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(Wikipedia)   What defunct restaurant chain would you want to resurrect from the dead?   (en.wikipedia.org) divider line 847
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21295 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jun 2012 at 8:35 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-10 08:58:50 PM
MCDONALDS
 
2012-06-10 08:59:05 PM

2xhelix: Kenny Rogers Roasters, how I miss their chicken!


Came here to say this...
 
2012-06-10 08:59:10 PM

Lafiel: Boll weevil in Encinitas.
Best burgers ever.


Just Encinitas? They are still around San Diego.
 
2012-06-10 08:59:20 PM
Whataburger
 
2012-06-10 08:59:38 PM
Quincy's. Not sure if it was actually any good or if it was the fact that you could start with dessert, but I loved it as a kid.
 
2012-06-10 08:59:56 PM

love_alice: shakey's pizza in denver. good pizza with a very thin crispy crust.

then there was an awesome all you can eat pizza place in loveland.. forgot the name. Sadly, the gluttons ate them out of business.

// all you can eat is a bad business model peeps.


God I loved shakey's in CA. all you can eat mediocre thin crust with potato wedges burnt just right and ranch... picnic table seating.
shiat, Shakey's...
 
2012-06-10 09:00:19 PM
Showbiz Pizza Place

You keep that f*ckin' rat away from my pizza! I want Billy Bob, dammit!
 
2012-06-10 09:00:33 PM
Howard Johnson's - great fired clams and club sandwiches....although after a google I see there are three still in operation.
 
2012-06-10 09:00:48 PM

SwiftFox: Bill Knapps' bean soup


Okay, so we've had at least four different Bill Knapp food pining posts (bean soup, pot pie, au gratin from me, chocolate cake)...

I'm serious: does anyone know if they study that as a case study in how-to-completely-f--k-up-a-business case study in business schools? You know, breaking what isn't necessarily *broken* in trying to make a quick buck?

Because damn, if not, they should.

Bill Knapp "was interested in providing decent food for a reasonable price with friendly service." The target clientele of his restaurants, often from rural areas, were white and lower-middle class. As the decades passed, the clientele remained nearly the same as it had when the chain first opened in 1948. By the 1980s and 1990s, the clientele was predominantly senior citizens, causing the chain to be mocked with titles such as "God's waiting room."

In 1998, in reaction to this aspect of their reputation, Bill Knapp's instituted a "That was then, this is WOW" marketing campaign, as well as an overall revamp of the chain's image. The changes included revising old building exteriors with newer, hipper color schemes, and further changes, including the installation of televisions and video games in restaurants.[4][5]

The "That was then, this is WOW" campaign not only changed the interior and exterior décor, but the menu as well. Prior to 1996, Bill Knapp's relied on a commissary system which supplied all of its restaurants daily or every other day. In an effort to cut costs, the commissary model was abandoned in favor of purchasing food from food services local to each restaurant


Yeah, the funny thing about old people, there are usually younger ones who love them too. Could've struck a nice balance at accommodating whole families instead of screwing the seniors (and anyone who kind of likes the quiet save Happy Birthday now and then + less-crazy-crap-on-the-walls + decent enough family restaurant prices like my dad). But nope.

C'est la vie.

/now I have a craving for au gratin potatoes and wild rice dammit
 
2012-06-10 09:00:54 PM
Kip's Big Boy in D/FW. Ate a lot of hamburger streak and eggs growing up there. Also where I started drinking coffee.
 
2012-06-10 09:01:10 PM
Magic Pan! They had crepes, but they also had a Monte Cristo like the one Bennigan's had. Bennigan's is also gone now! Not many places for deep fried ham and cheese goodness. The last one I had was in St. Maarten four years ago.

Lum's I remember being amazing from when I was a kid, but it could have been that as a kid I liked things I don't now (like McD's) xD.
 
Rie
2012-06-10 09:01:10 PM
Also, my submission -- Port City Java. Not quite a restaurant, I know, but here on the SC coast they've essentially gone extinct after a brief push to franchise out of the Wilmington, NC area. All that's left are the ones floating around their home stomping ground up on Cape Fear, which is a shame -- they got here before Starbucks really dominated and could have been an East Coast bastion of "Bugger off, giant chain -- we've got this".

Also also -- Cook-Out should totally be a national chain. They put even Mickey D's to shame in terms of quality and pricing.
 
2012-06-10 09:01:16 PM

JerseyTim: Roy Rogers isn't dead, but they're few and far between. Their biscuits were fast food crack and the fix ins bar was worth the gamble to pile up the pickles.


They seem to be pretty popular on the Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway...
 
2012-06-10 09:01:21 PM
Brigham's.

It's a Boston thing.
 
2012-06-10 09:01:26 PM
3.bp.blogspot.com

All the Tastee Freeze in my area had closed down many years ago but I see they are still chain. This gives me more motivation to go book a weekend trip in Asheville for me and the Mrs.
 
2012-06-10 09:02:00 PM

dustman81: 2xhelix: Kenny Rogers Roasters, how I miss their chicken!

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 300x260]

Kramer agrees


It's the wood that makes it good.
 
2012-06-10 09:02:07 PM

titwrench: Lafiel: Boll weevil in Encinitas.
Best burgers ever.

Just Encinitas? They are still around San Diego.


Ah. I had thought they all went out of business in 2008(?)
 
2012-06-10 09:02:18 PM

jbuist: I miss the Hot 'n Now burger joints. Drive-thru only. Not sure if they were anywhere besides West Michigan or not.


Pepsi bought the chain. That's when it went from burgers/fries to "We have everything McDonald's does!!" It tanked hard and they got out. The original company bought it back. I was a GM at one of the corporate locations until I showed up for work one day and the District Manager was there passing out paychecks. "Sorry, closed" You can still find a few privately owned ones in the Saginaw-Bay city area. Flint too I think.
 
2012-06-10 09:02:27 PM
Four places come to mind, all from childhood memories:

1. Arthur Treacher's. Loved their battered chicken. (I hear some still exist, and hope to find one in my travels some day.)

2. Lum's. Mmmm hot dogs.

3. Howard Johnson's. We'd always visit one on our way from FL to NY to see family.

4. Second that Roy Rogers nod. Arby's just isn't the same.
 
2012-06-10 09:02:42 PM

DarkSoulNoHope: Howard Johnson's. (The restaurant, not the hotel chain part)


THIS.

I must admit, though, that the first (and only) time I went was in the mid 1990s (in CT or NY), at which point they already had one foot on the grave and the other on the banana peel. But their ice cream was spectacular
 
2012-06-10 09:02:49 PM
Rustler Steak House. Haven't seen one of those since I was a kid.
 
2012-06-10 09:03:02 PM
McDonald's didn't use beef tallow. They used sheep fat.

BEHIND THE ARCHES by John Love

Excellent corporate biography.
 
2012-06-10 09:03:10 PM
Of the list, I only recognized Steak & Ale and Showbiz, so... Showbiz?

(I liked their robot band better than the Chuck E Cheese thing)

House of Pies, we still have those here, not great not terrible... rather go there than IHOP, but only just.

We have A&W here too (and since they began that two-in-one thing with Long John Silver's, KFC, Taco Bell, A&W, and Pizza Hut, there have been more than I remember there being before).
 
2012-06-10 09:03:21 PM
pioneer chicken or pixie kitchen
 
2012-06-10 09:03:28 PM

RealityChuck: Horn and Hardart, aka the Automat.


I would have loved to experience one of these. I visited the short-lived new version in St. Mark's Place a few years ago, and got a hint of Automat fun, but not nearly as stylin' as from what I've read.
 
2012-06-10 09:03:35 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: lohphat: Charlie Freak: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Farrell's was a great place

/unless a frikkin F-86 flew in the front door

Ooh, my dad used to drive me by that site and tell me that story. Chilling.

Holy crap.

I hadn't thought about that for a long time

/I think I'm going to try to forget about it again


just read the story. there is something fark-worthy to read in it.

"Moments after the crash, a 61-year-old woman and her 62-year-old husband were both struck by a truck as they attempted to cross Freeport Boulevard on foot to reach the crash site; the woman, Billie Irwin, died of her injuries."

idiots
 
2012-06-10 09:04:09 PM

hillary: I just came in here to say Bill Knapp's, but the version of Bill Knapp's before they got all stupid and tried to be a Chucky Cheese for the kiddies. Worked there as a teen. Didn't RTFA.


Chucky Cheese, back in the day, use to cater more to the teen crowd and video junkies back in the day. They used to have half decent cooks who could grill up a decent burger with all the works. I'm not even sure if they served pizza at that time. I used to hang out there to get a quick meal before hittin' the local nightclubs (Tucson circa 1984)
 
2012-06-10 09:04:48 PM
Does anyone else remember 'Round the Corner restaurants? They served hamburgers and milk shakes, and you had to order your food by calling from the phone that was at your table.
/I kind of miss the 80s
 
2012-06-10 09:04:59 PM

Majick Thise: Taco-Tico ... it was taco bell before there was taco bell


OMG, their mild sauce tacos were sooooo good. I think there are still some of them in Kansas, but nothing like the 1970s.
 
2012-06-10 09:05:05 PM

Hand Banana: [jsfburgerchef.homestead.com image 640x395]

I was going to mention Druthers too but apparently there is still one in existence.


Wow! I was thinking about this place as I was reading through the comments. There use to be a couple in Lake Charles, La. where I grew up. They use to have 5 cheeseburgers for 1.15 Wasn't half bad. After I moved away they went under. McDonald's came to Lake Charles I believe in in the early 70s if I recall and I would imagine that's why they went under.
 
2012-06-10 09:05:14 PM
I'm not sure if this one is around, but what about Big Boy? I used to stop by the one in Fairlawn, Ohio when I was in the area. There's actually an old Big Boy mascot rotting away about 10 miles from my place. Every time I drive by it, I get really depressed. That place was amazing!

Also, Bennigan's. Once again, the one in Fairlawn went under a while ago.

Last one, East Side Mario's. Nice Italian place, really friendly. There was also one in Fairlawn. I think I see a pattern now...
 
2012-06-10 09:05:21 PM
How about places you WISH you had in your town?

S O N I C
 
2012-06-10 09:05:23 PM

Confabulat: I have one of the last remaining Po Folks about a half mile from my house. All the rest are in lower Alabama and North Florida.

I am a blessed man, and there's a Long John Silvers across the street, too.


There are two Po Folks here in Panama City. I used to eat there all the time until I saw inside the kitchen. Yuck.

I miss Del Taco. They put Taco Bell to shame.
 
2012-06-10 09:05:27 PM
Hmmm. I always thought Showbiz Pizza and Chuck E. Cheese were the same thing, but named differently depending on geography. Like Carl's Jr. and Hardees.

Not quite sure what I can do with that information but it's good to know. I guess.
 
2012-06-10 09:05:32 PM
Chi-Chi's
 
2012-06-10 09:06:17 PM

AtlanticCoast63: ...Wow....Definitely Red Barn, we had a shiatload of them in the Cleveland area, and they were consistently good. Trouble was they were a bit on the expensive side compared to McDs - and in Northern Ohio, until the mid seventies, McDs was only open about 5-6 months out of the year, and there were no tables - you walked up to the window, got your food, and left. Red Barn had full interior seating, with all its attendant overhead. We also had a Sandy's a couple blocks away from our house - really cheap food, and you got what you paid for.

One I thought was defunct but is definitely circling the drain:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 250x331]

Nir-freaking-vana.


I had to GIS Dog n' Suds, 'cause I was sure that they were long gone. We used to get growlers of RB to take home. Tastee Freez was the only other chain within 15 miles, and I thought they were gone as well, but I see there are still a few around.
 
2012-06-10 09:06:36 PM

MaxSupernova: [3.bp.blogspot.com image 200x171]

All the Tastee Freeze in my area had closed down many years ago but I see they are still chain. This gives me more motivation to go book a weekend trip in Asheville for me and the Mrs.


Not sure how close to Salisbury, MD you are IRL, but I think the one on the main strip is still alive. Make damn sure you're wearing kevlar though. Not a good area for casual dining.

MIGHT be one still active in Laurel, MD too but that's not a place I've visited in a long time.
 
2012-06-10 09:06:50 PM
Pizza Inn. At least I haven't seen one in a long time. From the linked list, Steak and Ale wasn't horrible, and Showbiz was the original animatronic pizza joint in my neck of the woods. S&W Cafeteria wasn't bad either.

/Earl and Abel is listed, but there is one a mile from my house.
 
2012-06-10 09:08:13 PM

Confabulat: I have one of the last remaining Po Folks about a half mile from my house. All the rest are in lower Alabama and North Florida.

I am a blessed man, and there's a Long John Silvers across the street, too.


Damn you! My Po Folks in Buena Park got taken away from me. And not a Cracker Barrel in sight!

I do miss Pioneer Chicken, the batter was pure MSG, the G stands for GooodGawdItsSalty!!!
 
2012-06-10 09:08:30 PM

rtyfx: How about places you WISH you had in your town?

S O N I C


When they opened the first one on Long Island about a year ago, there were half-mile drive-thru lines. But to be fair, they had advertised here for years before and had become this huge curiosity.
 
2012-06-10 09:08:38 PM

JerseyTim: Roy Rogers isn't dead, but they're few and far between. Their biscuits were fast food crack and the fix ins bar was worth the gamble to pile up the pickles.



I came here to say that...except about the pickles.

When I visit my parents in Virginia we drive out to the one in Leesburg. Roy's was also my first job.
 
2012-06-10 09:08:44 PM
I liked Red Barn.
But I was like 5, so what the hell did I know.
 
2012-06-10 09:09:00 PM

DO NOT WANT Poster Girl: Brigham's.

It's a Boston thing.


Oh, wow, forget it. Brigham's is still around. D'oh.

Not the same as the original place in downtown boston though. Sigh. That's where I'd get my jimmies rustled.
 
2012-06-10 09:09:02 PM

Confabulat: I'd love to see a real Showbiz Pizza too, with the actual pneumatic Rock-A-Fire Explosion. I don't know what Chuck E Cheese is these days but it's sure as hell not that. The pizza always sucked but who cared.


I went to a Showbiz once as a kid, then it changed over to Chuck E Cheese. Chuck E Cheese sucks. Give me back Showbiz so I can take my kids there someday.
 
2012-06-10 09:09:11 PM

rtyfx: How about places you WISH you had in your town?

S O N I C


Five Guys. There's exactly one in my area, but I don't drive. The one location is an hour+ on buses and an hour walk. Not worth the trip.
 
2012-06-10 09:09:11 PM
Pioneer Chicken because chickens don't have three breasts. Do they?
 
2012-06-10 09:09:12 PM

Confabulat: I have one of the last remaining Po Folks about a half mile from my house. All the rest are in lower Alabama and North Florida.

I am a blessed man, and there's a Long John Silvers across the street, too.


Oh, man.. I remember going to Po'Folks in Tallahassee when I was going to college there. I lived near the Po'Folks. For a chain, it had decent Southern food. But then, I'm a Yankee and didn't grow up with the stuff.
 
zez
2012-06-10 09:09:17 PM
This is NOT an A&W

defoenet.com



THIS is an A&W!

farm3.staticflickr.com

/A&W is dead
 
2012-06-10 09:09:59 PM

findthefish: Howard Johnson's


WTF? Three?

Link
 
2012-06-10 09:10:06 PM

Favoritemonster: Burger Chef. Just because I can't really remember if it was good or not, and it couldn't be any worse that the competition.

Also, not sure if Ponderosa is still around?


Let me be the THIRD vote for Burger Chef.

Poderosa had rolls that tasted exactly like ones I ate in the Azores.

Plus Farrell's

Chi-Chi's for over-priced bland Mexican food.

And while I know they are still in business my fair city lost all it's 'Steak & Shakes' with the recession. :(
 
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