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.

13 Responses to Scot’s

  • 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.

  • d says:

    the Barnes and Noble is also defunct.

  • 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.

  • LARRY says:


  • 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. ^/^

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Mike Bryant says:

    OOps! I mean between 8th Olympic!

  • 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

  • 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

  • Moony says:

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

  • 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!

  • 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!

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