Tuesday, May 20, 2014

L.A. CAMEO: Here's Where "Mad Men" Shot Those Burger Chef Scenes

Mad Men Burger Chef

My pal Pat over at Eating LA asked me the other day where "Mad Men" shot Sunday's Burger Chef scenes -- including the moment where Don, Peggy and Pete dig into some greasy burgers. I checked with the "Mad Men" folks, and they could only tell me that it was shot at an empty restaurant in Rialto, Calif.

A quick bit of Google searches later, I finally found Roadside Peak's 2005 mention of Rialto's Jim's Burgers. A bit more Googling, and I got the address and then a Google Images snapshot from 2012 (above).

Burger Chef

Yep, this is it, spruced up quite nice. Here's the cool part: This actually once was a Burger Chef location. Just about as authentic as you can get! Here's an illustration of what the Burger Chef restaurants once looked like:

Burger Chef

The former Jim's Burgers location can be found at 765 East Foothill Boulevard -- that's Route 66, adding even more classic flair -- in Rialto. (Here's the Yelp entry.) It looks a lot nicer now than this photo of the interior uploaded in 2011. Hell, someone ought to take advantage of the newly restored joint and actually revive Burger Chef there!

Burger Chef

Franklin Avenue was last in Rialto to visit the famed Wigwam Motel (the one with the teepee hotel rooms) on Route 66, for Chris Nichols' birthday. Read all about it here. Also, check out more of our "Mad Men" location scouting here.

And now, a montage of classic Burger Chef spots. Maybe Peggy and Don came up with a few of these?

Photo credits: Justina Mintz/AMC


Sandy said...

Thanks for tracking this down, and for the posts on all the other Mad Men locations. They have great location scouts.

They're very fond of shooting in Montrose and South Pasadena - my favorite SoPas location was the (S2? S3?) scene in which Glenn and Sally hide away near an old shack in Ossining, which was really a shack in the town's "Edison Trails" (actually not SoCal Edison's but Pasadena's transfomer traverse).

Actually, I'm surprised they haven't worked in the Pasadena City Hall - everyone else has.

Unknown said...

I work right down the street from that Burger Chef location and took some pictures this afternoon:

Jeff M. said...

Thanks for solving this mystery. Note that there's also a little gaffe in the scene. If you look very closely, in the window on the left is the reflection of a blue illuminated sign that appears to say MEDICAL (backwards). Checking Google Street View, there is indeed a modern shopping center across the street with a MOLINA MEDICAL in it!

Jen said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your fantastic sleuthing on the Mad Men shooting locations! I hope to eat and drink at every single one of these joints, gussied up in my fanciest retro frock.

If I may suggest a new location to scout: I'm DESPERATE to find out where they shot the scene from "The Runaways", when Harry and Don skip out on Megan's party in LA to go to the bar and talk shop.

PLEASE let us know when you've cracked that one!

Unknown said...

I thought the place Harry and Don talk was the bar at Dresden...