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Steak ‘n Shake adding to Compton dining choices

Brown: “It’s going to be great

Steakburgers, thick shakes will heighten Compton dining experience; 24-hour ‘Steak ‘n Shake’ will offer a multitude of designer burger, shakes, and more that should make for gastronomical delight for the whole family

COMPTON — If business here goes according to form, this 100,000-plus municipality surrounded by freeways will have a new family restaurant around the Easter holiday.

ComptonHerald.com | Steak 'n Shake

Neil Holmes, Compton Economic Development Dept. (right) congratulates Mark Bastorous, of Steak ‘n Shake.

The new restaurant, Steak ‘n Shake, will occupy space in the Gateway Town Center, 200 Towne Center Dr., at the southernmost end of the shopping complex. Steak ‘n Shake will join a growing fraternity of eateries in the center including TGI Fridays, Chipotle Mexican Grill, El Pollo Loco, Pizza Studio, Panda Express, Ono Hawaiian BBQ, McDonalds, Subway, Del Taco, Wingstop, Menchies Frozen Yogurt, Jamba Juice, and Star Bucks.

Famous for its steakburgers, Steak ‘n Shake was founded in February 1934 in Normal, Illinois. Gus Belt, Steak ‘n Shake’s founder, pioneered the concept of premium burgers and milk shakes.

For more than 80 years, the company’s name has been symbolic of its heritage. The word “steak” stood for steakburger. The term “shake” stood for hand-dipped milkshakes. Belt was determined to serve his customers the finest burgers and shakes in the business.

To prove his point that his burgers were exceptionally prime, as the story goes, he would wheel in a barrel of steaks (including round, sirloin, and T-bones) and grind the meat into burgers right in front of the guests. Hence arose the origin of the company’s famous slogan, “In Sight It Must Be Right.”

Steak ‘n Shake brass expressed exhilaration about locating their brand in Compton, so much so, the company invited a stakeholder’s tour and lunch on Oct. 8 of one of its facilities in Victorville, Calif., led by Mayor Aja Brown, who initially broke the news about the diner at the 2015 State of the City address in August.

Said Mark Bastorous, Compton Steak ‘n Shake, LLC’s managing member, “We are extremely excited to bring Steak ‘n Shake to the dynamic city of Compton. The enthusiasm that we’ve seen since we introduced the concept of Steak ‘n Shake to city leaders and stakeholders has been unparalleled. We look forward to becoming an integral part of the Compton family.”

Mayor Brown reflected Bastorous’ enthusiasm. Speaking for stakeholders and city leaders on the tour, she said, “Today was a great day for community leaders in the City of Compton. Steak ‘n Shake sponsored a bus tour for us to actually go to a physical location opened in Victorville [to enable us] to preview the quality of food, hospitality and service coming to Compton in the first part of 2016.

“For me it was about respecting our community and the heightened level of respect they have for the community. I am honored that [Steak ‘n Shake] extended this gesture, and we had our community leaders come out,” Brown said.

“It’s going to be great for our community and also to have a sit-down option for [Compton], and to be 24-hours, not only for Compton but the surrounding area,” she added.

Brown says the projected grand opening of the new restaurant is January 2016 barring interference from the El Nino weather system, predicted to deluge the Southern California with rainfall during the end of 2015 and first quarter of 2016.

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is Publisher and Editor of Compton Herald. He attended junior and senior high school in Compton, and is an alumnus of California State University, Los Angeles.

  • Michael Hill July 19, 2016

    Well, so much for “Healthy Choices”. But since In & Out isn’t interested in such a spot in the center, well enough. I don’t eat much meat or drink shakes, but to those who will dine, I say a hearty, “Bon Apetit” anyway. Fills that corner adjacent to the Crystal Park, at least, and that’s the last of the Prism Development land. I wish them success, and with all of the folks patronizing the Town Center, guess that’s a wrap, finally. They could expand on other pads, eventually, to add a few more things, over time, of course. But the access from the Blue Line is still a bridge too far. Scratching my head on that one though the city is looking at a parcel and part of the parking lot Crystal isn’t even using to allow access I’ve been told. Strangest land deal ever, from time of development with no train access from anywhere, even as MTA builds expansion lines to LAX. Here we are in good old Compton, having to walk a mile just to get to shopping ect. Crystal Park really got over on the former Redevelopment Department on that one. And no one even noticed until Prism started developing the former Compton Auto Plaza parcel years ago. The city wouldn’t even consider a shuttle to get MTA passengers back and forth safely, even if the Casino wasn’t playing with a stacked deck and demanding big money just to come to the negotiation table. I’d have looked into even yanking or putting a hold on their gambling license, if it were possible, until they at least acted honorably regarding access. I know people were using (illegally) their parking like a park & ride, one of the cited reasons why they (Crystal) locked the access gate, liability etc., I get that. But maybe the civic leaders and chambers didn’t take into account how to properly open constructive dialog with an owner who essentially is Chinese. Online we find plenty of tutorials on how to do business with China, which is essentially the protocol that might have proven helpful, IDK. But I digress and am a bit off topic, yet I still feel it’s related. Now I hear of a plan to build a theater and the access issue is rolled up in that proposed project. I wish them well, but past administrations, when the land and the Prism development were just proposals, sort of missed the opportunity window with the casino, to negotiate for right of way from the train, and just kept making the same serious oversight, and here we are, tons of stores, but if you don’t drive or say, want to bike there, surprise, you’ll have to do some stepping just to get to the entrance, or walk around then down the hotel.casino’s driveway (which can be at risk) just to get to 24 Hour Fitness. Proves, hindsight is always 20/20 down here at ground zero. Missed a window of opportunity, as usual, in good old Compton. My town, your town. Just don’t take the train to Steak & Shake, whenever they open their doors. But on the flip side, if you do go and eat there, maybe a mile walk is what you need, just to work off those calories, being a bit humorous for a sec. Please make sure the proposed theater/ entertainment project does well. While downtown, east of Alameda still looks like someone just forgot to include it in the long term plan for renovation and use. Love this city, and it’s gritty looking areas, especially when things look like they do presently. If you want to ride from the Compton Station to Gateway, be sure to wear your walking shoes, alright. Been watching the follies and failures to launch for awhile now. We have lots of new things, some streets being renovated, finally, so guess it’ll take some time to get things sorted out. And with that, I’ve said enough. Criticism seems so wrong when leaders are at least doing more than we’ve seen in a bit of awhile. Re-election time will come and mailers will recount all of the great things they’ve done. Hey, maybe lighting up these dark streets will also come, which will do a lot for our crime problems, since even cockroaches run when you suddenly turn on the kitchen lights. So guess we’ll stay tuned. More than I could ever do as an individual, so really, who am I to throw stones, right? Nobody special and that’s the way I like it. Sort of a quiet anonymity without ego, just trying to get through the day, like all of us. But I do see things, and others see things, they wish were addressed, and many of us, an offshore brain trust, do have conversations and ideas. We just can’t find parking to attend council meetings. But I did have a brainstorm of an idea, but it takes a bit of strategy and proper planning. What if the city looked into providing a shuttle service and security and just let attendees park at that, largely unused, parking structure at the Dollarhide Center, it’s big enough, has enough spaces to park a lot of cars, and with adequate security deployment along with the cooperation of the Sheriffs Department, could handle a overflow crowd who want to voice their opinions and see, firsthand, how government works. Who knows, might even urge a future candidate, a quality individual, someone without a shady past or skeletons in their closets, to take and interest to voice their opinion in the public forum, instead of the same faces (bless them, Lord) saying the same things to a body of government who looked as bored as they feel, listening to the same rhetoric during public comments. Just to go home and get phone calls from friends who say they saw them on cable or internet. Andy Warhol was right about that “15 Minutes of Fame” statement he made years ago. People need to come to council, of course, but where the heck do you park unless you get the choice spaces, and don’t illegally use the Watt Development parking on the Smart & Final side, nor the Bakewell run north shopping area where you could be either towed or ticketed, IDK. Use the Dollarhide parking structure and either walk over to city hall, if they even allow such, or city leaders, time to start a shuttle service and look into either contract services or let some enterprising entrepreneur-type create a proposal or something along those lines. We have the space, we just don’t have the type of minds who can truly think in creative ways, except at election time, of course. Seems harsh? Sorry. But even a Steak N Shake, deserves ease of access for all. Even if they have a Disability Commission that never discusses the lack of access for anyone in a wheelchair from the Artesia Station. I would have made it an ADA issue a long time ago and had demonstrations with disabled showing their numbers, along with contacting the press to cover it, just to put pressure on a selfish hotel owner who likes to schedule meetings with out Mayor and ducks out of the country (allegedly) each time a meeting was schedule, according to what I was told one day in conversation. Chinese protocol goes back centuries, red is a preferred color for gift presentation. The number 4 is considered unlucky, so you never try to schedule anything with the number 4, if you want to be successful. Check Youtube for more on all of that. I think that the assumption was lacking some key insight as to how you do business in China, even though they’re on American soil. It’s how I learned things I never knew, but being curious isn’t much of an aid, if your ego is in the way. Things like that, well intended, but always short of first down, can really be a disappointment when people don’t listen to good counsel and surround themselves with sycophants, a person who acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage. Check out 2 Chronicles verse 18 for more on my meaning. It’s all there, in scripture, the story of man on this earth, that G_d created. Too often we are into building kingdoms for our own glory, instead of He who keeps us in places for His greater Glory. Get it twisted, you set yourself up for falling short, every time. Take the Auto Plaza, for instance, started out well, until one dealer even stole the land title from an inattentive and ego driven former redevelopment agency. Same successor agency that almost got the City of Compton to find itself paying $61 Million for a new Transit Center and Community Center, until Mayor Perrodin and others started questioning the construction cost and made them, the agency heads, and the developer to go back and revise it to something a bit more manageable and something the city could afford to construct. Thank God for that move. Our great grandchildren would have to foot the final bill for another “White Elephant” for the next 30 or more years. Things like this, I remember, because it’s a cautionary tale, like the Greek story of Icarus, who built some wings in order to fly, unfortunately he made them with wax, and we all can surmise what occurred when he just go too confident and started flying too close to the sun. Didn’t turn out well, according to the legend. Got to admire those Greeks, back then. Taught philosophy that serves us well, even to today’s society. But you have to embrace the wisdom of the ages in order to even begin to see the light. Forewarned is forearmed, momma used to say, all the time. I think she was on to something. I’ve listened, and done OK, I think. We’re all just people, at the end of the day, trying to get somewhere while we’re living and breathing. Just don’t take the train to Gateway, unless you just like a good workout. LOL Though looking at some of us, maybe we need a bit of a workout, keeps us from looking a bit chunky and fat, right? For a Healthy(ier) Compton…what a paradox, in a way. I’m just an observer, watching it all, the good and the not so good, and wondering if we’ll ever get to level flight after takeoff. Godspeed. Good luck. I’m no prophet, just a guy, typing on his cheap laptop’s keyboard, sharing a few thoughts in my head. Loving my city, just with lots of unanswered questions like most of you, maybe. Looking around and seeing that we still have lots of detailing to do on this old house or ours, wondering when or if anyone else sees the things we see. Input is essential from all of us. But when I looked at that plexiglas suggestion box at Dollarhide the other day, it seemed the right idea, just that it was empty. Maybe I saw it at the wrong moment, IDK, but it made me think, Twitter, FB, Instagram, the logos are there on the website. Our seniors, the legacy of the city are getting older and less involved, and younger residents, if not patronizing pot collectives or liquor stores are missing in action, except on occasion. Our Spanish community is here, but not active in government as yet, in numbers that reflect our demographics and many are just too busy working, paying rent, mortgages, raising families, surviving to care or get actively involved. Apathetic community disengaging from even showing up. That’s the most complex issue overall, the general apathy, even with the cool next generation technology a newer, younger demographic embraces. Hey, maybe we need to look into making Compton part of the new Pokeman Go craze. Sounds nuts, maybe, but if you watch how it’s growing and gettin people to go outside and walk and explore new places, isn’t it about time we at least looked into possible use as a new, present tool for our city’s progress and growth. Unless those in position just think they know it all and don’t need an outside voice posting diatribes like the one I’m about to end…now…with a period. Keep you head up, folks.

  • Douglas October 23, 2015

    Compton BEWARE! The owner of this Steak and Shake is under investigation for fraud (Falsifying documents ) Embezzlement from his other investors, and he has numerous criminal charges filed and some are pending! This Steak n Shake will not proceed due to these investigations. Sorry

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