Take A Tour Of The World’s Oldest McDonald’s
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The oldest operating McDonald’s restaurant is a drive-up hamburger stand at 10207 Lakewood Boulevard at Florence Avenue in Downey, California. It was the third McDonald’s restaurant ever and opened on August 18, 1953.
It was the second restaurant franchised by Richard and Maurice McDonald, prior to the involvement of Ray Kroc in the company, and it still has the two original 30-foot (9.1 m) “Golden Arches” and a 60-foot (18 m) animated neon “Speedee” sign that was added in 1959. The restaurant is now the oldest in the chain still in existence and is one of Downey’s main tourist attractions
The McDonald brothers opened their first restaurant adjacent to the Monrovia Airport in 1937. It was a tiny octagonal building informally called The Airdrome. That octagonal building was later moved to 1398 North E Street in San Bernardino, California, in 1940. Originally a barbecue drive-in, the brothers discovered that most of their profits came from hamburgers.
In 1948, they closed their restaurant for three months, reopening it in December as a walk-up hamburger stand that sold hamburgers, potato chips, and orange juice; the following year, french fries and Coca-Cola were added to the menu.
This simplified menu, and food preparation using assembly line principles allowed them to sell hamburgers for 15 cents, or about half as much as at a sit-down restaurant. The restaurant was very successful, and the brothers started to franchise the concept in 1953.