McDonald’s has a history of resurrecting fan-favorite menu items and celebrating popular characters by serving up a taste of the past. However, one spot takes nostalgia to a whole new level.
A museum devoted to the famed fast-food franchise is located on Route 66 in San Bernardino, California—where McDonald’s was erected in 1940.
Despite its importance, McDonald’s business does not officially sanction this museum. The corporation, on the other hand, is likely aware of it.
The unofficial McDonald’s museum, which is open every day and free of charge, takes visitors through time to learn about the history of the world’s biggest fast-food brand. Upon entering the museum, visitors will see McDonald’s figures such as Grimace and Hamburglar and “The World’s Most Detailed Mural,” which wraps around the museum’s facade.
Visitors are enveloped in the McDonald’s of yesteryear as they enter the premises. The area is decorated with images and fast-food artifacts, such as vintage staff uniforms, cooking equipment, and replica menus from the chain’s early days as a barbecue joint.
And what would a McDonald’s trip be without a Happy Meal? The museum has a collection of Happy Meal toys from the past and prior Happy Meals from around the globe. Visitors to the museum may also see the apparel used in the 2016 film The Founder, which chronicles how Ray Kroc built McDonald’s into a multibillion-dollar company.
The late Albert Okura, the creator of Juan Pollo, a Mexican-style rotisserie chicken restaurant franchise, founded the unofficial McDonald’s museum. Okura bought the museum’s building in 1998 and utilized it as Juan Pollo’s office.
This San Bernardino tourist attraction was one of many McDonald’s museums to open its doors. The McDonald’s Store No. 1 Museum debuted in Des Plaines, Illinois, in 1985 as a duplicate of the chain’s ninth site and first restaurant, which Kroc founded in 1955. However, the museum was eventually dismantled in 2018 due to persistent flooding at the location.