I live in South Gate, approximately a 2 mile drive from Downey. Growing up my family would go to Downey’s mall often. On the drive over there, there was a unique looking McDonald’s but I did not question it too much. I stopped driving through there but when this assignment came up this McDonald’s came to mind. The Downey location is the oldest operating drive-up/ walk-up McDonald’s. It was the third restaurant to open in 1953 although it was the second built as well as the second one to be franchised. According to their sign, have sold over 500 million hamburgers.
This location is interesting because it does not have the classic golden arches but one gold arch. Although each side of the building has a golden arch, but it is an old-school walk-up restaurant. The modern logo is not seen anywhere throughout the outside of the building. Of course they do have an outside dining area but you cannot physically go into this McDonald’s. It is a tourist attraction and is frequently used for old school photoshoots as the building still stands as is.
I had no idea that the first McDonald’s was in Monrovia, being close to where we live. McDonald’s is a household name all over the world and it is baffling that their oldest operating location is a 10 minute drive from my house. I have driven by Downey’s location throughout the semester but I look forward to taking a trip to McDonald’s to see if it feels nostalgic in any way.
Location: 10207 Lakewood Boulevard at Florence Avenue in Downey, California.