From Dennis McLellan's 2008 Los Angeles Times article "Fatburger founder expanded South L.A. eatery into chain"
In 1947, using pieces of scrap materials from her partner (a man who worked at a construction company), Lovie Yancey opened up a three-stool hamburger stand in Los Angeles, California (on Western Avenue) - it was called Mr. Fatburger.
By 1952, Lovie parted ways with her partner and so did the “Mr.” from the stand’s name.
From the beginning, Lovie was a fixture at the stand where customers, including entertainers Redd Foxx and Ray Charles, would custom-order their burgers. She would work very long days, and sleepless nights, spending as much time at the stand as she could to ensure that everything was being done properly. As word got out that Lovie’s Fatburgers were the best in town, she continually got more and more requests for her to keep the stand open later, and later, into the night.
By 1973, Lovie opened up a second Fatburger location (on La Cienega Boulevard in West LA); it quickly became a popular hangout for late night club goers and celebrity burger buffs. In 1981 Lovie began offering Fatburger franchises and in 1990 Lovie sold Fatburger to an investment company [owned by Magic Johnson]. In 2003 Beverly Hills based Fog Cutter Capital Group Inc. acquired Fatburger and today there are 200 Fatburger restaurants, in 19 countries - all of which are still making Fatburgers the same way Lovie did.
Every meal is cooked-to-order, just the way you want it, every time. Using only the freshest ingredients, and traditional cooking methods (you won’t find heat-lamps or microwaves in our stands), we’re best known for our fresh-never-frozen, lean-beef, chicken, turkey and veggie burgers & sandwiches, our hand-scooped, real ice cream milkshakes, homemade-from-scratch onion rings and build-your-own-burger experience.