Opened in 1948 by brothers Richard (Dick) and Maurice (Mac) McDonald, this site shares similar history to Route 66 as they were both growing during the same period of time. The McDonald brothers began franchising their fast-food system beginning in 1953. They were built with a standard design, which included the company’s universally recognized “golden arches”. A second restaurant, this one owned by a franchisee, was opened in Downey, California, which remains open to this day. In 1954, businessman Ray Kroc met the McDonald brothers while selling restaurant equipment to them, specifically milkshake mixing machines. Kroc became inspired with the financial potential of the concept the McDonald brothers started. He would later partner with the brothers and Kroc grew the concept into a huge corporation. The brothers wanted to stay small, so in 1961, he bought the business from the brothers and Kroc continued to grow McDonald’s into what it is today. The owner of the McDonald’s site is Albert Okura, who not only owns the Juan Pollo restaurant chain but also the owner of the classic Route 66 town site of Amboy. Mr. Okura is an avid Route 66 enthusiast and supporter. Thanks to him, we can all enjoy this piece of American history that blends in with another part of American history – Route 66. As of May 2016, the museum is open daily from 10-5, but call ahead of time if you are planning your visit in case the operating hours have changed.
The museum is free to enter (donations accepted) and is full of McDonald’s memorabilia from guests and visitors around the world- some items from the kitchens and owners- and a whole lot of toys from happy meals or holiday collectibles. Even if the museum is closed, the outside of the building has an extensive mural with local history and some classic McDonald’s Playland items.
We got there after 5 and it was closed unfortunately. Be aware that it’s located in the middle of a ghetto (area behind the MC building)
A pleasant little collection of American and international corporate clutter. Most stuff is from the 80s and later, but plenty to tickle the childhood memories of old folks too.
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First Original McDonald's Museum
- Sun - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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