“Iconic Arby’s Closes its Doors on Sunset Boulevard”

by Nick
"Iconic Arby’s

The closure of the classic Arby’s restaurant on Sunset Boulevard has left a notable void in the area. Known for its giant 10-gallon hat that became a local landmark, the restaurant bid farewell after 55 years of operation, with a message of gratitude to Hollywood.

KTLA, the local news station, reported on the closure of the fast food joint on Monday, June 17, drawing attention to its proximity to the station’s gates, just a block away.


This particular Arby’s, located at 5920 W. Sunset Blvd., marked the chain’s inaugural venture within Los Angeles city limits and was among the first in Southern California. Notably, the FX series “Baskets” made headlines in 2018 when cast members Zach Galifianakis, Martha Kelly, and the late Louie Anderson took over the counter and drive-thru in a promotional event.


The restaurant, opened by franchisee Michael Leviton in early 1969 and still under his family’s ownership, is approaching its 60th anniversary this July. Originating in Ohio in 1964 by brothers Forrest and Leroy Raffel, the name “Arby’s” is derived from the initials of the Raffel Brothers.


While Arby’s gained fame for its roast beef sandwiches, its Jamocha Shakes also became a popular choice among customers.


With a Wild West theme, early Arby’s buildings were designed to resemble Conestoga wagons, complemented by eye-catching neon signs. Although some of these vintage structures still exist, they no longer operate as Arby’s outlets.

The nostalgic neon signs, once a common sight in Hollywood, are now a rarity. A news story from 2023 highlighted efforts to restore one such sign in Williamsport, Pa., estimating that fewer than 100 of these iconic signs remain nationwide.


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