HashTag Burgers in Bixby Knolls closes after three years of business

After three years of serving Bixby Knolls outlandish takes on the almighty burger, HashTag Burgers has closed its doors.

“It has been a great three years and I want to say thanks for all of the support and encouragement our customers and community has shown us,” wrote owner Stephen Pickett in a Facebook post after posting a notice in the window of his storefront. “With that said, announcing the closure of this location has proven to be my most difficult task of the entire three years.”

One of the few black-owned restaurants in the area, HashTag represented what burgers are for the Instagram Generation: Offering quality-and-decadent, Man v. Food-style fare—the types of things one ventures into when attempting Death By Burger and/or create great social media moments. (And one of many reasons it made our Essential Burgers listicle.)

HashTag Burger owner Stephen Pickett. Courtesy of Pickett.

HashTag Burger owner Stephen Pickett. Courtesy of Pickett.

There was their famed 30-ounce burger challenge, dubbed the “HashTag This”, which featured six strips of bacon, eight slices of cheese, four fried eggs, eight onion rings, hash browns galore, some chili (because, why not?), and a dash of clogged arteries. If you were able to conquer that and a large drink, it was yours for free.

However, HashTag was plagued by timing issues. Their initial and astounding Yelp! score, above 4.5 stars, began to dip over the course of its final year as it took on food delivery services, with times often surpassing an hour before food was even prepared for delivery. It led to consistency issues and frustration with customers, with nearly every negative or mediocre review of 2018 noting service and timing concerns.

This is one of the more frank aspects of current food culture all restauranteurs should be aware of: It’s not just about creating pretty pictures but keeping up with new technologies, services, and responses in a timely manner—something Pickett would often admit in response to Yelp! reviews frustrated with waiting, especially at times where there appeared to be few patrons present.

Add onto this the nearby tiny-but-might shack that is Dave’s Burgers and it is easy to understand the demise of HashTag.

According to Blair Cohn of the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association, there is no immediate tenant to take over the space.

HashTag Burgers was located at 3387 Atlantic Ave.

Brian Addison is a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or on social media at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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