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Farewell to Hamburger Hamlet

Never liked the place. Thought the burgers were totally lousy. Too loud, too crowded, too meh. Oh occasion, though, that's where everyone wanted to go so we went. We had a few OK meals.

Word via the RobertDyer blog is that HH is now closing. The chain itself has filed for bankruptcy. Auction is underway. Per Dyer, "An employee who answered the telephone Sunday confirmed the Hamburger Hamlet name will be dropped, and that the name will be changed to simply, Du-par's. He said new exterior signs would be installed."

Just goes to show. If you've got a bar and parking, you can survive years in this town even if the food is meh.

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  1. If the Little Taverns had liquor and parking, they'd probably still be around. Check out the Billy Goat Tavern. There's your proof. Never underestimate the power of a liquor license.

    1 Reply
    1. re: flavrmeistr

      There used to be a Hamburger Hamlet close to Friendship Heights on Wisconsin Avenue but that closed in the 1970's. The food was so-so but it was one of the few restaurants in that area in that era that looked fancy inside. People were impressed enough with the decor to let the food be what it was.

    2. Du-par's? That's a well-loved mini-chain (4 or 5 locations) out west. They're known for pies and pancakes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Larry

        My husband LOVES pie so I went into HH/DuPar's to check out the pies. Not at all impressive. They looked like plastic. Totally unappetizing. For now, we are sticking with Catoctin Mountain Orchard. If we happen to go out to the Shenandoah National Park, we stop at the Buckland Farm Market. Their pies are better than OK.

        1. Got some burgers at the HH in Crystal City a few months back. Cooked medium rare with properly cooked fries at a reasonable price point, unlike the dry flavorless overpriced thing Spike served me around the corner.

          1. The Palm Beach HH was always pretty good. Never tried any of the others.

            1. The only think worse than HH of late is the Du-pars that is replacing it. Yuck! Stay away.

              1. We were somewhat regulars at one of the original HH's in California. When my parents had business in LA, it was one of our stops. Chasen's for chili and Monty's Steak House were others. If Dad had a big win at the track, Monty's Talk of the Town in Pasadena was our spot. If he lost a bunch, it was dinner at HH.

                Their specialty was actually omelets that they brought out in a hinged pan and flipped closed, then slid onto your plate. The burgers were good. But I remember more omelets served at all hours of the day than burgers.

                Their quality dropped off way back then as they opened locations in LA. And on Dad's bad track days, we would go to Art's Deli or Paul's Duck House instead of HH

                By the time they got to DC, they were pretty mediocre.

                1 Reply
                1. re: wineo1957

                  I grew up in Pasadena - HH was always often an option for us, and Monty's Ribs were my favorite thing back then.

                  I never went to Chasen's - Pie'n'Burger was my choice for Chili - With lots of cheese and onions, followed by a burger and shake. Looking back, though, the chili was probably canned!

                2. I went to the Old Georgetown Road location quite regularly around '71 thru '80. I liked a burger called Rex Harrison if I remember correctly. Hot fudge sundaes were great.
                  Onion Soup was great too.

                  I moved away from the immediate area in '80. Tried the location in Rio Center once or twice, it was horrible! Never went back.