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Our Story

Early 1880s
Early 1880s

Twenty years after Louis Frank establishes a meat packing business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin specializing in “fine sausages,” his son, Nathan, owns and operates a general store in Deadwood, South Dakota selling fresh meats.

1915
1915

Nathan’s son, Lawrence Frank, opens a potato chip shop in downtown Los Angeles with his brother-in-law Theodore Van de Kamp. Van de Kamp’s Saratoga Chips becomes the two families’ first joint venture.

1918
1918

Adapting to a potato shortage, the shop adds “Dutch Girl” cookies to its product line leading to the creation of Van de Kamp’s Holland Dutch Bakers.

1922
1922

Brothers-in-law Lawrence Frank and Walter Van de Kamp co-found a whimsically designed roadhouse that would become the Tam O’Shanter. Today, it is Los Angeles’ oldest restaurant owned and operated by the same family in the same location.

1938
1938

Lawrence Frank and Walter Van de Kamp partner again to set a new standard for dining with Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills. Its unique single entree menu features the standing rib roast Sunday dinner of Lawrence’s boyhood.

1938
1938

After experimenting nightly for three months in his home kitchen, Lawrence Frank develops a combination of 17 herbs and spices to complement the flavor of prime rib. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt is born.

1939
1939

To encourage team spirit and mutual respect, Lawrence Frank insists that he and all his employees consider — and address — each other as “co-workers.” The practice continues today.

1956
1956

Having joined the family business in 1947, Lawrence’s son, Richard N. Frank, becomes President and CEO of Lawry’s Foods. An innovative visionary, he builds it into an international brand before the company is sold in 1979.

1958
1958

Working together for over four decades, members of the Frank and Van de Kamp families turn a tiny potato chip shop into a multi-million-dollar business with more than 320 retail stores, Van de Kamp’s Bakery.

1959
1959

World famous graphic designer Saul Bass creates Lawry’s award winning “Fanciful L” logo.

1960
1960

With the success of the Tam O’Shanter, Five Crowns, Mediterrania, Tonio’s and The Ben Johnson in San Francisco, Richard Frank becomes known as “The King of Themed Restaurants.”

1965
1965

Following Richard N. and wife Mary Alice Frank’s visit to Ye Olde Bell in England, Lawry’s purchases, remodels and renames the Hurley Bell in Corona del Mar, California. Five Crowns becomes one of the area’s most popular fine dining destinations.

1971
1971

Lawry’s California Center opens near downtown Los Angeles. The new eight-acre garden oasis features shops and outdoor restaurants in addition to long standing corporate offices and production facilities.

1996
1996

The first international Lawry’s the Prime Rib opens. Now, licensed partners operate seven restaurants in five Asian countries.

2002
2002

The first Lawry’s Carvery, our quick, casual restaurant featuring Lawry’s famous prime rib, opens at South Coast Plaza in Orange County, California.

2019
2019

Today, the third and fourth generations of the Frank and Van de Kamp families continue the nearly one-hundred-year-old Lawry’s restaurant legacy.

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