- Business Advocacy
Bun ‘n Burger, 1000 E. Main St, began offering temporary outdoor dining soon after the county permitted restaurants to offer it. Instead of keeping their business doors closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, Bun ‘n Burger stood strong and continued to serve the community by offering take-out orders.
Indoor dining was resumed for a short period of time but was then restricted again when the state announced forced shutdown of indoor dining and services to slow the increasing rates of the infection. This vintage eclectic “blast from the past” eatery has been in Alhambra since 1941 and has experienced many decades of historical events, including WWII, 9/11, and the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet the restaurant continues to provide its services.
Small business owners Arturo and Alicia Sanchez, with their daughter, Vanessa Montes, all agreed the pandemic has affected them mentally, physically, and financially. “It has been a struggle since the beginning of the pandemic,” Vanessa said. “People were used to coming to us to dine in, but when we had to close our dining room, people had refused order take-outs because they wanted the experience of dining here. We had felt the loss of business then, but when we were permitted to re-open to indoor dining, we started to get our business back. It was devastating to have to close the indoor dining again, but we have been fortunate to have the support to continue our services through outdoor dining.”
A returning customer of many years remarked, “I am glad they are open for accessible dining again after four months of [customers] not being able to dine here.”
Training and learning how to operate during the new norm has been a challenging experience for everyone. The family has to support and help each other operate the business since the staff has been decreased. “The moving of tables and chairs in and out daily and having to provide services outside can be exhausting and stressful, but something is better than nothing,” said Alicia. ”This is the time to learn to survive and use what we have. We can’t give up, and we have to take in what we can get.”
Bun ‘n Burger is taking all measures to keep customers safe by following all the health guidelines, such as enforcing social distancing, wearing safety gear like face shields, face masks, and hand gloves, and providing available sanitation stations. They have implemented new refill policies with the change of clean cups every refill, and coffee kettles may no longer be brought out to the tables to refill a cup. They keep their menus sanitized and clean them after every use. Finished plates cannot be removed and have to be left on the table until the party has finished dining. “The process can be exhausting and costly, but we have to make sure that our customers feel safe.” Vanessa explained.
The fascinating antiques and vintage interior will not be adored by diners for a while, but their all-time menu can still be enjoyed for take-outs and outdoor dining seven days a week. Customers can delight in the varieties of burgers, American breakfast classics, and Mexican authentic food, such as menudo, tamales, huevos rancheros, and chilaquiles. New on the menu are breakfast favorites poblano omelet and Popeye omelet. Daily specials are also available, such as the deep fried shrimp dinner, chicken milanesa, and strawberry waffles.
“We want to thank the community, our customers, and everyone who has been supporting us throughout this time,” Arturo said. “We would like to give a huge thank you to the Paulson family for supporting and giving us the opportunity to continue building Bun ‘n Burger.”
Call for take-out orders, curbside pickup, business hours, and outdoor dining information at 626-281-6777, or visit their website at originalbunnburger.com for menu information. Keep up to date on their social media, @bunnburger on Instagram.