I was deeply enjoying this glorious sunny afternoon while cruising Highland Avenue on a work-related assignment. Few streets make Los Angeles look more resplendent on a lovely post-rain storm day than northbound Highland between Melrose and Hollywood.
And then I noticed this thing again.
For those of us who were introduced to the concept of fancy custom, interesting burgers or even plain old thick ones at Hampton's, this is a fucking insult. I have nothing but contempt for projects named for their former historically significant site occupants, such as the "Brown Derby" strip mall on Alexandria and Wilshire. And that one's across from the Ambassador and its future pseudo historic faade, no less. Talk about rubbing salt into multiple wounds.
Hampton's was such an oddly distinctive place. I remember the dark woodiness of the interior and 70s amber glass and brick decorating motif. It's definitely the first place I experienced that type of hybrid take-out counter/table service, where you ordered at the front counter then food was brought to you at the table. The salad and trimmings bar was special, along with the blue cheese burgers (quite a radical concept in the 70s and 80s) and potato salad. Those wood cane chairs were really uncomfortable and sometimes the atmosphere teetered on depressing, but we always went back.
Thank goodness developers with an atypical respect for Hollywood history came along to raze the building and put up these stunningly gorgeous, Craftsman "inspired" apartments on the site.
The additionally weird factor is that while I know the place is missed, the historic import of Hampton's is not exactly on par with that of a Brown Derby. So why name the apartment complex for Hampton's? And who on God's green Earth thinks that Highland Avenue and De Longpre is a desirable place to live? They better have those windows double or triple-paned and every opening seriously sound-proofed.
I shudder to think of the "Pink's Luxury Condos." I imagine, however, a few folks would be willing to put themselves between the building and the wrecking ball should that chilling prospect come to pass.
P.S. On second thought, I shouldn't assume the significance of the "Hampton" name is entirely derived from the restaurant. Not having completed research on that section of Hollywood, it could have something to do with a Fred Hampton or Lionel Hampton or some Hampton who subdivided that specific area.
If this is the case and the new housing complex is named in honor of a "Hampton Tract" or legitimate aspect of Hollywood history I'm unaware of, then I'm willing to back off.