Updated Saturday, September 11
Jake’s, the historic 74-year-old burger stand at 38 W. Colorado Blvd., reopened this summer as Jake’s Trustworthy Burgers & Beer. After months of renovation, the historic Pasadena hangout has been restored to its original look and feel, with a red exterior and black canvas awning covering the expanded patio seating.
The original Jake’s opened in 1947, only a short distance away from Rite Spot, where the cheeseburger was invented. In 1989, restaurateur Chipper Pastron and his partners bought and rehabilitated the Jake’s building, operating the burger stand and downstairs pool hall, before selling the business in 1998. In January of 2020, Pastron returned to Jake’s, and after delays due to the pandemic, he succeeded in reestablishing the restaurant with a menu that pays homage to its history as the oldest burger stand in Pasadena.
To commemorate the building’s final touches, Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, September 18 at 11 a.m. In addition, guests will receive a free order of hand cut fries with the purchase of a Classic 1947 Burger throughout the entire day.
Jake’s continues to serve burgers the way they were made more than 70 years ago with two four-ounce premium beef patties cooked medium on the flat top griddle, two slices of mild cheddar cheese, grilled chopped onions, housemade pickles and Jake’s Sauce. A spicy fried chicken sandwich, hot dogs, chicken strips and soft serve ice cream have been added to the menu, all accompanied by craft beers from Burbank brewery Trustworthy Brewing Co., also co-owned by Pastron.
“I loved the idea of bringing the Jake’s building back to its intended use as a burger stand in the heart of Old Pasadena,” Pastron told L.A. Weekly in an email. “After opening my first restaurant, Rose City Diner, in Pasadena over 30 years ago in 1987, I’ve spent the last two decades away from the Pasadena restaurant community (even though I live there), growing and running my company’s multiple restaurant locations on the Las Vegas Strip. It was time to return closer to home and serve the community I love and live in. Nothing makes me happier then creating job opportunities for young people and culinary focused individuals. It has been so much fun working along side our team at Jake’s, many of whom it is their first jobs, as well as working with my teenage children.”