McDonald’s in Pomona


This ad from the Sept. 3, 1954 Pomona Progress-Bulletin would seem to settle a trivia question. Because McDonald’s, which was established Dec. 12, 1948 by the McDonald brothers in San Bernardino, opened restaurants in Pomona and Azusa that month, it’s been unclear which was the seventh and which was the eighth.

Give Pomona the bragging rights. The ad proclaims: “Our New Pomona Unit is the 7th in the McDonald system that will soon be coast to coast.”

The ad also pins down the date the Pomona location was to open: that very day, Sept. 3. Ideally, someday someone will look through microfilm of whatever newspaper served Azusa to find an ad for the opening of its McDonald’s. * Update: Someday is now: Hank Fung pinned down Azusa’s opening to Sept. 17, 1954, based on a newspaper story in the Azusa Herald. The story says Azusa’s would be the eighth. See below.


Thanks to the Pomona Public Library’s Allan Lagumbay for finding the Prog ad. Click on it for a larger version. Some of the text is amusing by modern standards. Its french fries would be “heat protected by infra-red lights” — gosh!

McDonald’s history has been featured previously on this blog here and here.

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  • DebB

    “Eating at McDonald’s is like putting money in the bank.” Love it!

    • davidallen909

      Ha ha! Yeah. Old advertising is so wordy and quaint.

      • Bob House

        Interesting that the “X millions of burgers sold” concept lived on and became a central element in the brand, even though the rest of the ad is so bad. This would have been the same year Kroc got involved.

        • davidallen909

          I thought that too about the “10 million” bit — and also how impressive the figure must have been at that point in its history.

  • Joey Catuara

    Took me a minute to realize Fifth is now Mission Blvd.

    • davidallen909

      Yes. I don’t know when the change was made.

      • davidallen909

        May 1968, the Pomona Public Library has since informed me.

  • calwatch

    The same ad ran in the Azusa City Herald for their location, at 563 E. Foothill Bl. (currently a parking lot for Azusa Pacific University), on September 16, 1954 for its grand opening on September 17.

  • Félix Culpa

    Unlike the Azusa location, the Pomona building is still there – AMA donuts. I was always amused by Fifth Avenue; all the other east-west numbered roads were streets. Only Fifth was an avenue. I’m sorry they changed it.