Hamlet Gardens, Los Angeles
Harry and Marilyn Lewis were co-founders of the Hamburger Hamlet chain of restaurants established in Los Angeles in 1950 and pioneered the idea of the gourmet burger. Harry was an actor and Marilyn was a costume designer when they opened their first restaurant on the Sunset Strip.
The young couple hoped to attract customers in the entertainment industry and, knowing that every actor’s dream is to play Hamlet, named their restaurant Hamburger Hamlet.
It was a roaring success and the chain expanded to 24 locations including Palm Springs, Beverly Hills and Brentwood. Among their customers: film director Albert Hitchcock (who often fell asleep at his table), Lucille Ball and Dean Martin.
In 1985, the couple took over a handsome red brick building called La Ronda de las Estrellas ( the round court of the stars) in Westwood. and opened their next venture called Hamlet Gardens.
Set in one of the oldest buildings in Westwood, the brick -walled restaurant featured a 30ft high ficus tree under a magnificent sunlit glass dome, terracotta floors and an airy ambience.
This was a fine dining restaurant – not a hamburger in sight – and a pianist serenaded diners.
After the couple sold their Hamburger Hamlet chain, the restaurant was renamed the Gardens on Glendon and remained ‘the jewel in the crown’ of the Lewis family.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.
All printed in USA.