The site of the first McDonald's restaurant is now a museum in San Bernardino, CA.
A commemorative plaque reads:
McDonald's - Over 1 Million Sold
Dick and Mac McDonald opened the world's first McDonald's Self-Service, Drive-In Restaurant on this site in San Bernardino, California December, 1948. They previously operated a successful Drive-In Barbeque Restaurant with Carhop Service on this site from 1940 to 1948.
The original building (demolished 1972) looked like this:
In 1948, the first McDonald's opened selling 15¢ hamburgers and 10¢ fries, with "Speedy" as the official mascot.
The "Golden Arches" (designed by Dick McDonald) came in 1953 when their building was rebuilt to make it more efficient. Until 1968, the arches remained the prototype for every McDonald's.
This street sign featuring one arch and the "Speedee" mascot remains at the Downey, CA location as an un-restored cultural monument. That location is the oldest operating McDonald's and was their fourth restaurant to open. It also has a small museum next door.
In 1955, Ray Kroc visited the San Bernardino McDonald's and convinced the brothers to let him franchise their business model.
Ronald Greets Museum Vistors
Kroc opens his first store in Des Plaines, IL in April (1955). Although it was the 9th location, Kroc called it #1 and today it is the Official McDonald's Corporation Museum.
Movie: The FounderIn 1961 Kroc buys out the McDonald's brothers and his empire grows...becoming the monster it is today.
Several items were labeled: "Used in the movie." Referencing the 2016 Michael Keaton movie called The Founder, which tells the story of Ray Kroc.
In 1998, Albert Okura purchased this property.
Per their brochure: "Realizing that the property was a place of history, Albert decided to open an unofficial McDonald's museum specializing in the early McDonald's years. The Museum opened December 12, 1998, which happened to be the 50 year anniversary date of the original McDonald's."
Part of the building is used as Albert's headquarters for his Jaun Pollo Rotisserie Chicken chain.
However, most of the building is a free museum, open 7 days a week.
Not only is the museum filled with everything McDonald's, the building is completely covered in several murals.
When a visitor asked what the oldest item in the museum was, this item was shown:
A close second was this Mustard/Ketchup dispenser:
The place is stuffed with everything McDonald's.
A fun walk down memory lane.