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Southern California Chain Restaurants (page 2)

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The Jim's Burgers chain was established in 1958 in Bell, CA. There were about 23 locations built in the Los Angeles area. The last one opened in 1979. There are about 18 locations still operating, independently now, with a wide variety of signs and buildings.

Jim's Burgers
Hawthorne, CA
Jim's Burgers
Los Angeles, CA
I believe the Jim's Burgers in Hawthorne was part of the chain. [map]

The Jim's Burgers in Los Angeles appears to be from the 1960s. [map]

Jim's Burgers
South El Monte, CA
Jim's Burgers
Rosemead, CA
Jim's Burgers
Altadena, CA
The Jim's Burgers sign in South El Monte had a neon orb above the "Jim's" portion of the sign like this one. Many of these signs are topped with the letter "A" which is a reference to the first letter of the founder's last name, Jim Angelopoulos. [map]

The Jim's Burgers signs in Rosemead and Altadena probably had orbs on top originally. [Rosemead map]; [Altadena map]

For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Jim's Burgers
Los Angeles, CA
former Jim's Burgers
East Los Angeles, CA
former Jim's Burgers
Downey, CA
Jim's Burgers
Hawaiian Gardens, CA
The arches at this Jim's Burgers location in Los Angeles seems to be unique. [map]

The Jim's Burgers location in East Los Angeles is gone but the sign remains and has been adapted by a CVS drug store. The sign and building looked like this. [map]

The former Jim's Burgers in Downey was built in 1961. In recent years, it was known as the Golden Ox. It was operating as Tony's Restaurant when these photos were taken in 2012. The Jim's sign was adapted. By 2014, the restaurant was housing Sunny's Sushi & Grill. The plastic panels on the sign now reads "Suny". For more, see this website. [map]

This Jim's Burgers in Hawaiian Gardens is still operating. The sign's spear was previously painted turquoise. It was repainted red sometime after 2011. This photo is from 2015. [map]

Jim's Drive-In
Pico Rivera, CA
2008: 2013:
I believe this Jim's Drive-In in Pico Rivera was part of the Jim's Burger chain described above. The location now houses an Albert's Mexican Food restaurant. [map]

Mel's Drive-in
West Hollywood, CA
The original Mel's Drive-in opened in San Francisco in 1947. It was featured in the 1972 movie "American Graffiti". The chain was sold in 1972 and the building demolished. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1985. Mel's Drive-in now has seven locations in California.

The West Hollywood location occupies the former Ben Frank's restaurant. Ben Frank's was designed by Lane & Schlick and built in 1962. It closed in 1995. The building was nearly demolished before Mel's Drive-in stepped in and opened here in 1997. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. [map]

Mel's Drive-in Celebrity Bar
Los Angeles, CA
The Mel's Drive-in Celebrity Bar and the Hollywood History Museum occupy the Max Factor Building. The four-story building was constructed in 1913. Max Factor bought the building and had it remodeled in 1935. The one story building next to it was built at the same time. The designer for both buildings was S. Charles Lee, most famous for his movie theatres. The upper floors were used for make-up production while the ground floor featured make-up salons. In later years, the building was used as the Max Factor Museum. In 1996, Proctor & Gamble sold the building to a developer. The museum opened here in 2002 while Mel's opened in 2005. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Mel's Drive-in
Sherman Oaks, CA
This Mel's Drive-in building originally housed Kerry's Coffee Shop. Kerry's was designed by Armet & Davis and built in 1953. Mel's moved into the building in 1989. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

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