If you don't live in on the West Coast, in the Southwest, or in Guam, then you probably don't know much about the hot dog fast food chain Wienerschnitzel. But if you do, then perhaps you'll be pleased to know that its first-ever location was granted historic-cultural landmark status today.
The Los Angeles Times describes the spot thusly:
Less than 600 square feet in size, the Wienerschnitzel outlet in Wilmington isn’t much to look at. It’s emblazoned in the colors of ketchup and mustard. Tiny racing pennants, strung from the roof, flap in the breeze.
Ken Bernstein, who runs LA's Office of Historic Resources, was a bit kinder in his description, calling it a "modest structure" but one that a "very intact example of an early drive-through and walk-up food stand associated with Los Angeles car culture."
The restaurant opened Los Angeles' Wilmington neighborhood in 1961. Founder John Galardi died in April of this year.
Wienerschnitzel isn't the first fast food restaurant to get historic landmark status. The first Whataburger A-frame location was so designated in 1996. The first McDonald's is now a museum, as is the Corbin, Kentucky service station where KFC's Colonel Sanders developed his fried chicken recipe. Another McDonald's in Long Island is located in a historic landmark.
Wendy's, which apparently hates history, closed its first location, in Columbus, Ohio, in 2007.
Wienerschnitzel is the second fast food stand in Los Angeles to get historic landmark status. The first, in Chatsworth, is the rather unfortunately-named Munch Box.