Kendall's Original Uniform
Last updated 1/27/2022 at 9:03am
The original waitressing uniform worn by Laura "Burnand" Caminiti in 1968, while working at the Mall Café, now Kendall's Café, is on permanent display in The Mall, at the Café.
The framed dress was donated by BJ and Pete Marsh on behalf of Laura Caminiti, and presented to Anne and Jim Wermers, on Dec. 21, 2021, and mounted on the wall of Kendall's Café. Others attending the presentation ceremony were E.B Chedrick, who designed the display and had the dress framed, and Café owner, Lorena Valdez.
Laura Caminiti had only one request prior to surrendering the dress for display.
"I wanted to try it on and see if it still fits. And it did, after 53 years," she laughed.
Caminiti is the daughter of Sonny Burnand III, and granddaughter of Alphonse A. Burnand, Jr. She remembers working after high school and on weekends; and thinks her father owned the restaurant at the time.
"I worked at the Café for two years. People were friendly and polite. The Café was popular, and tips were great. We were very busy at lunch time. Young people ordered milkshakes and ice cream from the soda counter, and older people showed up for pie and ice cream in the evening."
"Borrego Springs was a great place to live. It was a close-knit community. My ninth-grade class was the first class to attend school in the new high school, and we had 19 in our graduating class. We did all the things that young people of that generation did. We went to dances, a Prom, had overnights and hung out together."
One funny story she recalls from her time at the Mall Café begins with the fact the uniforms were short, not as short a mini-skirts, but shorter than the average dress length. "A girlfriend, who worked with me noticed all the young guys congregating in one particular place in the restaurant. We finally figured out that as we bent over to scoop the ice cream, they had a good view of our backsides from that location. It wasn't like there was much to see, but we thought it was amusing. You know, being teenagers and all," she explained.
The signage on the framed dress reads, "This original Mall Café dress was worn in the 60's by teenage waitress Laura Burnand, daughter of A.A. "Sonny Burnand III and granddaughter of Borrego Springs pioneer Alphonse A. Burnand, Jr. Donation by Laura Burnand. Property of The Mall."