Inside the world’s oldest operating McDonald’s restaurant in California

by ZeuCer

A TikTok user has given audiences a glimpse into the oldest operating McDonald’s restaurant in the world, located in California in the US.

The Downey, California branch opened in 1953, back when a hamburger was only 15c, revealed traveller Michelle Fonseca, who posted the video of the restaurant to TikTok.

She shared shots of the outside of the fast food branch, which still retains it’s retro signage, as well as a seating area with red and white seats, and a statue of Ronald McDonald.

Watch the video above

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Oldest McDonald's restaurant Downey California
The California restaurant maintains the old charm of the 1950s. (TikTok)
Oldest McDonald's restaurant Downey California
A glimpse of the retro aesthetic and memorabillia. (TikTok)

She also shared views of the inside of the restaurant, which has a museum with “tons of retro memorabilia”, including the original menu prices from the 1950s.

“And definitely don’t forget to order the fried apple pie – the only location you can get this at,” she added.

While Macca’s apple pies in Australia are indeed fried for that crispy outer coating, the recipe was changed from fried to baked pies in the 90s in the US, meaning this branch is the only one where Americans can get a taste of the pies we are so used to.

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McDonald's Downey California Oldest restaurant
Exterior of the restaurant today. (Google Maps)
McDonald's Downey California Oldest restaurant
The signature red and white seats still stand. (Google Maps)

This McDonald’s branch is the third opened overall, launched by the McDonald brothers Richard and Maurice in 1953, but was untouched by what became the McDonald’s corporation, allowing it to retain it’s original features, unlike other restaurants that were forced to upgrade.

However, this was somewhat to their detriment, with the restaurant facing the threat of being closed.

It was later saved after being listed in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 1994 list of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, which led to McDonald’s spending two years restoring the fast food joint to it’s original glory, reopening it with an adjoining gift shop and museum.

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