Browsing: Mr. Fatburger

Mr. Fatburger started in 1952 by Lovie Yancey and a co-investor on Western Avenue in South Central, Los Angeles, near Exposition Park. Yancey had previously owned and run a business in Tucson and wanted to broaden her horizons. In 1947, Yancey and her daughter had moved to Los Angeles for the first time. Despite apparent discrimination and segregation, Lovie Yancey founded one of the most successful African-American burger franchises and represented the true entrepreneurial spirit that many Blacks at the time possessed. The first Fatburger stand was described as a post-World War II diner with three bar stools in front. Her business partner is believed to have worked in construction and built the Fatburger stand out of scrap metal. Years later, Yancey divorced her partner and wanted to drop the label. As a result, Fatburger was born. Yancey was a frequent presence at the burger stand, working 16-hour hours on occasion to ensure that everything went smoothly and that the burgers were cooked properly. Eventually, Yancey opened a second site on La Cienega Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Red Foxx and Ray Charles were among the celebrities who frequented the venue. The Texas native sold Fatburger’s rights to a group of investors in 1990, but kept control of the original Western site. In 2007, she eventually sold the house. One of the terms of the initial Fatburger property purchase was that it could never be demolished.