Cheesetastic Celebration

Cheeseburger Week celebrates Pasadena’s key role in being cheesy

Forty of Pasadena’s favorite restaurants, lounges and burger joints will serve up their signature burgers, special creations and great deals during Pasadena Cheeseburger Week from Jan. 7-12. The week celebrates the creation of the first cheeseburger ever by Lionel Sternberger in 1915, when he placed a piece of cheese atop a hamburger for the first time in recorded culinary history at his father’s roadside stand, the Rite Spot, at 1500 W. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena.

The invention of the cheeseburger has been documented by several major media outlets, including Los Angeles Times, CNN and Time magazine. Some of the local eateries, including El Portal, will offer a specially created burger for Cheeseburger Week. 

Others, including Pie ‘n Burger, The Counter, Dog Haus and Dog Haus Biergarten, will offer special deals. Patrons will be able to vote for their favorites in the Cheeseburger Challenge by answering who makes their favorite lunch counter burger, turkey burger or veggie burger.

Another category will cover who serves the best beverage with a burger. Visitors can plan to come to Pasadena for a Cheeseburger Crawl across several participating locations.

Check out all the participants and see what everyone has on the menu for Cheeseburger Week at

Voting in the 2018 Cheeseburger Challenge opens Jan. 7 and ends Jan 15.

Early Christmas Present

Dec. 20 donation pays off the Sierra Madre Playhouse mortgage

The Sierra Madre Playhouse received an early Christmas present when a board member paid off its remaining $36,000 mortgage with an anonymous donation on Dec. 20.  SMP Artistic Director Christian Lebano announced the major gift prior to the theater’s production of “A Christmas Story” last Friday night.

“We now own the theater building outright, and you can’t name another theater in LA our size that owns their own building,” says Lebano in a later interview. “It’s been the issue with so many other theaters, that they lost their lease. We have huge hopes for our upcoming capital improvements campaign, as any improvements go into the long-term valuation of our building.”

Lebano, who joined the theater in 2011 as an actor in a production of the Thornton Wilder play “Our Town” before working his way up through the ranks as a director and board member, notes several areas the playhouse hopes to improve in the new year. Among them are bathroom upgrades and repairs on the building’s air conditioning and roof.

“It was a real thrill to get the news,” says Lebano. “His trust in our ambition and goals inspired him.”

Turn Back Time

ReNewology offers anti-aging workshop on Jan. 20

Those seeking to kick off the New Year by turning back time can take part in the “Why Turning Back Your Aging Clock Is Possible” workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Women’s City Club of Pasadena, 160 N. Oakland Ave. The $45 price includes a luncheon, and features special celebrity guest Darcel of TV’s “Solid Gold” as she offers her best toning tips.

Organized by the Pasadena-based lifestyle medicine clinic ReNewology, the workshop will include the following presentations: “Set a Goal for Age Reversal Now” by Dr. Beauty Swe and Dr. Kevin Jones; “What Long-Lived Communities Taught Us” by Dr. Mauro Zappaterra; “Walking Method for Weight Loss Rejuvenation” by Dr. Kuo and Dr. Popejoy. The program also includes “Youthing — Beyond Aging for All Generations” by Executive Director Sachii Hirashiki and a panel of participants who share personal stories about finding happiness and improving energy, blood sugar, cholesterol, pain management and weight.

Call (626) 389-2711 for details or to register.