SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – After more than 24 years of serving up some of Sacramento’s best burgers, there are no more orders coming into the kitchen. Ford’s Hamburgers is now closed.
The pride could still be heard in Pete Pete Vereschzagin’s voice Monday as he walked through the restaurant he’s helmed for nearly a quarter century.
But Monday may very well be the last day Pete steps inside. What’s become a Land Park institution now is also another victim of circumstances.
Like the burgers he was well known for serving up, Pete says he found himself squeezed between low sales and an ADA lawsuit.
“The ADA was kinda the topper of it. We were struggling anyway and then to add this to it,” he said.
First burger crowds fell from 200 to just 50 a day. Then the lawsuit required a $30,000 parking lot upgrade. Pete says he would have to pay half of that and he just couldn’t afford it. So Saturday, he closed his doors to customers for good.
“I’m gonna miss my customers,” he said.
Pete’s customers are also devastated.
“I’ve been a customer here for 21 years,” said Jerry Sylvia.
Sylvia, who is disabled from the chest down, calls the lawsuit brought by quadriplegic Carmichael attorney Scott Johnson frivolous.
“It’s all a bunch of crap,” he said. “They were the first ones to help you. They’d bring it out to my van when it was ready.”
Johnson has a history of filing ADA lawsuits. While the attorney wouldn’t return our calls, Sylvia says he fears the lawsuits will cause a negative effect for the disabled.
“I feel like people are looking at me, ‘Uh-oh, here comes another handicapped person, what do they want?’ That’s my biggest fear,” he said.
Even though he’s leaving, Vereschzagin doubts the doors will stay closed for long because he says other businesses have shown interest in moving in.
Drewskies and nearby Burgess Brothers Burgers have bought most of the equipment from the restaurant and have expressed interest in possibly renting the building.