I was recently contacted by a woman who is researching her family’s history. In 1935, her parents borrowed $25 and drove from Kansas to Los Angeles, where her father worked at several McDonnell’s restaurants, eventually becoming manager at McDonnell’s No. 3 on the corner of Wilshire & Robertson. She sent me four photos from her family’s collection. This one is McDonnell’s No. 6 at Sunset and La Brea. (Tiny Naylors later built at this location.) I find it wonderfully evocative of the era. I can almost smell the burgers!
McDonnell’s No. 1, Beverly & Western circa 1935, Walter Wetzel in foreground on way to work as dishwasher. (Wetzel family collection)
McDonnell’s No. 3 NE corner, Wilshire & Robertson, carhop standing outside circa 1938. (Wetzel family collection)
McDonnell’s No. 3 NE corner Wilshire & Robertson, manager Walter Wetzel with carhop circa 1938. (Wetzel family collection)