Corner of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills

Oldest Cheesecake Factory Restaurant Unveiled in New York City

Most of us associate bougie Beverly Hills, California with high-end designer shops, swanky eateries along Rodeo Drive, and those famed housewives who film catfights while they sip rose. So, it might come as quite a surprise that the Cheesecake Factory (the chain of restaurants that your family probably dined at for its affordably-priced menu with a plethora of options far beyond cheesecake) started there. But the reality is that the oldest location opened in the 90210 back in 1978.

When you learn the origins of the Cheesecake Factory, it makes more sense as to why it opened its first brick-and-mortar in Beverly Hills. Its humble roots go back to Detroit, Michigan, where Evelyn Overton opened a small bakery to sell her cheesecakes. Eventually, life led her to shutter the business, until she and her husband Oscar Overton moved to Los Angeles and opened the Cheesecake Factory Bakery to sell cheesecakes to the city’s restaurants. Their son, David, wanted the family to have its own restaurant, and that’s when he opened the first Cheesecake Factory on North Beverly Drive, where it still operates today.

There’s no word on exactly why Beverly Hills was chosen for the first location, but we assume David wanted to sling his mother’s cheesecakes in one of the best areas. And to be fair, Beverly Hills in the 1970s was a glamorous area but had a small town, familiar vibe among locals compared to the global destination it is today.

The original menu at The Cheesecake Factory was much smaller

Exterior of The Cheesecake Factory

Back in 1978, the original menu at The Cheesecake Factory, didn’t consist of the many pages you might be used to now. It focused on cheesecakes, of course, and had a curated menu of quiches, burgers, sandwiches, and salads. It also had a large breakfast menu and other desserts like ice cream. The premiere restaurant didn’t look quite the same either, as it was described as a quaint cafe when it first opened in Beverly Hills. Outside, it had a green awning, with a self-serve salad bar and casual tables inside.

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You can still take a bite of cheesecake (and other menu items) at 364 North Beverly Drive. The location has garnered a three-star rating on Yelp, but that doesn’t stop celebrities like Blake Lively and Kathy Hilton from dining there. The interior now looks similar to The Cheesecake Factory in your hometown, but it does seem to give a nod to its locale with dim lighting and large palm trees.

And don’t get us wrong, we’d gladly indulge in a bite of White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle cheesecake and an order of the avocado egg rolls — but it’s not lost on us that the restaurant that popped up in suburban malls in the 1990s and mid aughts started in one of the country’s most expensive zip codes. For more on the restaurant, here are 13 facts about the Cheesecake Factory.

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