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Restaurants & Bars 2

Rick's Burgers in Pasadena---GONE!!!!

High Maintenance | May 28, 200611:49 AM

I know it was discussed previously, but an article on the information on timing. This place was great for a fresh burger,fries and burrito!!!!!

Rick's 86'd
Classic burger joint to make way for condos
By Emanuel Parker Staff Writer

Pasadena Star News:
PASADENA - "This place is classic. There is no other way to describe it. A place like this is one of a kind," says Marion Freel.

"I drive 40 miles just to have a beef burrito," says Paul, and Deborah Truhan writes that Rick's Drive-In has "the best burgers in the entire world!!!!"

They are among the dozens of patrons registering their dismay on a Web site set up by a devoted customer now that Rick's - a fast-food fixture since 1964 - must move from the southeast corner of Walnut Street and El Molino Avenue.

Ralph and Mary Lou Fonzo, Rick's owners, have been notified the property has been sold to make way for a condo development.

Their customers are not happy. The Web site,, was set up to tell the public about the situation and ask their help in finding Rick's a new Pasadena location.

Rick's is the kind of place where customers can be found at all hours, lining the sidewalks nearby to satisfy their cravings for burgers, burritos and tacos, or Rick's special "vegeritos and spuderitos."

The owners don't know where they'll go.

"There isn't much available for small businesses in Pasadena," said Mary Lou Fonzo. "There are storefront places, but that won't serve our business. We're willing to buy or lease a site. We have a lot of wonderful customers who've been coming here for generations."

Sonny Ramirez, 22, of Downey, a California School of Culinary Arts student, was at Rick's on Tuesday. He'd brought two fellow students with him.

"The fries are the bomb, and so are the cheeseburgers," he said. "They're so good you've



got to share them."

Bobby Ramirez, one of nine employees, has worked at Rick's since 1991. He said good customer relations and serving fresh food are why Rick's is popular.

"The service is great," he said. "It's real service from real people. We really get to know our customers and we know each other by name. It's like a big family. Everything we serve is fresh. The only thing we don't make is the ketchup."

"I enjoy doing this," said Josie Lopez, a Rick's employee since 1989. "I know our customers so well I know what they want before they order. We're open from 9 a.m. to midnight, and at 11:30 p.m. people are in line to get something to eat before we close."

Ramirez said it looks like they'll be there until November, but after that, the future is unknown.

"This will change our lives," he said. "We have to go so more condos can go up. This city is looking more and more like Los Angeles. Pasadena has lost its spunk."

Fonzo said they leased the property for 42 years and many times offered to buy it, but the owner wouldn't sell.


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