By R. Anthony Diaz
Juan Pollo has dedicated a part of its new headquarters to the saved and recovered memorabilia of the historic McDonald’s.
The 1,800 square foot building is not in the best location, but if you have a soft side for history, it may be worthwhile to visit.
The landmark has many artifacts that originally created the first fast food restaurant owned by the founders Dick and Mac McDonald.
The founder of Juan Pollo, a Mexican restaurant chain in the Inland Empire, values the importance of preserving historical sites such as this one. When he saw it for sale, he immediately realized the value this landmark carried.
He bought it in a foreclosure and turned part of it into a museum which is free of charge to the public. The historical site is also home of items collected throughout the years which are no longer for sale.
The museum features a self-guided tour, offers memorabilia, Happy Meal toys from way back when and special items you will not find anywhere else.
In 1953 the original building was demolished to create the new “Golden Arches” design; the main arches sign which still stands today was the only thing saved from demolition.
Although it is not your typical museum it brings a sense of contentment knowing that there are genuine people out there who see the potential in preserving such items at their own cost.
On a normal afternoon you’ll find people with smiling faces, expressing oohs and ahhs as they recognize artifacts that have been lost in time.
Upon arrival you will notice that it is not the same building that was originally there, but houses a vast majority of the items that made it what it was.
As you enter, you are immediately bombarded with the memorabilia and items saved throughout the years. The space exudes an atmosphere of a well-kept attic but has its positives.
Ronald McDonald statues, signs, collectibles and toys give you a sense of how society has evolved over the years.
You will notice the many uniforms, awards, photographs and random surprises; take you back in time to reminisce upon a certain point in time in which you tell yourself, wow, I remember that!
The once lively place, in San Bernardino that was the #1 teen hangout spot in the 1940s, now remains warm and stable under the care of the Juan Pollo owners.
Now the McDonald’s corporation is the leader in its game with locations worldwide. It’s still hosts a sense of sanctuary for young children and teens from every culture.
If there is anything the McDonald’s name has helped us realize, besides overeating, it is to take a break and enjoy a quick meal with a smile!
To experience your free memory of this incredible landmark, head down on Historic Route 66 in San Bernardino. It is only five miles away from CSUSB at 1398 North E St. and opens daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.