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Famed Pasadena burger joint White Hut closes

October 1, 2011 | 12:41 pm

Restaurant owner, Albert Ching, left, waves goodbye to his customer, Mariam Grider at the White Hut in Pasadena on Wednesday, September 28, 2011. After 34 years of business, Albert and his wife, Donna, will close its doors to the community on Friday, September 30, 2011. Urth Caffe bought their property and another property next door called Zinke's Shoe Repair three years ago. Grider has been a customer at the restaurant since 1978. "I used to sneak off during my breaks to come here and get a coke and burger," Grider says. "They're very personal.. I'm gonna miss the couple," she adds.

Paul Castillo rapidly flipped burger buns and beef patties Wednesday, readying food for the steady flow of customers lined up beside the red stools and counter at the White Hut, two days before the longtime establishment served its last order.

The 34-year-old restaurant run by Albert and Donna Ching closed Friday. A printout on the wood-veneer counter read, “Everything will be for sale (except the cook).” The outside of the 18-by-18-foot restaurant is wrapped by plants, and sits in the corner of a parking lot it shares with Zinke’s Shoe Repair at 26 S. Madison Ave.

Urth Caffé, which sells organic coffee and tea as well as food items, bought the lot three years ago, and the couple were told they had to leave their space by the end of September, according to the Pasadena Sun.

“There’s going to be three more unemployed people after Sept. 30,” Albert laughed, adding that only Castillo will actually be looking for a job.

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--Adolfo Flores, Times Community News

Photo: Restaurant owner Albert Ching, left, waves goodbye to customer Mariam Grider at the White Hut in Pasadena on Wednesday. Credit: Cheryl A. Guerrero.
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