The Flame Broiler to Open Affordable Eatery in Highland Park

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by LA1 News Desk

   The Flame Broiler restaurant chain is opening a new franchise location at the corner of North Figueroa and Avenue 57. It is the restaurant's sixth location in the City of Los Angeles. Workers on ladders were installing the signs at noon today. Brand new tables and chairs inside gave the impression that the location would open soon.

   The Flame Broiler chain operates under the slogan of “a healthy choice.” With the recent openings of the pricey Mr. T’s Bowl, coffee shops and haircut locations across the street, some locals see an advantage to franchise eateries. “The community needs restaurants that are affordable," says Mando Medina, a Highland Park anti-gentrification activist. "Twelve-dollar toast with avocado at Birdie Café is just a joke," he adds. "We need eating establishments to be affordable for people on fixed incomes who have been living here for a long time.”

   The Flame Broiler started with a single location opened in 1995 by UCLA graduate Mr. Young Lee. By 1999, the company began to franchise and make profit from its mission to provide relatively healthy food for people on the go. In 2009, Mr. Lee began to venture into philanthropy by feeding the homeless and sponsoring two children for every new franchise that opened. Today, the company claims to sponsor at least 338 children and boasts over 180 locations in California, Arizona, Florida, Nevada and Oklahoma.

   Prior to The Flame Broiler moving in, the location was home to a clothing store. Prior to that it was a small Latino market. The building is owned by “Mei” who has been running Owl Drug Store for decades. “Mei’s son Alex is opening the Flame Broiler franchise on this corner,” says local tax business owner and activist Jesse Rosas. “They say they want to provide an affordable eating establishment to the community.”

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