Johnie’s Broiler > Bob’s Big Boy

Johnie’s Broiler Neon

(But we’ll take what we can get)

Downey has a few cultural landmarks–funnily enough, all of them related to fast food. Oldest McDonalds? Yep. First Taco Bell? Yep.

But our pride and joy has always been Johnie’s Broiler, a 1950s Googie-style diner located at 7447 Firestone Blvd.

Having grown up in Downey, Johnie’s has been a fixture in my life since as far back as I can remember. Every time it appeared in movies (License to Drive! Heat!), it was a cue to go get a milkshake.

When The Broiler’s illegal demolition began back in 2007, residents and preservationists called police and halted the bulldozers. Since then, The Broiler’s future has been uncertain.

Car-hoppers rejoice! Hot rodders, start your engines! According to Downey’s local paper, Johnie’s current owner and reps from Bob’s Big Boy have reached a tentative lease agreement. Under the agreement, the architecture will be restored, the diner will be fully-functional, and the weekend car-hops will continue.

Photo by Wiki user Astroluxe under a CC license.