Original Wienerschnitzel Gets L.A. Landmark Status
The restaurant was founded by John Galardi, who opened the first Wienerschnitzel hot dog stand in Los Angeles in 1961 and passed away earlier this year. The chain had grown to have over 300 outlets across the United States.
Galardi spent his years slanging eats at fast food chains, working for Taco Bell founder Glen Bell at the restaurant Taco Tia in Pasadena in 1961. The enterprising young man, who was born in Kansas City, opened the first Wienerschnitzel in the Wilmington area of L.A. at the age of 23. The restaurant specialized in hot dogs and chili.
Says the L.A. Times:
"While this is a modest structure, this was the first location of what has become a significant national chain," said Ken Bernstein, who runs the city's Office of Historic Resources. "The building also is a very intact example of an early drive-through and walk-up food stand associated with Los Angeles car culture." The council's decision makes the Wienerschnitzel drive-through, built on Pacific Coast Highway in 1961, only the second roadside food stand to receive such an honor from City Hall, Bernstein said. The first was the Munch Box in the west San Fernando Valley, which became a landmark in 2003 after then-Councilman Hal Bernson took up the cause.
The OG Wienerschnitzel, which was originally named Der Wienerschnitzel, joins the ranks of the Googie-style Johnie's Coffee Shop on Wilshire Boulevard, which also received landmark status last week. Henry's Tacos did not receive the coveted status, much to the chagrin of its fans.