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Coordinates: 34°04′10″N 118°16′35″W / 34.069545°N 118.276368°W / 34.069545; -118.276368

Original Tommy's World Famous Hamburgers
IndustryFast food restaurants
Founded1946; 73 years ago (1946) in
Los Angeles, California,
United States
FounderThomas James "Tommy" Koulax
HeadquartersMonrovia, California
Number of locations
33[1] (30 California, 3 Nevada)
Area served
California, Nevada
Productshamburgers, hot dogs, tamales, chili, french fries, soft drinks
The original location, at Beverly & Rampart. The Shack is in the foreground, the building surrounding is also a part of the restaurant. Patrons eat at their cars or standing at the counter along the back walls.

Original Tommy's is a hamburger restaurant chain in Southern California, United States. It is known for its chili burgers.[2]


The original location was opened on May 15, 1946, by Tom Koulax[3] (October 26, 1918 - May 28, 1992), the son of Greek immigrants, on the northeast corner of Beverly and Rampart boulevards west of downtown Los Angeles.[4] The stand, which still exists today, sold hamburgers and hot dogs topped with chili. At first business was slow, but it soon started to pick up. During the 1960s, the entire lot at this intersection was purchased. Soon after, the northwest corner was acquired for expanded parking and storage of goods. Not long after that, a second service counter occupying the building at the perimeter of the northeast lot was set up. The food was essentially the same from both locations, except for longer lines at the original shack counter, perhaps for nostalgic reasons.[5]

Tommy's grew to 30 locations by 2006. Most Original Tommy's restaurants are found in the Greater Los Angeles Area. In recent years several locations have closed. The Santa Monica location was closed on April 20, 2014 when the landlord refused to renew the lease[6][7] and leased the location to Starbucks instead.[8]

In 2008, the company expanded for the first time outside of California by opening two locations in Clark County, Nevada.[9] A third Nevada location was opened in 2013.[10][11][12]

As of October 2019, there are 33 locations. The company is based in Monrovia, California, after years of being in Glendale, California, and is run by the late Mr. Koulax's family.

Chili Cheese Fries, served at the original location (note: cheese is served under the chili).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Company website as of 2018-02-22
  2. ^ "Local Chains 101". Washington Post. April 25, 2004. Archived from the original on April 23, 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013 – via Highbeam Research.
  3. ^ Gould, Lark Ellen (2005-04-01). Los Angeles: Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Unique Places. Globe Pequot. p. 34. ISBN 9780762735235. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  4. ^ Bartholomew, Dana (May 16, 2006). "Tommy Built it; They Came". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on June 2, 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013 – via Highbeam Research.
  5. ^ "Original Tommy's Hamburgers". Original Tommys.
  6. ^ The Original Tommy's (March 14, 2014). "We have some sad news to report". Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  7. ^ Simpson, David Mark (February 20, 2014). "Tommy's burgers may get booted for Starbucks". Santa Monica Daily Press.
  8. ^ Simpson, David Mark (April 20, 2015). "Starbucks opening 21st location in Santa Monica". Santa Monica Daily Press.
  9. ^ "Today's News". Las Vegas Advisor. September 13, 2008.
  10. ^ "Original Tommy's Opens Third Nevada Location". Restaurant Facility Business. November 27, 2013.
  11. ^ Martin, Bradley (April 17, 2013). "Original Tommy's Hamburgers Adds a Drive Thru". Eater Las Vegas.
  12. ^ Stapleton, Susan (September 26, 2013). "Load Up on Chili Burgers and Fries at the New Original Tommy's Hamburgers". Eater Las Vegas.

External linksEdit