McDonnell's Drive-in, Los Angeles, 1940s
"Rusty" McDonnell operated a chain of drive-ins in the Los Angeles area during the 30s and 40s, long before the fast food behemoth McDonalds came on the scene. His restaurants, designed by the revered architect Wayne McAllister, were fabulously kitsch and garish and customers could spot their huge neon signs from miles away. McDonnell employed a local artist to sketch whimsical interpretations of the car-hops or waiters that served cokes, hamburgers and fries to customers for its menus and this is one of the earlier examples. The restaurant also served some of the best fried chicken in the state, raising its own chickens on a 200 acre ranch at Daggett, California. McDonnell's survived until the 50s before sadly closing down.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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