The original Big Mac Other Issues, posted by Editor, Mountain View Voice Online, on Feb 12, 2008 at 4:02 pm
In the 1940s and '50s, Johnny Mac's, an "American Graffiti"-style drive-in on El Camino Real, was the place to be for Mountain View teens. Today, the iconic building stands vacant, an aging link to the past.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, February 4, 2008, 11:53 AM
Posted by Betty J. Gregory, a resident of another community, on Feb 12, 2008 at 4:02 pm
Thanks to Eugene Sharp, a former classmateat at MVUHS I went to your web site and saw the picture of Johnny Mac's Drive In. What a trip down memory lane. Too bad someone couldn't renovate it to it's former self. I'd sure make it for the grand re-opening.
Posted by Cornell "Corky"Anton, a resident of another community, on Feb 13, 2008 at 9:32 pm
Referring to Johnny Mac's as "...the place to be for Mountain View teens..." is a to minimalize or trivalize the essential part this drive-in played to the entire south bay area (and environs that may exceed these paramaters.) Johnny Mac's was 'the' place for anyone who attended Mountain View High School. That included all of Los Altos, some of South Palo Alto, into Sunnyvale, etc. Then there were the other high schools, like Fremont, Paly, Santa Clara, and San Jose who gathered for a "Big Mac, fries, and chocolate malt."
As a Mountain View Alum (Class of 1950) and a resident of Los Altos, I think a more fitting tribute to this icon of Mountain View is in order.
Thanks for the wonderful memories! They got me through Korea, and are still there after all these years.
Posted by Claude DeMoss, a resident of another community, on Jul 27, 2008 at 6:48 pm
Born & raised in Redwood City, I remember the first Johnny Mac's very well...It was mine & many other Sequoia High School students favorite hangout...Later, when I was a RC Police Officer, Johnny Mac's was on "my beat" & still the best place for a hamburger...The Big Mac...I laugh when I read about either a VP or a franchise owner of McDonald's claiming they "invented" the "Big Mac" around 1968, when in fact, the Big Mac was served at Johnny Mac's in Redwood City since around 1947, through the 1950s & part of the 1960s before it sold & was renamed to Cindy's...The Big Mac disappeared until McDonald's pu them on their menu!
Posted by Opal Probasco Morrison, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Jul 13, 2009 at 1:36 pm
I was raised in Mountain View from the time I was about 1 year old. My mother was a car hop at Johnny Mack's for many years mostly during the Korean Conflict while my dad was over-seas. I'm now 62 years old and finding these pictures and this web site brings back very fond memories. Thanks!
Posted by Mike Carroll, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jun 24, 2010 at 6:21 am
My "stepfather" did not own Big Mac's in the 1960s. It was owned by the stepfather of a friend, Gary Painter, although my Aunt Betty worked as a car hop during the summer of 1963. Gary recollected playing in the basement full of electronic parts. It's interesting that the JM owner launched the Burger Pit restaurants.
Posted by Karen Chambliss Abraham, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Apr 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm
I remember so well cruising Johnny Mac's. We went from there to Spivey's and back to Johnny Mac's. A cup of hot chocolate in the winter and a coke with fries to share in the warmer weather. There was a Bill and Mary Clark who lived on Bush Street and had Clark's Hamburgers on El Camino. Think Bill came to MV as a result of his US Navy service like many families did after WWII. Mtn View High School on Castro Street was the only high school in the area. It was a nice time to grow up in Mtn View and I feel fortunate my parents decided to settle there after WWII. Highway School Class of 1956. Mtn View High School Class of 1960. Thank for the memories. Karen Chambliss in Petaluma, CA
Posted by ken kowalski, a resident of another community, on Aug 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm
It is a very sad thing to see this. I find it horrible that for some reason this place couldn't stay open. Not only that, but who ever bought it decided to take off the neon lights, took out the window tiles to the left. and painted it grey and white. I know this wasn't the first coat of paint to hit this building after johnny macs as well. It is just a seriously sad story to see that this building doesn't shine like it use to. Is it really so expensive to replace neon lights? Well it's cheaper to rip them off and paint the trip grey.... A color that does not stand out at all. and makes the place look like...... an old laundromat. ridiculous... considering anyone who owns a business must not have wanted as much attention as those awesome neon lights were going to grab. And after all its just the old johnny macs. lets rip it apart and paint it boring. I run into this stuff all the time where i live. and i really dont appreciate the lack of style in business these days.
Just imagine if vegas said. well. lets get rid of all these lights and paint everything grey and white and tan.
Posted by John Brignani Jr., a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Aug 21, 2011 at 7:11 am
I was born in 1941 and raised in Mountain View and lived at 506 Mountain View Ave. My Friends and I would walk down the street to El Camino and cross over to Johnny Macs. Anyone I,ve ever talked to about the ORIGINAL Big Mac burger from Johnny Macs would say [ It was the best buger ever ]. Twice over the years I,ve tried to search for the recipe or ingredinces in the SAUCE of the Big Mac but have had no sucess. If there is anyone out there that may have info on the Big Mac sauce, I would be so gratefull as well as my freinds. Please email me [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] with any info about the sauce, it will be very appreciated. Thanks, John Brignani Jr.
Posted by Mike Winter, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Oct 21, 2012 at 10:26 am
In the late fifties my Father Harold Winter and his partner Bill Kogelshatz owned Johnny Mac's. As a High School Senior in 1957 I used to work Friday and Saturday nights in Mountain View until about one AM and then drive to Redwood City to work the 'bar rush' until three or so. I did make the trip in my new Ford convertible. I had to work about 25-30 hours a week to make those tough $86.20 payments.
Two patties of freshly ground steer beef on a double decker sesame seed bun with lettuce, mayonaise and our own special relish. A slice of cheese if desired... 45cents.
Mickey D, what a ya say you give my brother and I a half a cent for each one you've sold? Deal?