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A-Frame Chains & Other Eateries (page 1)

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Der Wienerschnitzel was founded in Wilmington, CA in 1961. The company claims to be the "world's largest hot dog chain". Now known simply as "Wienerschnitzel", they have over 340 restaurants in 10 states. In 1962, their distinctive building was introduced: a giant red-roofed A-frame pierced by a drive-thru window. I believe this design was phased out in 1973. There are hundreds if not thousands of these buildings left across the country with most of them housing other businesses. I'm only including a few examples here. For more, see these websites: 1, and 2.

For more about Der Wienerschnitzels and other A-frame style food chains from the early 1960s, see Chad Randl's book A-frame.

Der Wienerschnitzel
Wilmington, CA
This Der Wienerschnitzel is the company's original location. It was built in 1961. This is the original building which featured both walk-up and drive-thru service from the beginning. There was originally nothing on the roof. The signs have been updated. For more, see this website. [map]

Der Wienerschnitzel [gone]
Salt Lake City, UT
former Der Wienerschnitzel
Denver, CO
This Der Wienerschnitzel retained its original A-frame building when this photo was taken in 2006. Somewhere along the line, Wienerschnitzel painted the red roofs yellow. I believe this building is gone now.

This former Der Wienerschnitzel now houses Hot Chick-a-Latte. The drive-thru in the middle of the building is still in use. An addition has been added to the back of the building. [map]

Der Wienerschnitzel
Corpus Christi, TX
Der Wienerschnitzel
Bryan, TX
This Der Wienerschnitzel in Corpus Christi has been here since at least 1971. [map]

This Der Wienerschnitzel in Bryan has been there since at least 1970. [map]

former Der Wienerschnitzel
Longview, TX
This former Der Wienerschnitzel has housed the Hot Dog Express since 1980. [map]

former Der Wienerschnitzel
El Paso, TX
former Der Wienerschnitzel
Albuquerque, NM
In 2017, this Der Wienerschnitzel in El Paso became a Hamburger Stand. It is a rebranding by the parent company and still features items from the Wienerschnitzel menu and Tastee-Freez ice cream. [map]

This former Der Wienerschnitzel in Albuquerque has housed Thai Cuisine II since at least 2011. [map]

former Der Wienerschnitzel
Flagstaff, AZ
This Der Wienerschnitzel building has housed the Route 66 Dog Haus since around 2001. [map]

former Der Wienerschnitzel
Phoenix, AZ
This former Der Wienerschnitzel building was vacant when this photo was taken in 2018. The chain link fencing surrounding the building and its condition suggest that it might be endangered. [map]

former Der Wienerschnitzel
Las Vegas, NV

2006:

2014:
In 2006, this Der Wienerschnitzel was vacant. It had been "Straight from Philly Steakout", part of a steak sandwich chain. In 2007, the building was repainted and became the Llantera, a Mexican take-out restaurant. This business was short-lived and the building became vacant again. It was still vacant when the photo above was taken in 2014. It was still vacant in 2016. [map]

former Der Wienerschnitzel
Las Vegas, NV
This Der Wienerschnitzel has housed POP's Philly Steaks since around 2001. The building still has the drive-thru hole in the middle but it is blocked off with a dumpster. [map]

former Der Wienerschnitzel [gone]
Hampton, VA
former Der Wienerschnitzel
Los Angeles, CA
former Der Wienerschnitzel
Burbank, CA
This former Der Wienerschnitzel in Hampton was built in 1968. The building housed The Dog House when this photo was taken in 2010. The building was still there in 2012 but gone by 2015.

The former Der Wienerschnitzels in Los Angeles and Burbank now house Original Tommy's Hamburgers locations. [Los Angeles map]; [Burbank map]

Wienerschnitzel
North Hollywood, CA
Wienerschnitzel
Canoga Park, CA
These two Der Wienerschnitzel buildings are intact examples of DW's large building design. Both have been rebranded as Wienerschnitzel locations and still offer drive-thru service in the middle of the buildings. There are still many examples of these still-operating buildings in Southern California. [North Hollywood map]; [Canoga Park map]

Der Wienerschnitzel
San Jose, CA
2014: 2017:
This Der Wienerschnitzel in San Jose and the Pomona building shown below are examples of the chain's early, smaller buildings. They have doors in the middle of the buildings instead of drive-thru lanes. The signs were updated to reflect the company's dropping of the "Der" part of the name, as well as the company's association with Tastee-Freez. This San Jose location closed in 2015. By 2016, the building was housing the Flying Falafel. By 2017, the building was vacant. [map]

Der Wienerschnitzel
Pomona, CA
The Der Wienerschnitzel in Pomona was still operating as a Wienerschnitzel in 2016. These photos are from 2013. [map]

Der Wienerschnitzel
San Jose, CA
Der Wienerschnitzel
San Jose, CA
Der Wienerschnitzel
San Jose, CA
The first two Der Wienerschnitzel locations above are very similar to those shown in the row above but with the roof pinched at the top. I have not noticed this design used anywhere else but San Jose. Note that the first location has a drive-thru in the middle of the building while the other does not.

The third Der Wienerschnitzel location above is the more common, larger building design with the non-pinched roof and the drive-thru lane through the building. [Story Rd. map]; [4th St. map]; [Santa Clara St. map]

former Der Wienerschnitzel
Baldwin Park, CA
Der Wienerschnitzel
Fremont, CA
This former Der Wienerschnitzel in Baldwin Park housed Tono's Taco when this photo was taken in 2012. By 2014, the building was housing 626 Hawaiian BBQ & BOBA. This was another of the earlier, smaller buildings without a drive-thru in the middle. [map]

The drive-thru feature of this still-operating Der Wienerschnitzel in Fremont has been removed to create more indoor dining space. A box-like feature at the front of the building has also been added. [map]

former Der Wienerschnitzel
Alameda, CA
2014: 2018:
This former Der Wienerschnitzel was still operating in 2011. The building was vacant when this photo was taken in 2014. By 2016, it was housing the Vietnam House. For more, see this website. [map]

Wienerschnitzel
Sacramento, CA
former Der Wienerschnitzel
Fresno, CA
This Wienerschnitzel in Sacramento was built as Der Wienerschnitzel #263 in the chain. [map]

This former Der Wienerschnitzel in Fresno now houses Lola's Ricos Tacos. For more, see this website. [map]

There is also a still-operating Der Wienerschnitzel A-frame in Fresno.

former Der Wienerschnitzel
Grand Prairie, TX
former Der Wienerschnitzel
Sacramento, CA
This former Der Wienerschnitzel in Grand Prairie had opened by 1968. It has housed Metroplex Welding Supply since at least 2007. Because of the fencing, I can't determine if this building had the drive-thru hole in the middle of the building. The little gables on the sides of the building above the doors are much more like the Heap Big Beef buildings shown below. However, this was definitely built as a Der Wienerschnitzel. There was another former location with those gables and the drive-thru feature in Haltom City, TX. That building was demolished around 2014. [map]

This former Der Wienerschnitzel in Sacramento is an example of the chain's non-A-frame design. These buildings still had a drive-thru in the middle of the building. I'm told there were also hot dog shaped door pulls. The building previously housed Miyako Teriyaki Bowl. Since about 2014, the building has housed La Favorita Taqueria. [map]

Heap Big Beef was a nationwide, late 1960s roast beef chain. Although the company is long gone and none of the locations are still operating, many of the buildings still around. For more, see this website.

former Heap Big Beef
Tampa, FL
former Heap Big Beef
Greensboro, NC
former Heap Big Beef
Rumford, RI
This Heap Big Beef in Tampa now houses Nick's Gyros & Subs. [map]

There is another surviving building in Tampa which now houses a used car dealership.

This Heap Big Beef in Greensboro has housed Ghassan's restaurant since 1975. [map]

This Heap Big Beef in Rumford now houses Lovely Nails. [map]

former Heap Big Beef
Youngstown, OH
former Heap Big Beef
Millbrae, CA
This Heap Big Beef in Youngstown now houses Joe Restaurant. [map]

This Heap Big Beef in Millbrae was built in 1968. It has housed El Super Burrito since 1977. This adapted sign is the only one that I know of that still exists. [map]

former Heap Big Beef [gone]
Westland, MI
former Heap Big Beef
Marlow Heights, MD
former Heap Big Beef
Moline, IL
This Heap Big Beef in Westland housed the Village Place Coney Island when this photo was taken in 2009. I believe it closed after 2011. The building was gone by 2015.

This Heap Big Beef in Marlow Heights housed Jerry's Subs & Pizza when this photo was taken in 2010. By 2012, the building houses Mama's Soul Food. the building was vacant in 2016. [map]

This Heap Big Beef in Moline now houses Jack Chiropractic. [map]

former Heap Big Beef
Grand Rapids, MI
former Heap Big Beef
Oklahoma City, OK
This Heap Big Beef in Grand Rapids housed the Sunrise Restaurant when this photo was taken in 2011. The front part of the building was an addition to the original building. The "A Meal or a Snack" sign was probably not original either. I have not seen any Heap Big Beef advertisements or vintage photos with that sign or one shaped like that on the building. The Sunrise Restaurant closed in 2012. The building was still vacant in 2015. In 2016, the building reopened as a Grand Coney location. The "A Meal or a Snack" sign is gone now. [map]

This Heap Big Beef in Oklahoma City was vacant when this photo was taken in 2011. Since later that year, the building has been housing Mutts Amazing Hot Dogs. The previous tenant was the Sweet Tea restaurant. Before that, it was the Pho 2000 restaurant. [map]

More former Heap Big Beefs:
Gadsden, AL
Phoenix, AZ
Bloomington, IL [map]
Kenner, LA
Springfield, MO [gone]

More A-Frames
(page 2)
More A-Frames
(page 3)
Chip's Golden Point
Griff's Mister Swiss Whataburger

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