DOWNEY – The world's oldest operating McDonald's will install a drive-thru if it can get approval from the Planning Commission.
Built in 1953, the restaurant at Lakewood Boulevard and Florence Avenue is McDonald's oldest-operating restaurant. It has retained its original architecture, including its giant golden arch, outdoor seating and walk-up windows.
But by keeping its original elements, the restaurant has struggled to remain financially solvent, McDonald's said.
"McDonald's has indicated that their other local restaurants conduct approximately 65% of their sales via the drive-thru location," city officials wrote in report to the Planning Commission. "In addition to the lack of drive-thru lane, McDonald's has indicated that the location's kitchen does not conform to McDonald's current standards. This limits the ability for the location to offer newer products and services.
"The inability to offer newer products and not having a drive-thru lane has resulted in this location struggling to stay in operation."
The proposed drive-thru would start near the restaurant's museum, wrap around the restaurant, and terminate between the restaurant and Fashionista retail store. Fifteen parking spaces would be removed to accommodate the drive-thru lane, which would be large enough to queue eight vehicles at a time.
The restaurant was deemed eligible for the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 1984, though it was never included in either register, city officials said.
Adding a drive-thru lane likely won't change its eligibility to qualify as a historic landmark, they said.
The Downey Planning Commission will consider the drive-thru at its meeting Wednesday.