Saturday, August 05, 2006

Arnold's Farm House

Arnold's Farm HouseOne of the famous landmarks in Orange County was Arnold's Farm House, a buffet-style restaurant in Buena Park, on the corner of Stanton and Manchester, just a block from Knott's Berry Farm.

I was started in 1956, supposedly from an old farm house that had been standing there since the early 1900's. It was a landmark because of the huge neon windmill drawing in families tired from a day at Knott's.

The family that owned Arnold's Farm House, also owned The Buttery, another restaurant on the other side of Stanton, but a traditional, up-scale place.

The restaurant finally gave way to the wrecking ball in 1988, and is now the home to a car dealership.

A guy named Chase Maxwell has an brochure from Arnold's Farm House dated 1981. He scanned it and send it in to us.

Click on the images below to see the full size...

Arnold's Farm House - Front

Arnold's Farm House - Back

Thanks Chase for these images!

Do you remember anything about Arnold's Farm House? Care to share some memories? Click on "Post a comment" below, and share it with us.


  1. thank you , very much.
    i'm the one who posted about this in the favorite resturaunts page. we used to eat here on sunday afternoons..
    i can't remember if the windmill is gone or not, i seem to remember it there a couple of years back..
    o.k. now heres another one.. does anyone remeber the frontier motel?, it was just north of the pottery shack. there was a big painted sign shaped like a fronteir guy . too bad it was right across the street from the questionable movie theatre...

  2. I remember Arnold's Farmhouse because when my sister and I were small we used to eat there almost every Sunday, at least when they had the Hawaiian Breast of Chicken, which was our favorite! The cream cheese jello and German slaw were also great!!!

  3. I would love to add some pics of that old neon Windmill sign they had at Arnold's to my "Photos Of The Forgotten" web site. Those of you who have not checked it out, should do so. It's chocked full of Anaheim/Googie memories and other great mid-century modern things.

  4. I have the greatest memories of this restaurant. My Grandma, my mom and us 3 kids went there all the time. It was the best roast beef I ever had. I remember the yummy rolls they served in a basket. My sisters and I felt so grown up using the fancy plates and cloth napkins. We went there in the late 70's to whenever it closed. I lived in BP from 1977 to 1997 and I remember that windmill standing long after the restaurant closed. They don't make em like that anymore!

  5. I was searching for this restaurant for a long time and came across this messageboard. Wow! what memories Arnold's Farmhouse restaurant brings back for me. My mom and I would go there when I was a kid and I loved it! I grew up in Anaheim from when I was born in 1966 until I left in 1994. I fondly remember their flan or custard they served with a burnt sugar topping. I can still taste it! I loved this place. My mom has since passed a few years back and I miss all those good times with her. I actually got a tear to my eye when I read this page. thanks much for the memories.

  6. Wow, cant believe I found this; I was raised in Buena Park; 1957-1979;one of my first jobs was at Arnolds Farm House, I started as a Jr Hostess and later became a cashier; of all the jobs I have had in the past 32 years this one holds the fondest memories; I was so sad when they sold the business after Mr Arnolds passing. Someone else mentioned the "Cream Cheese Jello" actualy called Tiffany Jello due to its resemblance of stained glass; it was my dads favorite, so I talked the Salad Chef into giving me the recipe which was for 200+ servings, I had to break it down to 12 servings; now its a Family tradition at Christmas. I used to love the Chicken Liver Saute, I have given up on trying to duplicate the recipe. I sometimes wonder about the people I worked with there; it was like family. What are the Arnold children (all Adults older than me now) are doing with their lives since the closing; Jim, Susan and Miles Jr. Well; thanks for the memories.

    Susan in Colorado

  7. I worked there behind the salad bar. The jello Ambrosia was to die for. The other restaurant across the street was called the Buttery. Who remembers the Japenese Deer Park?

  8. I, too, worked at Arnold's Farmhouse. It was my first job and I worked there from mid 1984 to late 1986. I started out on the salad line, learned hot line, and carving, I moved to cashier, hostess and quit as a waitress. I was there when the restaurant celebrated it's thirty year anniversary. Some of the friends I made when I was there I still have to this day. It truly was a family atmosphere, the guests were great, I still have the blanket one guest made for me at xmas time and the bottle of perfume another guest gave me. I will never forget meeting Reverend Schuller at xmas & easter when all the busses would come after the crystal cathedral shows. I have many pictures of the good friends and good times I had at the Farmhouse, there will never be a place that could make fried chicken that good, better than Knotts! I have, also, wondered what happend to Jim, Susan and Byze (miles JR) Those years hold some of the best memories....first loves found and lost, sharing my first apartment with friends from there, all the laughs during change over, and the madness of the BUS season! I truly miss the good ole Farmhouse

  9. You know there still around. Jim Arnold has what I believe is the first "Arnold's" restaurant that the family opened. It's in Long Beach at 3925 Atlantic Ave., north of the 405 fwy about 3/4 of a mile on the west side of the street. The food is GREAT just like it was when they were in Buena Park. I just had the chicken and it was very good. If you liked the Farm House you will love Arnold's Cafeteria!

    1. That was true at the time of your post. Alas, the last of the great Arnold's Restaurants, the one on 3925 Atlantic Ave, closed its doors a three or four years ago. I was a 30 year customer and there is nothing in L.A. county that I've found that comes even close to the quality of food and service. Does anyone out there have the recipes to their Swiss steak and potato salad? Their potato salad was good and at the time seemed like normal salad but I can't find any other place that was as good. I've tried different supermarket brands and they are horrible.

  10. Thanks to Jeff C. for mentioning this web site. It is truly humbling to read the comments posted and thanks for remembering the Farmhouse. I now run the original Arnold's in Long Beach. My Dad (Miles) started it in 1951. It was the predecessor of the Farmhouse, and still running strong. It was great to hear from our former employees, and hope their all doing well. My sister Sue, and brother Miles are doing well and still live in OC. My brother finally got married, and my Sue has two grown up and successful daughters. I have two grand kids from my daughter Richelle.
    We have at least 15 more years of lease at Arnold's so I,m not planning on going anywhere. I miss the Farmhouse and sometimes wish the city hadn't wanted the property for car dealerships. Arnold's has the same food items to include the Rainbow jello, Hawaiian Chicken, Chicken Livers Saute, Fresh Roast Turkey, and Fried Chicken. Arnold's Cafeteria is at 3925 Atlantic Ave in Long Beach. I am the one with the solid grey hair! Just as a note: We sold the property to the city because they wanted to put an auto mall there. We kept the restaurant going six years after Dad's passing. Thanks so much for all your interest. Jim Arnold

  11. I was 8 years old the First Time I ate at the Farmhouse(that was 1967)I've such fond memories of Dad asking me on a Saturday, where I wanted To go for lunch...

    1 Arnold's

    2 Tony's Deli Ahaheim

    3 Bob's Big Boy on Harbor

    My Dad Worked for AAA on Harbor blvd in Anaheim

    He knew all the Great places to Eat in the Anaheim area

    Arnolds Rocked!
    guess I'm headed straight to Arnolds's on Atalantic in Long Beach Now That I've happened upon this page

    ps I miss Belisles

  12. Wow! I just read Jim Arnold's comments and now I will call him as I am coming to Long Beach to head out on a cruise for our high school (BPHS) reunion. I live in North Carolina now. I went to work at the Farm House in May (Mother's Day, Duhh, no breaks all day long) 1971 on a project transition deal with the Marine Corps. I'd just got home from Vietnam and wanted to be a "Chef" so thru family friends of the Head Chef I started in the kitchen at the Farm House. I learned to carve a turkey from Jim and helped serve on the line as well. My favorite memory was when we came into work in the morning we would have fresh biscuits to nibble on. OK, I didn't go on as a Chef but I did do a lot of cooking for the guys I worked with in the Fire Dept. I still dabble at cooking and baking. Jim just got out of the Army at that time too. Today I suffer from the affects of "Agent Orange" and I am 100% disabled. Lost a kidney awhile ago but today I am cancer free. Jim, see you Thursday, October 9, 2008 when when I hit Long Beach, LUNCH? Stan Mozer

  13. wow SuzyQ! I would LOVE to have that recipe for the cream cheese jello if u want to share :)
    We drive all the way from Corona to Long Beach to go to Arnolds a few times a month (a 2 hr roundtrip drive) but it is worth it for the great food. Takes me right back to my childhood at the Buena Park location, and my teens when we went to the location in Placentia that was short-lived. Please, please, please post recipe!!

  14. I always wondered the name of the restaurant that had the big windmill that could be seen from the freeway (if I'm not mistaken, it was near the 91/5 interchange). Thanks for answering that question for me! I grew up in Riverside, and my grandparents lived in Norwalk. I remember as a child in the 1980's, I would look for that windmill and know that I was closer to Grandma's house. I was sad to see it torn down...and unfortunately I never got a chance to eat there...

  15. I worked at Arnold's Farmhouse for 13 years. Long Long ago.It was always a new an interesting experience to go to work each day. I sincerely enjoyed working with the wonderful people that frequented the restaurant. Mr. Arnold was a stern, but fair boss, and no one I have come across since in my lifetime, even comes close to comparing with him on his knowledge of food. I learned a lot while working there. I still carve the turkey at Thanksgiving to this day(family tradition). The farmhouse, was a piece of Buena Parks history, it was a shame to see go. Isaw children grow up over the years,and families expnd. Really enjoyed working there, and will always have great memories of that time of my life and guests we served. Thanks for the opportunity to be apart of Mr. Arnold's legacym and the history of Buen Park.

  16. I hope. I understand that there were other restaurants owned by members of the same family that owned "Arnold's Farm House". Does anybody know if there is still any restaurant that is owned by the same family in Los Angeles California?

  17. I hope. I understand that there were other restaurants owned by members of the same family that owned "Arnold's Farm House". Does anybody know if there is still any restaurant that is owned by the same family in Los Angeles California?

  18. I have a friend, Kathy Merton who worked there with her sister Sue back in the 60s. She told me about how great it was.

  19. omg this is so cool ! I worked there many years and loved every second
    Jimmy and I had a love hate relationship ...but it was all good
    it was my first real job and I worked with Larry Houseman ;) Loved all the folks who ate and worked there ...Sue was so sweet and Mr Arnold scared me lol hope to hit long beach soon !!!! Yvonne Burnetrt

  20. My grandfather use to own an auto body repair shop on Commonwealth next to a Volvo dealership in the 70s and early 80s. We would often go to Arnolds, every person working that line knew my grandfather, I think he ate there often. I remember the small chocolate cake for birthdays.
    Sadly my grandfather sold his business to a jerk, the Volvo dealership is gone and so is Arnolds. If I had a time machine, I know where I would go right now.

  21. I was born the year Arnold's Farm House started, grew up in Fullerton, later Irvine, now in Omaha, NE. My parents and I - later, my wife, Judy, and I - ate there every weekend WITHOUT FAIL, usually on Sundays, for about 30 years. I remember vividly not only the fantastic food (Tiffany Jello, Swiss Chocolate Log Roll, esp.), but also Mr. Arnold coming out on Sundays to shake the hand of everyone who was standing in the long line extending past the white player piano and on out the door. I also loved the piped-in music, usually featuring a quartet of cup-muted trombones plus rhythm section. Thank you all for mentioning that Mr. Arnold's son still runs the original Arnold's in Long Beach. We never knew about that place. We plan a visit to CA soon, and a visit to Long Beach and Arnold's Cafeteria is definitely a MUST! - Curtis White

  22. I was just talking with my Mom and I asked her if she remembered Arnold's Farm House. She suggested I Google it. I didn't really think anything would come up. This is so cool. Susan, I also grew up in Buena Park 1962-1977. When I worked at Noland Paper Co. (also in Buena Park) my boss would take us to Arnold's once a month. I remember that I loved the rice raisin salad? with cinnamon. I wish I had that recipe. Would love it if you posted the Tiffany jello recipe if you want to share that would be great.
    Thanks for the memories,

  23. Boy, I have so many memories of Arnolds Farmhouse. My Dad grew up in Buena Park and always wanted to go to Arnolds, and when he and my Mom wanted to go somewhere special for dinner, they often went to the Buttery. Unfortunately, I never got to go there although I hear it was great. Arnolds was always where we went for holidays and special occasions, i.e. Easter, Mothers Day, Thanksgiving. I am so glad I got to introduce my wife to Arnolds as we had Thanksgiving there in 1984 right after her father passed and no one felt like cooking. It helped make that sad Thanksgiving for her better & special. She still remembers it and wishes it were still around like I do. My family and I lived in Fullerton and were not far from the Plantation on Orangethorpe and ate there often after the Farmhouse closed. I didn't realize it was owned by the Arnold family as well, I always felt like it reminded me of Arnolds, no wonder! We all lost a true Orange County treasure when they wanted the Auto Mall. I am sure that down the road sometime that AutoMall might get torn down too. And you know what? I doubt people will remember it much or care about it's passing. But Arnolds will live on in our hearts, and I am going to plan a trip to Arnolds on Atlantic soon. I work in Long Beach and noticed it as I drove by it as I was on my way to lunch at another great family run restaurant of a different sort, Johnny Rebs. If anyone loves Southern Roadhouse food/BB-Q, check it out! They have 4 locations, 2 in the Long Beach area and one in Orange, one in Victorville. But the one on Long Beach Blvd. is the original. Thanks for some sweet memories!!

  24. I used to work at Arnold's Farmhouse from 1983-1985 when I had my daughter as did my mom for 12+ years. I have many fond memories of both my coworkers (who were like family) and the wonderful regular customers that came in every weekend. I loved the food.

  25. Hello all, its SuzyQ again; wow, I cant believe its been two years since I last entered this site. Sorry for the delay in posting the Tiffany Jello receipe. I was so happy to hear from Jim Arnold, and Larry Houseman. Larry, I dont know if you remember me, but we used to banter back and forth when you were carving and I was working the register at the line. Hope you are doing well. Jim, happy to hear you and your family are doing well also. If I ever make it back to California, I will stop by the Long Beach location to say Here is the Tiffany Jello Receipe:
    2 or three kinds (colors)jello prepared (small box)
    16 oz. Cream Cheese
    1 1/2 Cups Half & Half
    4 oz. Lemon Jello
    1/2 Cup Sugar
    1 1/2 Cups Pineapple Juice
    1/2 Cup Water

    Brig Cream cheese to room temperture. Slowly add Half & Half, and blend w/electric mixer until very smooth (consistency of butter). Set aside. Mix water & pineapple juice in saucepan; heat to a boil. Pour boiling mixture into bowl w/lemon jello mix, and sugar; stir until cool enough to stick your finger in comfortably. Once cool, stir into cream chees mixture till smooth. Cut assorted prepared jello into cubes. Put in 9 X 13 glass pan; arrange the cubes so the the colors are mixed. Pour cream cheese mixture on to cubes; use a spatula to lightly mix to assure mixture has covered cubes. Let set on counter 20 minutes. Chill till set (overnight is best). Enjoy!
    Susan Chambler (Ensley)

  26. Well, as far as I am concerned when Arnold's Farmhouse and the Buttery closed down and were demolished that's when the neighborhood went to heck.

    The Buttery was our favorite restaurant. We ate there very often. It was not expensive. It had a fireplace and a piano bar. It was great! When I was in high school (Buena Park High School) I took my Prom date (1960) and Christmas Formal Dance dates (1959 and 1960) to the Buttery for the pre-dance dinner. It was fun. I continued to go there all through the years until it closed in the 1980's.

    My wife and I have been searching for another restaurant like the Buttery in the Buena Park, Fullerton and Anaheim area but have not found any with the same atmosphere. Does anyone know of any?

    We did go to Chris and Pitt's on Euclid in Anaheim. They have the old style padded booths and the dark lighting. It is similar to the Buttery. I guess we should go back there again. It is close to home, Buena park.

  27. Jennifer(Lettow)BareisFebruary 20, 2011 3:53 PM

    I loved the stroll down memory lane!! Thanks everyone, my neighbor worked at Arnold's Farmhouse. I grew up in unincorperated Orange County.(Rosecrans & Beach Blvd.)La Mirada was our mailing address and I went to Emery Elem. and Maccomber Jr. High in Buena Park. I went to Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton. Almost every Sunday we went to Knott's Berry Farm and fed the ducks (before the park was closed, in the late 60's)&(when they had a merry-go-round and a small lake on the opposite side of Beach Blvd)then we would go to the general store and buy penny candy. Great memories!! The Alligator Farm was where the pottery shack was. I remember the deer park. Jax donuts and the historical house across the street, that we went to in Girl Scouts. Los Coyotes Country Club and Bellhurst. I now live in Northern Cafif. and haven't been to Buena Park in years but the memories will always be there.
    Susanville, CA

  28. Wow! I was looking for the Jello recipe for my mom a big fan of Arnold's Farmhouse and came upon this memory lane! I only went to the Farmhouse a few times when I was young and unfortunately don't have all the fond memories so it was really heartwarming to read all these postings. I grew up in B.P. from 1967-1980 and remember many of the city changes especially the Deer Park, the Alligator Farm, the movie house turned "adult" theater, Bob Big Boy's, the "fencing" and entrance fees to Knott's. It was a fun place, to walk around Knott's ghost town after Sunday dinner and watch the gun fighters and browse the shops for FREE! I could go on and on... I now live in Central Calif. and rarely get back to the crowded O.C. area. So, thanks for the memories!
    Beverly Takemoto-Herron
    Fresno, CA

  29. I grew up in the same place with the same memories as Jennifer (are you Julie's sister?) We often had dinner on a Sunday at Arnold's Farm House.

  30. My first job was at Arnold's Farmhouse as well. I have many memories such as every saturday cleaning the waiting area. I would clean the antiques. Maybe that is why today I collect antiques. Just the other day I was craving the chicken and dumplings.
    Of all things...

  31. I remember the people that we would get to know waiting in line week after week on Sundays. And yes the Chicken and Dumplings were the best. I also miss the pickled Herring in sower cream.
    And I remember a stained glass window in the entry that was all bowed out from thousands of fingers pushing against it over the years.
    Sunday memories of friends and family separated by time and distance.
    Oh to be young again holding Moms hand in line.

  32. I worked at both the Farmhouse and the Buttery. I started in 1961 as a Jr. Hostess, when Jim was a dish washer.
    Mr. Arnold had Jim do every job in the Rest., talk about work ethics, Mr. Arnold taught us all. Working 4 years at the Farmhouse then Mr Arnold moved me over to the Buttery as a Hostess then waitress. Many years later after Mr. Arnold passed away I came back home and worked for Jim, Sue and Miles as a Mgr.. I will always cherish the memories. I loved working there and the families and friends I met. Arnolds will always be part of Buena Park.

  33. My parents would always take all out of twon visiotrs to Arnold's Farm House, even though we lived in Whittier. They loved the food and the uniqueness of the restaurant. My favorite was their roast beef. I also loved the salads. As I rememer, you got your choice the three salads with your meal. Choosing which salads I wanted was always a big deal.

  34. I grew up in Buena Park from 1947 til I married in 1968. Arnold's Farmhouse was one of our favorite places to eat.

  35. Nice my family ate at both places. Since we lived in walking distance ..sad when the car dealers took over .first was the little trailer park across the street. I lived in that area since 1954.

  36. One thing all you Arnold's fans may not be aware of was a third restaurant in the "chain". It was the Williamsburg in downtown Long Beach. It opened and operated in the '80's. A 1700's decor with the waitresses in period clothing, innovative method of food preparation and stocking the service lines of the cafeteria. Supported some of the food needs of the other locations and promoted catering.

  37. Now that Thanksgiving is approaching, I'm remembering the fantastic turkey dressing (stuffing) that they used to have at Arnold's Farmhouse. It was a cornbread stuffing and it was wonderful! Does anyone have the recipe??

    Diana (Kirchen) - formerly of Fullerton


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