There was once a Sizzler on Newport Blvd. in Tustin, beneath the shadow of the 5 Freeway overpass.
Then around October of last year the owners severed their ties to the company. They decided that they would rebrand themselves "Triple S". Why "Triple S"? Well because they would serve "Steak, Seafood and Salad", of course -- just like they did when they were a Sizzler. But this time, they'd be independent.
When I saw the change, I chuckled at the name. I don't know. It reminded me of that bad Vin Diesel movie, or its equally awful Ice Cube sequel.
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But I shouldn't have laughed, because within what seemed not more than a month later, I drove by and all the lights were dark.
The neon sign were zapped of their buzz and all the chairs were strewn around like there was a tornado. Saddest of all: The "Grand Opening" paint on the windows was still fresh.
Without talking to those who were involved with the venture (I never got a chance to visit), it's easy to make guesses on what went wrong. The economy. The fact that Sizzler hasn't been relevant since Reagan took office. The location. Or perhaps the change wasn't drastic enough.
I know what you're thinking...but it's too late for a Gordon Ramsay Kitchen Nightmares intervention.