News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.


by Joe Castillo

Carl’s Burgers  …. Carl Karcher, along with his wife Margaret, built one of the most popular hamburger stands in the United States and named it Carl’s Jr. Hamburgers. With over 1,000 stores, the company ranks 23rd in fast food sales according to QSR marketing.  On July 17, 1941, Karcher borrowed $311 against his Plymouth Super Deluxe car and bought a hot dog cart at the corner of Florence and Central Avenues in the City of Los Angeles. From the first day, sales were better than expected and in a short time, Karcher made enough money to buy four more hot dog carts. In less than 5 years, Karcher opened his own store and named it Carl’s Drive-In Barbeque. Hamburgers were added to the menu and sales boomed even more. Based on quality and service, Carl’s Jr. continued to prosper, following Carl and Margaret’s business model in producing a hamburger with their special touch…. Shakey’s Pizza …. One of the more popular pizza parlors in Southern California is Shakey’s. Founded on April 10, 1954, Shakey’s Pizza Parlor and Ye Olde Public House opened at the corner of 57th and ‘J’ Streets in Sacramento. It was meant to be a place to have a beer and listen to Dixieland Jazz musician Shakey Johnson.  In 1955, Shakey’s expanded to include games and a warm fireplace while providing a place for families, sports clubs and social events while listening to the Silver Dollar Jazz Band. Their most popular dish,  Mojo potatoes, were introduced in 1963 and other food items like fried chicken were added to the menu. One of the forerunners of the concept of franchising, Shakey’s introduced a standard building and design structure in its buildings while avoiding the use of remodeled structures. In 1965, Shakey’s moved its corporate offices from Sacramento to San Francisco and hired an advertising agency to promote its sales of English beer in a ‘ye olde’ public house. In 1975, Shakey’s ventured into the baseball trading card business producing cards of players from past years. The cards didn’t last long but today are a valued collectible. The company continued to grow to meet its changing clientele and today is still a popular place to meet, have a pizza and a beer. Two original style parlors are located in El Monte on Valley Boulevard and in San Gabriel on Las Tunas Boulevard. Check them out and listen to the jazz music being played while enjoying an English beer and some Mojo’s….

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