger restaurant has been vacant for close to nine months, first becoming the site for many homeless in the area, then tagged, repainted and tagged again.
Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis stories, reviews and photos at Smashed Chair.