In March, 1958, a small restaurant with a limited menu but quick service opened at 3515 S. Dale Mabry Highway. It was Tampa’s first McDonald’s and just the 86th in the United States.
The South Tampa drive-in with the golden arches was the flagship restaurant of Caspers Co., which was the second franchisee in Florida. Caspers would become the largest franchise in the Tampa Bay area, eventually owning more than 50 Mickey D’s.
The region’s first location has evolved since 1958, having been rebuilt twice and adding such amenities as a dining area, drive-through lanes and wireless Internet service.
Greg S. Carr