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Origins of Denny's Restaurant
in Los Angeles County

Denny's Restaurant, Monrovia

Postcard showing Denny's Restaurant in Monrovia, California, circa 1959.
Courtesy Boston Public Library Tichnor Brothers Collection.

The Denny's Restaurant chain, now found nationwide, was founded in Lakewood in 1953 by Harold Butler and Richard Jezakin and first opened as a single donut shop named Danny’s Donuts. The partners added more shops during the following year and also added sandwiches and other entrees to the menu. The shops were later renamed Danny's Coffee Shops. By 1959, the chain had expanded to 20 restaurants and was renamed Denny's in order to not be confused with another chain named Doughnut Dan's. The chain remained headquartered in Southern California until 1991, when it moved its home office to Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Also see: Origins of Some Local Food Empires in Los Angeles County