McDonald’s legendary golden arches are a symbol recognized around the world. But what many people don’t realize is that this global franchise actually got it’s start right here in San Bernardino, California – making the city the fast food capitol of the world.
It was 1948 and brothers Mac and Dick McDonald had closed their barbecue burger joint, only to reopen as the very first McDonald’s restaurant located on the corner of 14th and E street.
With speedy service and 15 cent hamburgers, the burger joint took off like a rocket. Little did they know they would be starting a fast food revolution.
While Ray Kroc is often credited with much of McDonald’s success, as portrayed in the 2016 film The Founder, it was the McDonald brothers who initially had the customers lined up to gobble down their tasty burgers and fries.
Since the film The Founder debuted, Ray Kroc, who’s played by award-winning actor Michael Keaton, has gained a reputation as an ‘American Villain.’
Keaton’s outstanding performance as a ruthless hustler and back-stabber revealed the truth behind the franchises rise to fame – enraging McDonald’s fans across the globe. Many Americans would munch on their burgers and fries, unaware of the story behind the controversial businessman that built the corporation – until now.
So if you travel down to San Bernardino, you’ll find that the original building is long gone but the 1953 sign that launched an icon of American business remains and with it, an unlikely story of a local businessman who is preserving McDonald’s historic ties to San Bernardino.
To learn more about the historic franchise, watch the episode air nationwide on California Life with Heather Dawson or see the segment below.