Hollywood Arby’s shutters doors after more than 5 decades in business following minimum wage hike

Hungry people strolling down Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard may find themselves wondering who has the meats after Arby’s closed its long-standing location after more than five decades in business.

The fast food joint’s iconic cowboy hat sign was captured by FOX 11’s SkyFOX camera on Tuesday reading, “Farewell Hollywood. TY for 55 great years.”  The restaurant near Bronson Avenue closed on Saturday, according to local reports. 

The franchise has had one owner since opening in January 1969, 91-year-old Marilyn Leviton. 

“Truth is, I think it was the pandemic that did us in. I really feel we would have closed during the pandemic [if it weren’t] for the federal loans,” she told KTLA. “I’m awfully sorry that it came to this.” 

CALIFORNIA’S $20 MINIMUM WAGE LED TO FAST-FOOD PRICE HIKES, LOWER CUSTOMER TRAFFIC, STUDY SHOWS

Arby's Hollywood sign says farewell

“Farewell Hollywood. TY for 55 great years,” the iconic cowboy hat Arby’s sign on Sunset Boulevard reads after the restaurant closed over the weekend.  (FOX 11 Los Angles SkyFOX)

Her son-in-law Gary Husch, who was the general manager of the location, told the Los Angeles Times that the pandemic, low foot traffic, rising food costs and California’s minimum wage hike were all factors in the decision to close. 

“With inflation, food costs have gone way up and the $20-an-hour minimum wage has been the nail in the coffin,” he said, adding that workers were told the news when they went to work on Friday. 

BUSINESSES ‘FED UP’ WITH CALIFORNIA’S MINIMUM WAGE HIKE AS PRICES SOAR, THOUSANDS FORCED OUT OF WORK

Arby's Sunset Blvd wide shot

The restaurant on Sunset Boulevard near Bronson Avenue had one owner since opening, kTLA reports.  (FOX 11 Los Angles SkyFOX)

Arby’s did not immediately respond to a FOX Business request for comment. 

A recent study released by Placer.ai found that the new law that went into effect April 1 impacts restaurants with 60 or more locations — most quick-service chains have raised menu prices in the state by anywhere from the mid-single digits to mid-teens, percentage-wise, and the price hikes are hurting business.

FOX 11 LA reported that many restaurants in California have closed recently, with Rubio’s Coastal Grill shuttering 48 locations in the state.

Iconic Arby's Sunset Blvd cowboy hat sign

Arby’s is known for its roast beef sandwiches and is now part of Inspire Brands LLC.  (FOX 11 Los Angles SkyFOX)

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Arby’s, which is part of Inspire Brands, is known for its roast beef sandwiches. The global multi-brand restaurant company’s fact sheet says Arby’s is the “largest sandwich drive-thru chain in the U.S.” with more than 3,600 locations in nine global markets. 

FOX Business’ Breck Dumas contributed to this report. 

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