Scot’s was a small chain of McDonald’s knock-offs and we used to go to the one located on the Southwest corner of Pico Boulevard and Westwood — land that now contains a Barnes & Noble.  Their mascot, who I believe only existed as one piece of line art, was a sexy lady wearing kilts and doing a dance.  They had a huge drawing of her towering over the main building.

One suspects the lady and the chain’s name was because someone thought, “Hmm…maybe people go to McDonald’s because they think it’s Scottish.”  Or perhaps the thought process was that people weren’t that familiar yet with McDonald’s — this was before that company’s big advertising blitz — and that they’d go to Scot’s, thinking it was the place they had in mind.  Either way, there was nothing else at Scot’s that had anything to do with Scotland unless it was that the food was cheap and there’s a stereotype of Scottish folks as excessively frugal.

The menu was pretty much what McDonald’s then had plus a few extra items such as pizza.  When they finally closed down, the structure at Pico and Westwood went through a year or three of name and ownership changes.  For a while, it was Pride’s, then something else, then something else.  They finally cleared the land and built a Lone Ranger Restaurant there.  It didn’t last long, either.

33 Responses to Scot’s

  • Bill Vigil says:

    My mom entrusted my cousin and me to go to Scot’s and buy dinner. I was 12. Scot’s was on Victory and Olive in Burbank. We decided to walk a mile further to The Dip on Victory and Burbank — the food was much better. Needless to say our moms weren’t very happy in the 1 1/2 hours it took for our return. The dog got my burger and I got his house — The Doghouse.

  • Randy Goodwin says:

    In the 50s and early 60s, there was a Scot’s in South Gate on Long Beach Blvd two blocks from my house. Also a McFarlane’s candy store. What I remember most is that they would cut the price of their hamburgers in half on the day school would let out for the summer. Regular price was 24 cents. It was like a carnival. Everyone would go. For 35 cents you could get a hamburger, fries and a coke. One of their weak points was the french fries were often a little limp and soggy. When McDonald’s perfected the french fry they left Scot’s in the dust.

  • Jeff Holtzman says:

    I grew up in West L.A. in the late ’50’s early ’60’s. We didn’t know from McDonalds back then so Scots was the place to go for burgers and fries. I remember the metal umbrellas and the pay toilet. I recall a Lone Ranger “restaurant” being at the same location after Scots went belly up. Other local businesses included a Blue Chip stamp store, Kiddieland, and the Pickwood bowling alley. The Apple pan was there as well and may indeed still be there.

  • gene says:

    To dennis effe. i worked at scotts in 1962 ,with roy combs , jim dorman and me. gene loiselle. cops from v.n. would by for free burger all the time and the G.M workers on the night shift that bwas just down the just down the street, vn blvd

  • Abby Brock says:

    My Granny worked at the Scot’s in Norwalk, across from the sheriff’s dept. She was working when the planes crashed over head. My Daddy, who was about 14, jumped on his bike to go check on her. They lived on Jersey Ave, two houses from the corner of Hercules Ave. As he was riding down the street toward Imperial, a large piece of one of the planes flew over his head and went through the roof/picture window of a house and killed a young woman inside. I haven’t been home in years, but last time I was in Norwalk there was still a sign on the corner where the sheriff’s dept was and Arby’s had taken the place of Scot’s.

  • Dennis Effle says:

    I worked at Scots burgers on Van Nuys and Lanark in 1961-1962. The same as McDonald’s back then. This was a walk up facility and never had car service, to my knowledge. Still looking for pictures of this place.

  • carol gould says:

    Looking for any photos of Scot’s on Pioneer and Firestone in Norwalk,Ca.

  • Stewart Duboff says:

    My goodness. I remember Scott’s on Pico and Westwood. Picnic tables outside, and pigeons, too many darn pigeons!


    Actually, Scot’s at Colorado and Adams opened the same year that Ray Kroc opened the first corporate McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois…1955. The golden arches were designed for the McDonald Brothers’ restaurant in San Bernardino, which they started up as a hot dog stand in 1937.

    The drive-ins with the Neon Waitress were the Mel’s Diners, which were all over the country and made famous in movies. There was one in Hollywood.

  • Robert says:

    What a great memory. I also remember the Rexall Drug store, Newberry’s and Kiddieland at the corner of Pico and Overland. I’ll never forget Smith’s Sporting Goods across the street. I remember it well because my Mother refused to buy me a pair of Addidas sneakers for $16.00 and got mad at me just for asking. I think I ended up with another pair of PF Flyers that I really hated.

  • Janis says:

    Does anyone remember that Craig Breedlove parked his Spirit of America race car at Scots on Pico and Westwood? He set the land speed record in it.

  • Tim Norwalk says:

    There was a Scots in Burbank on Victory & Olive Ave. Burgers were 12 cents.
    Later it became a Dynas chicken. Both long gone.

  • Charles says:

    @David: it was the Picwood theatre, not Pickwick (portmanteau of Pico and Westwood); the Kiddie Park was at the corner of Pico & Overland and, of course, the Apple Pan continues to thrive. They celebrated their 70th anniversary this past April, which of course I commemorated with a hickory burger (and a free piece of pie, thank you very much).

  • David says:

    Wow… Scot’s on Pico and Westwood Blvd.. My dad and I use to go there from time-to-time in the early 60’s. You could get a hamburger, malt and fries for around 75 cents. If I recall, the Pickwick Theater was next door to Scot’s and there was this really cool slot car place across the street called Pixies Raceway. There was also a Kiddie Land across the street just east of Scot’s. I believe there was also the Apple Pan restaurant just across the street from Kiddie Land.

  • youKendoit says:

    Response to Collette:
    That Scot’s Hamburgers was in the Midtown Shopping Center. There was also Ralph’s grocery store, J.J. Newberry’s and Midtown Bowl in that location. I remember those 15 cents hamburgers. There was no McDonald’s until the late sixties. There was Sambo’s instead of Denny’s. There was Pup n’ Taco instead Taco Bell. Instead of CVS, there was a Rexall Drug store that even served phosphate sodas. There were no 7- Elevens and you had gas station attendants that pumped gas in your car. “Memories” I wish I could see a photo of an old Scot’s menu.

  • Diane Day says:

    Looking for pictures of the scots in Norwalk on the corner of pioneer and firestone meant my husband there in 1960

  • Colette says:

    Scot’s also had a location on Pico near Rimpau Bl we would walk there after leaving Los Angeles High School daily before going home. This was in the 60’s.

    Long before McD.

  • Richard Korne says:

    Actually the Norwalk Scots was located on the southeast corner of Pioneer and Firestone Blvds. near a supermarket and the Rexall Drug store and across the railroad tracks from Coast Grain.

  • ralph bernstein says:

    i worked in the one on van nuys blvd when i was 16 59 years ago a burger was 10 cents on sale we made them by the hundreds the lines were so long and never stoped i made $1 hr not a lot by todays money but also gas was five gallons for a buck bread was 10 cents a loaf and rent was $75 a month i sure miss the good old days today everyone has there nose in a cell phone and never look up at the world around them the human race is going to hell in a hand basket wake up and smell the roses

  • Dave Mani says:

    Corner of Colorado Blvd & Adams, Glendale CA., @ 1956-57, Scot’s opened a hamburger joint. I went to work there as a kid, flipping burger’s, for a summer job. After a couple years, it became a McDonald’s. As far as I was concerned, the name was all that changed. Food, burger’s etc. were almost exactly the same, and they did practically nothing to the building…just changed the marquee. But the french fries were OUTSTANDING…I used the automatic potato peeler first, then put a single potato in the slicer, pulled the handle, and raw french fries came out. Then into the deep fryer, just like today. Fond memories.

  • Ron Yanover says:

    I remember the pigeons! I was a great fan of the Pico & Westwood Scott’s in the mid-60’s and would loved to see some photos. I’ve requested this repeatedly on Facebook, but no one seems to have any. There must be at least ONE out there!

  • Steve H says:

    I went to a Scot’s on Van Nuys Blvd and Lanark St in Panorama City (across from Mark C Bloome Tires). 18¢ burgers, with fries and a chocolate shake were doable for a kid in the late 50s-early 60s. Sure tasted good then!

  • Moony says:

    Is the spelling correct, Scot’s? And does anyone know what years the one on Pico and Westwood was open. Any pictures??

  • Rick g says:

    The scot,s in norwalk was actually across the street from the norwalk sheriffs sub station where the. Plane crashed in1958. Every Sept. They would have a special for 3 days before school started. Thesold the regular hamburgers for 12 cents. I and my friends used to go around and collect soda bottles together money to go there to buy the 12 cent burgers. It was located at the corner of Firestone and pioneer. After it closed down they built an Arby’s there it was in the shopping center where j j newberrys was

  • jack smith says:

    My friends & I used to go to the Scot’s in the South Bay Shopping Center on Hawthorne blvd & 178th street (I think) we loved ’em as I recall. There was another great burger place further away called Robin’s that I remember being really good, they also had a great jukebox at Robin’s

  • Mike Bryant says:

    OOps! I mean between 8th Olympic!

  • Mike Bryant says:

    My family and I ate at the Scot’s on Soto, between Soto and 8th, (just north of the big Sears store on Olympic Blvd), long before I even knew that McDonalds even existed. Scots was basically across the street from Carl’s, a restaurant that had car hops, but you could go in and have a waitress serve you. (I would usually get abalone steaks!). Carl’s eventually closed and became Carl’s jr.

    Great Website!

  • Tom Maddux says:

    In the late 1950’s the Scot’s on Manchester Ave. near Van Ness in Inglewood was a favorite hangout of kids from my high school. I spent many evenings there watching girls, cars, and consuming the inexpensive burgers and shakes.

    I worked there briefly during the summer of 1959 before I joined the Air Force. We used to make our own hot sandwiches for “lunch”. A burger bun with a couple of patties, some fried shrimp, some fish sticks, split and grilled weiners, cheese, sauce and lots of pickles. Sounds incredible now, but hey, we were 18. $1.00 per hour yielded $40.00 per week before taxes.
    Good memories. Thanks for the website.

  • G.A. Vidal says:

    This chain was probably the 1st one I can recall my father taking the family on sunday afternoon. I, like Craig Smith, remember the Scots in Norwalk…don’t know why my Dad would drive us “way out there’ …as we lived in Southwest L.A. ( near the Gardena border)…but he loved burgers over hotdogs…and thus he introduce us kids to the burgers froma very tasty burger chain. ^/^

  • LARRY says:


  • jeff kaufman says:

    i had their hamburgers in the 1950’s from the Pico/Westwood restaurant. They were inexpensive and, unlike McDonands, they were a simple small traditional hamburger. No adornment, just a patty on a bun. For a kid, they were great. They were the antithesis to super-sizing.

  • d says:

    the Barnes and Noble is also defunct.

  • Craig D. Smith says:

    My Father was a great guy but not one to follow trends. When everyone else was buying Volkwagen Beetles for 2nd cars in the early 60s he went with the French version, a Renault Dauphine. In 1964 when his fellow Democrats got behind LBJ solidly he chose that time to bolt the party for the GOP and Barry Goldwater. So it was with Scot’s which we went to in that same era instead of McDonald’s.
    The Norwalk Scot’s was located at a place that was (and is) referred to as “the five points” where Pioneer Blvd., Rosecrans Ave. and San Antonio all intersect. That’s probably the reason at 5 years old when I had no idea what street was which I can still remember the exact location. Today a very tiny custom-built Taco Bell is on that spot. It’s too small for a normal sized fast food place but, I suppose, the location is just too prime to not have one there.
    The food was pretty good and it seemed we always went very late and I always had a vanilla shake and a cheeseburger with fries. No doubt the origin of my lifelong battle with acid reflux.

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