Photo via Flickr/Jerry Huddleston
No matter how big and successful a chain of restaurants, cafes, or coffee shops grows to become, there will always be a "first one." Every one of our most beloved brands started with an original location, and visiting these spots has become a bucket list item for travelers who love their products or are just plain curious about how things all got started.
Here's a quick guide to visiting a few of the most popular ones.
Where: 1912 Pike Place, Seattle, Washington.
What You'll Find: The first thing you'll probably notice is the sign outside. The original mermaid is brown not green, is a completely different design, and, well, there's a lot more of her to see.
The original Starbucks was more focused on selling lots of beans rather than lattes, and so that explains why the space is much smaller most people are expecting (essentially, only enough space to order a drink and take a selfie). It wasn't until years later (and under new ownership) that Starbucks adopted the idea of creating a space for customers to linger and enjoy a drink.
Where: 1398 N E St., San Bernardino, California & 400 Lee St., Des Plaines, Illinois.
What You'll Find: McDonald's is a tricky one, because while it was started in California by the McDonald brothers, it wasn't until Mr. Ray Kroc gained the right to open a franchise of the burger restaurant in Illinois that it blossomed to be the McDonalds that we know today.
You will find museums at both locations with loads of information about McDonald's history, details about its unique "Speedee Service System," and plenty of nostalgic memorabilia; but you'll only find a fully-functioning restaurant at the Des Plaines location - well, directly across the street.
Where: 543 Southern Artery, Quincy, Massachusetts
What You'll Find: The shop was opened up in 1948 as Open Kettle, but after noticing how customers liked to dunk their donuts in coffee, the name was eventually changed and donut history hasn't been the same since. In 2011, the still-functioning original Dunkin' was given a retro makeover, and now closely resembles exactly what it looked like on opening day, complete with ultra cool sign.
Where: 1002 W. Dixie Hwy, Corbin, Kentucky
What You'll Find: They may have stopped calling themselves Kentucky Fried Chicken to sound healthier, but we all know where this beloved chain started. Yes, right on the roadside in Corbin, Kentucky, Harland Sanders starting selling his fried chicken to hungry motorists at the Sanders Cafe and a legend was born. Today, there's a museum detailing his rise to fame and an adjoining fully-functioning Kentucky Fried Chicken, erm KFC.
Where: 1644 E Evans Ave, Denver, Colorado
What You'll Find: Founded in 1993 near the University of Denver, Chipotle has been one of the biggest successes in the fast-casual restaurant world over the last 20 years. Inside, it's just like any other Chipotle serving up burritos and tacos, but outside, this location still rocks the brand's old green and red colors and a retro '90s sign perfect for posing in front of.
Topics From This Article to Explore