Making a smiley face with ketchup on the paper plate when served french fries is a Johnny Rockets trademark.
There was especially the Santa Monica malt shop called the Incline, with its friendly soda jerk and juicy hamburgers. Johnny Rockets' paper-jacketed hamburgers were modeled after those of the decades-old Apple Pan restaurant in Los Angeles. Ronn Teitelbaum invested $380,000 in the first Johnny Rockets diner
which became a hit with celebrities such as Bob Hope and Elizabeth Taylor.
If he ever opened a restaurant, the little boy decided, it would be just like that.
The diner died, but the dream never did.
After successful careers in real estate and high-end men's clothing, the boy, who was by then 48, opened his restaurant on Los Angeles' Melrose Avenue on June 6, 1986. And it had soda jerks who made malts and shakes the old-fashioned way, along with hand-shaped hamburgers, cherry Cokes and apple pie.
He called his restaurant Johnny Rockets.
Teitelbaum expanded the chain to more than 60 locations in six countries with annual sales of some $50 million before selling it in 1995 to an investment group led by New York venture capital firm Patricof & Co. After that $35 million buyout deal he continued to serve on the board of Irvine, Calif.-based Johnny Rockets Group Inc. until
Johnny Rockets was founded on June 6, 1986, by Ronn Teitelbaum of Los
Angeles, California, and "crafted as a 'nongimmicky' recreation of the
1940s-vintage malt shops of his childhood." The first restaurant was
established as a 20-stool counter operation on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles
Johnny Rockets has about 300 corporate and franchise-owned restaurants in 32 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and 15 countries, including those found in Six Flags amusement parks and aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
The international restaurant chain was acquired by RedZone Capital Fund II
in 2007. Since that time, the chain has expanded by 50% and opened
stores in 11 new countries.
Johnny Rockets served its first hamburger on June 6, 1986. All Johnny
Rockets' hamburgers are made with fresh, 100% beef patties and are
hand-pressed and grilled to perfection.
Johnny Rockets' hamburgers can be made more than 1 million different ways.
Favorite toppings include Cheddar cheese, crispy onion rings, grilled onions
and all-meat chili.
The Johnny Rockets Group, Inc. (johnnyrockets.com) is a privately-held
company based in Lake Forest, California that operates restaurants under the
name Johnny Rockets® in the United States and abroad. Each year, Johnny
Rockets serves more than 13 million hamburgers to its guests.
Johnny Rockets is an international restaurant chain that provides the food,
fun and friendliness reminiscent of feel-good Americana. On June 6, 1986,
the first Johnny Rockets opened on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, offering
guests friendly service and great food in a fun and nostalgic atmosphere.
Every original Johnny Rockets restaurant boasts great tasting food from a
menu of favorites including juicy hamburgers, classic sandwiches, and
hand-dipped shakes and malts. Guests also enjoy an all-American look and
feel, tabletop jukeboxes and authentic décor.
Fresh, hand-pressed hamburgers Hand-dipped shakes and malts
American fries, classic sandwiches,
Flavored soda pop
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