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Walnut Creek Magazine


Jan 30, 2018 06:51PM ● By Pam Kessler


Main & Cypress 1958

Sixty years ago, the population in Walnut Creek was 9,000. Mel’s Drive-In, where Fuddruckers sits today, was a big teen hangout, and Elvis Presley was their idol. The first fast-food restaurant, Hokey’s Burgers, opened in town and sold hamburgers for $.19 cents each. Broadway Shopping Center and Kaiser Hospital, which had opened a few years earlier, changed the landscape in Walnut Creek forever. While the city was the envy of other cities for its steady stream of retail sales tax revenues, with the growth came traffic and congestion. Traffic along Main Street, the only main thoroughfare in town, came to almost a stand-still on Saturdays and weekday afternoons. By 1960 some of the congestion was alleviated due to the opening of a new state freeway.


*Source: 150 Years in Pictures/An Illustrated History of Walnut Creek, by Brad Rovanpera

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