What our favorite fast food joints looked like back in the day Part II
Last week I introduced you to the early incarnations of some of our favorite fast food restaurants. You got to see McDonald’s, Arby’s and KFC the way they looked when they were opened in the ’50s and ’60s. If you missed this trip down vintage fast food lane just click here to be transported back to a simpler time. Back to a time when people knew that a bacon double cheeseburger and a side of chili-cheese waffle fries was a gift handed down by God himself unto the people of Earth. That a triple thick strawberry milkshake was made from happiness and love, mixed together by a benevolent soda jerk who only wanted to stop the pain of the real world…if only for a little while. But I digress…
If you’ve already read Part I of this article, and you are ready to see a few more vintage fast food eateries, then continue on, intrepid reader, for looks at yesteryear Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen and Burger King.
The founders of BK visited one of the original McDonalds Brothers burger stands in California and thought they had a good system going. So they returned to Miami, devised their own production line burger system and opened up the first restaurant in 1954. The restaurant was named InstaBurger King (yes, that is a horrible name). When deciding to franchise, they changed the name to Burger King and the rest is history. Above you can see a magazine ad for one of the original Burger Kings in the ’50s – ’60s. On the right is a picture of that same building architecture as it stands in Naperville, IL. Amazing that this building is still intact. Until this picture I had no idea that a Burger King ever looked like this. Very similar to the original McDonald’s architecture, don’t you think?
In the ’70s, Burger King was remodeled into its most famous incarnation. The white buildings above were changed to a prominent orange and brown color scheme. The “Burger King Home of the Whopper” red/black sign was changed to fat, orange lettering and they started using the famous “bun halves” logo.
In the mid ’90s BK modernized their “bun halves” logo to what you see here. They also changed the restaurant color scheme to a red/blue. Like most of these restaurants’ modern revamps, I don’t think it’s as interesting as their original looks. The new “bun halves” logo looks like something you’d see on The Simpsons.
Did you know that in Australia Burger King is known as Hungry Jack’s? When Burger King first looked to franchise in the land down under, they found out that a small takeaway food shop had a trademark on the Burger King name. So the BK corporation had to choose another name. Hungry Jack was chosen because it was a trademark already held by parent company Pillsbury and Jack was made possessive with an ‘s to slightly change the form. The first Hungry Jack was opened in 1971.
Pizza Hut was founded in 1958 in Witchita, Kansas. It started with just one building next to Wichita State University. It first franchised a year later in Topeka. Above is a postcard showing a Pizza Hut restaurant circa late ’60s and/or early ’70s. At this time they used Pizza Hut Pete as their mascot. You can see pictures of him on the sign and on the building. Get a better look at Pizza Hut Pete here.
In the late ’70s the white Pizza Pete restaurant type would be modified slightly. The picture here seems to be caught between the first Pizza Pete design and the next design. Pizza Pete has been removed from the building and the sign is modified to a newer logo. However, the white wood on the side has not been repainted red, but the Pizza Pete cutouts were removed. The roof has also been re-shingled red.
On the left is a Pizza Hut restaurant from the ’80s. The wood shingled roof is red and the building itself is all brick with none of the white/repainted red wood accents that other Pizza Hut buildings had before it. On the left is a Pizza Hut Delivery store that was also developed in the ’80s. The store was smaller and it eliminated the dining area to only focus on delivery.
Pizza Hut, like Taco Bell and KFC, is owned by Yum! Brands which is owned by Pepsico. Pizza Hut is now using the “bistro” style architecture the other two restaurants are using. They did manage to work in a red roof as an “homage” to the original. That was a nice touch.
Dairy Queen has been through numerous restaurant designs since its inception in 1940. Probably more than McDonald’s. Here’s a DQ in North Carolina from 1947. It includes the original designs, colors and sign. The early restaurants used this Eskimo sign, however this Eskimo is a recreation of the original.
Here’s a portion of a magazine ad for Dairy Queen in the 1960s, however this particular building style started in the ’50s. You can still see relics from this era in some out of the way places. Here’s a Dairy Queen in Iowa City, IA that still looks like the picture above (the sign is a little different, though). Check out the green/yellow designs on the side of the restaurant. Look familiar? They will eventually be used as the future DQ logo/sign. There is another version of this DQ sign that has the ice cream cone and just Dairy Queen written on top. Check it out here.
This “slanted roof” walkup design for DQ became popular in the ’50s. Many people still identify this architecture with DQ stores. This particular DQ was probably built in the ’60s, however.
DQ abandoned all the previous building designs in 1960 when the “barn roof” became their favorite choice. This was fairly prevalent throughout the ’60s and ’70s. Check out another version of the barn-roof architecture here. Interesting, because when I want ice-cream, the first thing I think of isn’t going to a barn.
I believe this architecture was from the ’70s or ’80s. Red, trapezoid frame roof (homage to the barn, maybe?) and the “Little Miss” weathervane figure on the very top. I’m not sure when the “Little Miss” started showing up on the buildings, but they are now extremely rare.
I have no idea when this particular design was popular with DQ. The geodesic dome seems sorta ’90s to me. This is so odd. Cool, but odd.
Here’s DQ jumping into the “bistro” game. This is a newer style DQ that has popped up in the last few years. The signage and branding shorten the name to DQ. Some of the signs even say DQ: Grill and Chill. I still say these “bistro” designs are boring.
Well, that concludes our walk down memory lane. Hope you enjoyed looking at some vintage fast food architecture. Doing the research was very fun for me. I got most of my pics from Flickr and a lot of my info came from Wikipedia.
Hope everyone is having a good week. Just want to point out something to everyone. If you look in the lower right of my blog I have various banners and links. I just put up a new one. A fellow blogger, Lady Tink, gave me her “Tink Approved” blog banner. It was very nice and I’m honored to place it in the Links section. I always enjoy reading her blog and I love having her always, and consistently, visit mine. So click on the link and visit her blog (she actually has three). I promise you’ll find something to like. Thanks, Tink.