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Owner of iconic Hodad's restaurants dead at 56

A local landmark is closed Friday morning following news of the death of its iconic owner.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A local landmark is closed Friday following news of the death of its owner.

Mike Hardin, who owned San Diego's famous burger joint Hodad's, was reportedly found dead a short time after visiting his daughter in Northern California.

Though it is unclear how Mike Hardin died, it is clear that he will be missed. A memorial outside Hodad's in Ocean Beach, which began overnight, has been steadily growing throughout the morning. People stopped by to pay their respects with cards and flowers. Others stopped by just to talk about how much Mike meant to them. And, employees stood out front of Hodad's, hugging and wiping away tears.

Hardin was nicknamed "Boss Man" and had the words tattooed on his fingers.

Hardin's parents started selling burgers in the San Diego area back in 1969. The restaurant's popularity caught on nationwide after an appearance on the Food Network.

But those who knew Hardin say that the things they loved most about him was how down to earth he was and his ability to always make time for the folks of Ocean Beach.

Hodad's will remain closed until Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

News of Hardin's death comes just weeks after the death of another Hodad's employee. Kyle Witkowski was killed in January when his SUV went over a cliff. Saturday, there will be a celebration honoring his life.