It was an impromtu stop on the way to downtown, when Jim and I saw a parking spot on the way to Astro Burger, so we pulled over and got on line. The new Irv’s Burger’s had just reopened at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd @ Laurel. It was great to see Sonia behind the counter. As we finished lunch a man came over to the table to ask how everything was. Lawrence, reads WEHOville, so we set off the meet the ‘man behind Sonia’.
Introduce yourself sir.
Welcome to Irv’s Burgers. Thanks for coming. I’m Lawrence Longo and just wanted to ask what did you have? Did you enjoy it?
Jim: It was great.
Lawrence: What did you guys order?
Jim: We had hot dogs!
Lawrence: Did you came to Irv’s burgers for a hot dog?. Let me grab you a burger.
Thanks anyway…..you’re from Prince Street Pizza too?
Yeah I’m one of the owners of Prince Street Pizza and I’m the founder of ‘Off The Menu’.
So now you own the Irv’s Burgers brand.
Yeah I guess you could say that. I just wanted to help somebody out and get her (Sonia) back in the neighborhood.
So is Sonia here full time?
She is here full time, she’s here as much as she wants to be here.
So is Irv’s Burger your new franchise brand? Are you going to be the next In-and-Out ?
I mean from your mouth to god’s ears. At the end of the day it’s like one neighborhood at a time. So let’s do it right here. If we ever have the opportunity to continue to expand and have Irv’s in every neighborhood across the country wouldn’t that be a blessing to all of us.
Well Ray Kroc bought McDonald’s from the McDonald’s. Are you the next Ray Kroc? How many Prince Street Pizza’s are there?
There is four or five of them right now. They’re expanding.
So you know this game–
Yeah let’s see. Like I said the first things first was to really give Sonia a home, at the same time I’m not interested in having a business that’s just, like you know, getting by. I want to make sure we it’s pretty crowded.
When did you open? How late are you open?
We opened four days ago, (this past tuesday) open right now till 10pm. Eventually friday’s and saturday’s we’re going to be open to hopefully 3am.
Any thoughts of getting a beer and wine license?
I don’t know if it fits with the brand or the experience. It wouldn’t be a bad idea, like a burger and a beer. But I want to make sure I nail all the food and and everything first. And the customer experience. It’s a whole other layer to add liquor and beer.
So are you a West Hollywood resident?
I was, not anymore. My wife and I conceived our first kid right across the street from Prince Street pizza. But I couldn’t afford it over here in West Hollywood. We live in Studio City.
Which is the first Prince Street pizza? When you say across the street from the one in West Hollywood?
We are located at Sunset and Doheny.
Is the minimum wage ordinance affecting you at all? Implementing? Are you familiar with it?
Yeah listen, I’m happy that my employees are getting paid well. I’m not upset about that at all. But it’s definitely affecting businesses. I mean businesses are forced to raise prices. I’m trying to have good solid neighborhood prices.
After we ordered I said to Jim, we found a place we can go but 15 bucks or so.
We have a ‘just for you’ burger it’s it’s meat cheese pickles and a sesame bun and it costs four bucks. Four dollars for that burger sort of an excellent deal. I want you to tell WeHo!
Okay we will. You’re going to wake up this sleepy corner. Congratulations. So nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you. Thank you.