Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!


The Fall Of Tam’s #6: How LA Regulated A Burger Stand Out of Existence

Located on the corner of Figueroa and 101st Street in South Central Los Angeles, Tam’s Burgers has been a part of the neighborhood for almost thirty years. Nick Benetatos took over the restaurant in the late ’80s after his father retired. Tam’s has withstood multiple recessions and even the 1992 LA riots.

“When the markets were burned down, liquor stores were burned down, everything was burned down, people had nowhere to go, they came to us. We were handing out loaves of bread for free.” says Benetatos. “We have much love for the community. And the community obviously has much love for us.”

But Tam’s is now facing its most daunting challenge yet: being deemed a “public nuisance” by the city of LA. The Los Angeles Police Department believes that Tam’s is a magnet for drug dealers, prostitutes and violent criminals.

“It has a nexus and a connection to a disproportionate amount of criminal activity,” says Detective Eric Moore, head of LAPD’s Nuisance Abatement unit.

But Benetatos says that he is simply making the best of a tough situation. He’s even tried to work with LAPD before, honoring their requests that he remove payphones on the property and remove tables for outdoor seating, which he says resulted in a 15 percent decline in revenues. The city’s zoning board has since ordered him to comply with 22 separate conditions, such as hiring a full-time security guard, fencing in the entire property and installing a security camera that links directly to LAPD’s electronic surveillance system. Benetatos says that the cost of compliance would put him out of business.

If Tam’s attracts a bad element it is only because the bad element needs to eat just like everyone else. This in not a business that by its nature brings criminal activity to the neighborhood, it a business located in a neighborhood with lots of criminal activity. It’s a pretty safe bet that no one goes to South Central LA for the food.

This is one of those stories that makes you wonder what is missing from the facts we have been given. I’m guessing that either the LAPD thinks the owner of Tam’s is directly involved in criminal activity or someone in LA city government has plans for that piece of property that don’t involve a drive-in restaurant.

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26 Responses to Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!

  1. myiq2xu (D) says:

    It’s been a really shitty day today.

    • swanspirit says:

      I am so sorry , I hope it improves .

    • 49erDweet says:

      Sorry for the delayed comment. Had too much end-of-the-world stuff to get done before the “big one” comes at 3:11AM CA time.

      I’m guessing that either the LAPD thinks the owner of Tam’s is directly involved in criminal activity or someone in LA city government has plans for that piece of property that don’t involve a drive-in restaurant.

      Or some combination of both. How does retroactive zoning work? Noted on “urbanspoon” there’s a burger and taco place across the street from #6, plus a Burger King and a fish house less than a block away. If all face the same restrictions I’d fall over in a dead faint. Sounds like selective enforcement or pretty poor reporting, or again – – – – both.

  2. DandyTiger says:

    Funny thing happened in the House today. The Republican party ceased to exist. Poof. They’re gone. Irrelevant. Self destructed. Quite an amazing thing.

    • myiq2xu (D) says:

      Obama will save them.


    • DandyTiger says:

      Best part of GOP self destruction: when we go off the fiscal and Dems point to GOP, there is no GOP.

    • indigogrrl1 says:

      please explain. I dont have it in me to surf around.

      • DandyTiger says:

        Boehner tried a plan B bill which would have been a real coup I think. It said raise taxes on 1M and above. It was basically a Pelosi bill from a couple of months ago. The Repubs could have passed that, sent it to the Senate and left town. Then the fiscal cliff would have all been on the Dems. Either they pass that, or take the blame for going over the cliff. Instead, the no tax hikes for no reason wing of the Repub party put up a fight and Boehner didn’t have the vote. So he pulled the bill. The GOP pretty much ceased to exist at that point. Completely in shambles.

        And really, why do you need more than one Republican party anyway.

    • leslie says:

      They figured the world was coming to an end tomorrow anyway, so they said, “f*%k it. I’m going home”. And so they did.

  3. HELENK says:

    police and firemen form line to obstruct westboro so called church at sandy hook funeral

  4. myiq2xu (D) says:

    The title of this post covers this story too:

    Taylor Swift Goes With Boyfriend Harry Styles to a Tattoo Parlor

    My mom told me “Don’t let a woman brand you unless you’re absolutely sure it’s your baby.”

  5. HELENK says:

    something awesome to see and hear. shuttle coming into LA

  6. tommy says:

    Dandy, yep I saw it. I’ve gone from broken to limp to semi-limp. The GOP just got castrated. Sad to see. Now Captain Dick gets everything he wants and down the foxhole we go.

    • DandyTiger says:

      Wheeee. We didn’t want to have a country forever did we?

      • Somebody says:

        I can’t believe what happened in the house tonight. How in the hell did the Speaker not know he was short votes? If he did know he was short, why did he bring it to the floor?

        • leslie says:

          I am so tired of this Kabuki theater. I’ve given up all hope of any real governing being done. It is a different world from the one I believed in.

        • 49erDweet says:

          Why is he still the speaker? Didn’t his troops slip out the door and do a fade out while he was busy polishing up YoMama? Can’t count and can’t lead. Sounds perfect for a DC job.

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