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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:04 PM

10 Restaurant Chains That Are Disappearing In America

In the past 10 years, some of America’s biggest food chains have lost more than 50% of their sales as they closed hundreds of locations nationwide.

These restaurants, which include former American staples such as Big Boy, Ponderosa and Bennigan’s have not been able to maintain a steady crowd. They have failed to update their brand or menu options. As a result locations have been closed in favor of a new generation of eateries.
http://www.businessinsider.com/10-disappearing-restaurant-chains-2012-12?op=1

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Reply 10 Restaurant Chains That Are Disappearing In America (Original post)
FarCenter Dec 2012 OP
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #1
justabob Dec 2012 #14
FirstLight Dec 2012 #58
justabob Dec 2012 #63
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #68
pstokely Dec 2012 #31
City Lights Dec 2012 #52
Drahthaardogs Dec 2012 #71
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #87
brooklynite Dec 2012 #81
Honeycombe8 Dec 2012 #83
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #86
X_Digger Dec 2012 #2
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #21
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #72
Warren Religion Dec 2012 #98
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #116
Victor_c3 Dec 2012 #109
Ian David Dec 2012 #3
FarCenter Dec 2012 #6
Tommy_Carcetti Dec 2012 #33
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #55
sendero Dec 2012 #114
oneshooter Dec 2012 #66
closeupready Dec 2012 #12
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #4
sunwyn Dec 2012 #5
randome Dec 2012 #7
WinkyDink Dec 2012 #9
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #24
Freddie Dec 2012 #50
Cosmocat Dec 2012 #43
JI7 Dec 2012 #82
Arugula Latte Dec 2012 #8
Moonwalk Dec 2012 #40
Tommy_Carcetti Dec 2012 #44
Moonwalk Dec 2012 #54
SheilaT Dec 2012 #10
longship Dec 2012 #11
MineralMan Dec 2012 #18
DearHeart Dec 2012 #61
marmar Dec 2012 #79
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #100
Trajan Dec 2012 #108
hatrack Dec 2012 #117
NV Whino Dec 2012 #13
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #17
MountainLaurel Dec 2012 #20
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #25
Tommy_Carcetti Dec 2012 #26
Warpy Dec 2012 #56
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #64
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #73
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #74
Tommy_Carcetti Dec 2012 #118
proud2BlibKansan Dec 2012 #88
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #91
mfcorey1 Dec 2012 #106
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #120
Cha Dec 2012 #42
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #51
NV Whino Dec 2012 #57
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #101
justice1 Dec 2012 #92
Nye Bevan Dec 2012 #15
Terra Alta Dec 2012 #16
FarCenter Dec 2012 #22
jmowreader Dec 2012 #111
monmouth3 Dec 2012 #19
tularetom Dec 2012 #23
pinboy3niner Dec 2012 #27
Initech Dec 2012 #69
Tabasco_Dave Dec 2012 #93
bulloney Dec 2012 #110
caraher Dec 2012 #115
Daemonaquila Dec 2012 #28
Tommy_Carcetti Dec 2012 #29
pstokely Dec 2012 #30
BanTheGOP Dec 2012 #32
FarCenter Dec 2012 #37
JHB Dec 2012 #34
frazzled Dec 2012 #35
patrice Dec 2012 #36
HughBeaumont Dec 2012 #38
patrice Dec 2012 #39
Tommy_Carcetti Dec 2012 #41
patrice Dec 2012 #48
Adsos Letter Dec 2012 #45
patrice Dec 2012 #46
grahamhgreen Dec 2012 #103
RedCappedBandit Dec 2012 #47
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 #49
In_The_Wind Dec 2012 #53
dembotoz Dec 2012 #59
FSogol Dec 2012 #60
DearHeart Dec 2012 #62
FSogol Dec 2012 #75
DearHeart Dec 2012 #96
FSogol Dec 2012 #112
DearHeart Dec 2012 #122
TwilightGardener Dec 2012 #65
Odin2005 Dec 2012 #67
Initech Dec 2012 #70
JI7 Dec 2012 #76
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #102
llmart Dec 2012 #77
bagimin Dec 2012 #84
llmart Dec 2012 #89
Art_from_Ark Dec 2012 #85
justice1 Dec 2012 #94
Nay Dec 2012 #113
JI7 Dec 2012 #78
Historic NY Dec 2012 #80
AnnieBW Dec 2012 #90
sakabatou Dec 2012 #95
Bombero1956 Dec 2012 #97
tj_crackersnatch Dec 2012 #99
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #104
Tommy_Carcetti Dec 2012 #119
Trajan Dec 2012 #105
watch the sky Dec 2012 #107
sylvi Dec 2012 #121

Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:06 PM

1. I miss Bennigans.

Hate to see it go.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:26 PM

14. monte cristo

I have been having a horrible craving for one of those deep fried club sandwiches with raspberry dip. I know they are really pretty gross, but it is an old guilty pleasure of mine.

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Response to FirstLight (Reply #58)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:38 PM

63. lol :)

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Response to justabob (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:19 PM

68. Loved the Monte Cristo!

Even though it was a heart attack on a plate.

Bennigans was very popular here in Fargo, but then business suddenly went south for them, no clue why.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:48 PM

31. There's one still open in Columbia, MO

nt

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:03 PM

52. Same here. Ditto for TCBY.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:21 PM

71. How can you miss it? Chili's Applebees, Ruby Tuesday's

and a host of other restaurants are just Bennigan's.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #71)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:56 PM

87. Not really.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:41 PM

81. Apparently I was never "hungry for fun"

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:42 PM

83. Me, too. I preferred it to that Chili's place, but Bennigans lost out to Chili's. nt

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #83)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:55 PM

86. Never have been much of a Chilis fan.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:09 PM

2. I've never heard of many of them..

.. and I thought Shoney's / Big Boy and Ponderosa were dead a loooong time ago.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:39 PM

21. Me neither....and interesting the economy was NOT the first issue to be discussed

in the article
tho it probably should have been.
along with fast rising prices for meals.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:22 PM

72. Ponderosa has been gone from Fargo for YEARS.

The last time I remember it still being open was in the late 90s.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #72)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:29 AM

98. You're a North Dakotan?

 

Me too! (Though I don't live there now.)

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Response to Warren Religion (Reply #98)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:26 AM

116. Minnesotan, I live on the Moorhead side.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 05:39 AM

109. yup, me too

I only recognized the name of 4 of the 10 and I probably only ate at one of the 10 at any point in my life (Pondersa). I remember going to poderosa when I was a kid and how much i loved the buffet.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:09 PM

3. I remember when Ground Round used to show silent movies...

... and you were encouraged to dump your peanut shells on the floor.

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Response to Ian David (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:15 PM

6. The last local restaurant that let you dump peanut shells on the floor stopped serving peanuts

Slip and fall suits, plus risk from customers with peanut allergies, caused them to stop

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:50 PM

33. Five Guys Burgers still has unlimited peanuts for its customers.

Somewhat surprised that they do.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:11 PM

55. Texas Road House does that

Peanut shells all over the floor.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #55)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:49 AM

114. And if they didn't brine the crap...

.... out of their steaks, they wouldn't be half bad.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:17 PM

66. Texas Roadhouse still serves peanuts in the shell.

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Response to Ian David (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:25 PM

12. I do, too - have very fond memories of them from

when I was a child.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:10 PM

4. I liked both Don Pablo's and Tony Roma. That's a shame.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:11 PM

5. My Mom retired from Ground Round

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:18 PM

7. I'm surprised there haven't been more 'disappearances'.

How can Burger King and even McDonald's continue to compete when people are becoming more health conscious and spare money is harder to come by?

I remember Burger Den and Red Barn restaurants. Long gone.

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:20 PM

9. Kids.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:42 PM

24. kids and folks with very very low incomes

who can get a filling meal at a low price.


We have a Michey D's and a Burger King almost side by side on the same main drag
and I have watched them, esp in the am, have a lot of foot and drive thru traffic
in a town of 6,000.

That food has to be addictive.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:43 PM

50. Breakfast is huge there

I think at least 30% of Mickey D's sales are breakfast.

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:10 PM

43. As noted, kids, plus cheap and quick

you get a real mix at McDees.

As many older people as not.

But, kids are the core for the operation.

Factor in really quick service (most often) and about as cheap as you can get.

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Response to randome (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:41 PM

82. those places sell salads

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:19 PM

8. Did TCBY retain the workers-add-the-toppings model?

Because now all the new fro yo stores do it the self-serve way, which is quite popular.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #8)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:02 PM

40. TCBY did maintain that, and also a limited choice of flavors...

I remember when a Menchies (self-serve fro-yo with a lot of changing flavors) took over a corner building catty-corner from a nearby elementary school and down the block from a TCBY. I knew right away the little TCBY would be gone within the year--maybe within six months and, sure enough, it was. There as no competing for the TCBY--why would a kid want to go to the fro-yo place where the person behind the counter decides how much fro-yo they get and how much of each topping they want they get? Menchies let's them pull the handle and get as much and as many flavors and toppings as they like...which, of course, is the genius of such places as they price according to weight. The more the kid ladles on the more $$ they make.

Pinkberry survives doing it the old way because they're an "adult" fro-yo place serving up the more adult flavors like chocolate hazelnut and pomegranate. And adults (and those adults who bring their kids to Pinkberry, want a controlled portion). But if you want to appeal to kids, you need those fun flavors like chocolate-banana and freedom for the kid to create their own.

And, as said in the article, TCBY also survived because they didn't have much competition. The frozen dessert market is huge now and TCBY didn't have a way to stand out as anything special. In my small neighborhood we've three (THREE) gelato stores, two different "self-serve" fro-yo's (popular with the kids) and one Pinkberry. That's within ten blocks!

To be fair, the gelato places also serve coffee and sandwiches but still....

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #40)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:12 PM

44. Never been to a Pinkberry. Are they mainly a West Coast venture?

The only time I ever heard about it was on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

I thought they were a self-serve place, but maybe I'm confusing it with Red Mango.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #44)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:06 PM

54. Pink Berry was the little yogurt place that could in California...

...it contrasted places like TCBY by serving tart but richly textured fro-yo (popular in Korea where the company is from, I believe) that people found addictive. For a while they had only that one tart flavor and toppings that were mainly fresh fruit. The adults loved it, especially as it was touted as low-calorie and good for you. So, the 'good for you" indulgence you can reward yourself with after the gym.

It started in North Hollywood in a tiny place (I mean *tiny*--two tables) with no parking and got so wildly popular (zeitgeist?) that people were willing to get parking tickets to get a Pink Berry, and the line for it was out the door. This got them a lot of media exposure. Not surprisingly, this got them investors and they franchised; now there's something like 100 Pink Berries in CA.

It's success is based on the opposite of the "build your own" fro-yo that's now popular. All stores are small, so even though there aren't a lot of folk in them, they look full and attract people that way. They limit flavors, and so each flavor seems special, and new ones can come out as seasonal and unique. And they still maintain the portion and topping control, so the one indulging can feel like they're having a healthy snack rather than ruining all their fitness work.

After Pink Berry hit it big, Red Mango and other stores serving tart fro-yo started popping up, all pretty much the same as Pink Berry. For a while they were everywhere with names like Berry Fresh and Blue Melon, but in CA, at least, no one really went to the others and Pink Berry came out as both the survivor and winner. Possibly not for the quality of its fro-yo so much as it's look, the media hype and just getting more stores in more places before the others had a chance.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:24 PM

10. A couple of those I'd never even heard of,

meaning I apparently have never lived where they had restaurants.

I can recall some other long gone chains that I miss. Victoria Station. I loved that place. There was something else in the DC area 30-40 years ago, but I can't come up with the name.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:24 PM

11. We lost White Castle! <snif>

The classic slider. In the day, I'd go to the all night White Castle after a evening of hard party and eat a dozen of them.

Those grilled onions and that mystery ketchupy mustard sauce! They were thin, and had holes in them, so they only had to be cooked on one side.

They used to be all over Michigan. No more.

Don't get me started about HoJo's low grade dog food. However, we still have Denny's for that honor.

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Response to longship (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:33 PM

18. Still a bunch of White Castles in the Twin Cities.

In fact, there's one just a few blocks from my house. I don't like their burgers at all, but their onion chips are most excellent. Not good for me, though. I eat a bag once a year, just to spite my doctor.

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Response to longship (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:08 PM

61. I feel bad for you!! Luckily, we here in IL still have White Castle. nt

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Response to longship (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:38 PM

79. There are still plenty of White Castles in Michigan, at least SE Michigan.

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Response to longship (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:16 AM

100. Now there's a regional taste I never could acquire. Just soggy, bland pseudo-meat on air-bread.

 

I lived in Chicago for a couple of years and found lots of good food, but as often as I went along with the group consensus and went there, it just didn't take.

Burgerville in Portland, OR was another one like that. Locals just rave about it, but it's just nasty to me.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #100)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:30 AM

108. Locals rave about these ....



Killer Burger rocks Portland .... http://killerburger.biz/

Canyon Grill .... http://www.thecanyongrill.com/

http://burgatroyd.com/ is amazing ....

Foster Burger's menu .... http://www.fosterburger.com/fb_menu_oct_2012.pdf

LOTs of options in Portland ...

We go to Burgerville for ... $1 soft serve ice cream cones ....

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Response to longship (Reply #11)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:30 AM

117. White Castle - PAH! Want greasy, delicious region-specific crap?

One possibility that flies far above the highest turret of White Castle - Runza!

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:25 PM

13. I miss Bob's Big Boy.

Used to go to the one in Glendale and then hit the miniature golf course down the street when I was a kid. Great hamburgers. Shoney's not so much. East coasters don't seem to understand condiments.

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:29 PM

17. Shoney's is vile. Just godawful. I have no idea why they still exist.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:35 PM

20. For people like my grandmother

Who think that salt and pepper are the only spices that exist.

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Response to MountainLaurel (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:42 PM

25. Ha! I know people like that. Like their food bland

and greasy--garlic is too much for them.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:44 PM

26. I loved Shoney's growing up.

They were a staple off of I-95 south, and my family would often stop at them on the way going down to Florida on vacations.

In retrospect, their food wasn't anything spectacular, but I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for them.

And they did have a pretty good breakfast bar, from what I recall.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #26)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:16 PM

56. It was basic feed the family and don't break the bank food

It was a middle class staple, working class went to the new joints like McDonald's and Burger King and ate in the car.

Portions were large and presentation was OK, that leaf of lettuce under the tomato providing you with the illusion that you had a serving of veg.

I haven't been to one since I went veg in 1970.

Of course, all the restaurants on the list have been middle class staples, mid tier restaurants that had metal cutlery at the table, food on plates instead of stryofoam clamshells, and in which kids were taught how to behave in public.

That's why they are going under. Nobody can afford them any more. There was nothing wrong with their menus or anything else, really.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #26)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:10 PM

64. In terms of cheap family eateries, though, I'd sooner go to

Village Inn, Cracker Barrel or even Denny's. At least they serve breakfast all day, allowing you to avoid having to eat their dinner entrees or crappy sandwiches.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #64)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:25 PM

73. Village Inn free pie Wednesday!

I like their chicken-friend steak, too.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #73)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:28 PM

74. Never tried their chicken-fried steak, but they do have

good pies, and good omelets.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #73)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:10 AM

118. Village Inn, another place I enjoyed!

Not a whole lot around, but there was one in St. Augustine, Florida that my family went to a lot when we vacationed there.

So many association with these restarauants and family traveling with me.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #64)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:57 PM

88. Denny's is much better than it used to be.

They have great salads.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #88)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:20 PM

91. We used to go to Denny's a lot when our kids were little--

a more lenient atmosphere for toddlers, and a cheap night out for Mom and Dad.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:24 AM

106. My last visit to Shoney's was when the buffet had deteriorated to the point that

they had fried bologna as one of the options for breakfast.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Reply #106)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:28 AM

120. Oh God, that's what I'm talking about. They were just

UNIQUELY bad.

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:06 PM

42. Went to the one in Phoenix on Central Ave in the '60s and yeah..

miniature golf sounds about right on a Saturday night.

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:00 PM

51. Glendale, CA was the home of the original Bob's Big Boy restaurant

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #51)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:30 PM

57. Yeah, I think that was the original

On Colorado Blvd, if I remember correctly.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Reply #51)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:18 AM

101. Used to be that you could find Jay Leno there almost every Friday night. n/t

 

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:32 PM

92. I was a member of the Big Boy Club, loved the magazine and free birthday meal.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:28 PM

15. I LOVED Bennigans Broccoli Bites.

Best way to eat your veggies.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:29 PM

16. Why is it these chains are disappearing

but Papa John's and Chick-fil-a remain strong.

Life isn't fair sometimes.

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Response to Terra Alta (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:39 PM

22. All but Blimpies and TCBY were a lot smaller than Chick-fil-a's 1600 stores or Papa John's 4000.

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Response to Terra Alta (Reply #16)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:07 AM

111. A few reasons

Addressing Chick fil A: people love their food. When we had all the Boycott CFA threads, several of our number expressed regret for the Cathys' politics because the sandwiches are very good.

Papa John's? They provide a pizza that tastes like the box it came in that is superior to similar pizzas made by Dominos, Godfathers and Pizza Hut. If you live in New York or Chicago and have easy access to pizza made by a guy who speaks only Italian those places are unnecessary. In this town, the pizza kits you get at the store that contain a bag of bisquik, a bag of parmesan and a can of tomato sauce produce better pizza than Capone's does. Our great nation contains vast pizza wastelands, and it is there Papa John makes his money.

The restaurants on this list are in heavily oversaturated market segments. Take Bennigan's. Please. Look at a map of Fayetteville, N.C. Draw two lines on it: one down Cliffdale Road, the other down McPherson Church. Because of the relatively recessionproof nature of Fayetteville's economy, every burgers & beer chain in the industry flocked there. The only one they didn't have was Dave & Busters and there aren't many of those around. The thing is, does the market really need eight or nine identical chains? That market will eventually self-select to two or three...probably Applebees, Ruby Tuesday or Rock-ola Grill and Chilis.

I also expect to see froyo die. The product is unbelievably expensive for the quality you get, and the self service model will eventually go away on economic grounds. I went in one of those places, selected the medium cup, put a reasonable amount of product in, topped it with a reasonable amount of toppings..."$6,95 please." Go in there with three kids and spouse and you better have two twenties with you. It's more expensive than Ben & Jerry's and not as good.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:34 PM

19. Many people just don't have the money anymore to go out and eat...n/t

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:40 PM

23. How about a list of 10 restaurant chains we would like to see disappear

I propose three:

Red Lobster

Olive Garden

Applebee's

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Response to tularetom (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:45 PM

27. Chick-fil-A. nt

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Response to tularetom (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:19 PM

69. Papa John's Pizza

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Response to tularetom (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:35 PM

93. Outback Steakhouse

I and many others had a steak tougher than an old boot from outback and they're overpriced.

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Response to tularetom (Reply #23)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:37 AM

110. Taco Bell. They buy "meat" that's rejected by dog food manufacturers.

That's no exaggeration. I know someone who's a buyer for a pet food company and she told me Taco Bell buys stuff that her company rejects.

The other thing that's so stupid about that company--they think they can add the letters i-t-a to the end of any word in the English language and they have a catchy name for a menu item. Crapita. Pissita.

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Response to bulloney (Reply #110)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:13 AM

115. Carlos Mencia did a bit about that

When Taco Bell introduced the "Gordita" he had some gag about walking into a Taco Bell, asking if they had "Gorditas" for sale, and saying something like "I'd like the one over there with the pink lipstick."

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:45 PM

28. Hardly surprising.

Some of these, like Ponderosa, made the cheapest Vegas buffet look like high quality food. Others, like Don Pablo's, filled the "pretend" ethnic food market, which thankfully is going away as fabulous REAL Mexican, Chinese, etc. restaurants have become plentiful. Some, like Ground Round, were infamous for mistreating their franchise stores. It's not about updating their brand or menu options, for the most part. Scratch most of these, and you'll find a much bigger problem.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:46 PM

29. Arby's seems to be in retreat, at least around me.

There used to be about a dozen within a 25 mile radius of me. Now there are only one or two.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:48 PM

30. When will they start blaming Obamacare?

?

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:49 PM

32. Every one of those restaurants were low-paying, no-union shops anyway

 

They were all based in red state values like Chick Fil A, so they can all go to hell anyway.

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Response to BanTheGOP (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:58 PM

37. Hardly any fast-food or quick-service restaurant chains are unionized.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:50 PM

34. In addition to shifting markets, I'm curious as to how higher-level managment decisions...

...affected them. Just cases of bad (or just not right enough) calls, or was there high-level milking (a la Hostess and a host of other ransacked companies) contributing?

Or how corporate grouping affected them? In some places the closed restaurants were replaced with others that really didn't seem all that different. What were the critical points?

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:54 PM

35. Buh bye (few will be missed)

Except maybe Big Boy. Haven't eaten in one for probably 25 years or more. But I do have some fond memories of those cholesterol-laden Big Boy burgers, oozing over with whatever it was they put on them (Russian dressing?).

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:56 PM

36. It's ALL the same stuff: boring. More room coming for locals, I hope! nt

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:01 PM

38. Used to work at a Pondo.

Not just the quality of food (not great to begin with, but made really bad thanks to cost cutting measures), but the overall actions of the franchisees killed that brand. In Ohio, one was convicted of embezzlement - that closed a lot of stores here, including ours.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:02 PM

39. When are we going to get fast-food vegetarian? e.g. spring rolls (fried or NOT) with

all kinds of sauces and soups etc.

Would probably never succeed in the Midwest.

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Response to patrice (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:04 PM

41. It's not technically fast food, but do you have any Sweet Tomatoes around you?

It's delicious--all you can eat salad bar, plenty of breads and pastas. Plenty of options for vegetarians.

I'm not vegetarian, but during Fridays in Lent I always use it as an excuse to go to Sweet Tomatoes.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #41)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:32 PM

48. I think there might be 2, but neither one is close to my "rut".

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Response to patrice (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:15 PM

45. Do you have a Fresh Choice near you?

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #45)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:29 PM

46. Have not heard of one, but I will look. Thanks for the tip, because I'll keep an eye

open when I travel.

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Response to patrice (Reply #39)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:29 AM

103. Check out Veggie Grill!

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:31 PM

47. I remember country kitchen as a kid

So good

Oh well. They all serve disgustingly fatty garbage anyway, probably.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:20 PM

49. Seems like few Burger Kings in my area

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:05 PM

53. I haven't eaten at Big Boy since I moved north.

The kids from my high school spent hours waiting for orders brought by carhops. Ah. Fond memories from my teen years in Georgia.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:39 PM

59. used to be that a franchise was a way to go with lower risk

proven brand
proven methods
proven menu
proven concept

times change and so do americas tastes

lots of folks lost lots of money here

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:42 PM

60. I miss: York Steak House, Chi-Chi's, and Farrell's Ice Cream.

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Response to FSogol (Reply #60)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:10 PM

62. Miss Chi-Chi's too!

Loved their corn cake...can find the mix in some stores. But, the Las Brisas, unfortunately not!

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Response to DearHeart (Reply #62)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:29 PM

75. What was Las Brisas? A drink?

PS. Do you have Chevy's Mexican Restaurants near you? Their corn cake is the same.

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Response to FSogol (Reply #75)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:08 AM

96. Yea, Las Brisas was a drink. Very yummy!

Never found it again...rum based if I remember correctly. Sometimes I think I imagined it, not many people remember it. Maybe it wsa a regional thing.

Nope, we don't have Chevy's Mexican Restaurants. At least I can still get the corn cake mix. We do have a couple of really good Mexican restaurants that aren't a chain; I'm glad for that!

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Response to DearHeart (Reply #96)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:35 AM

112. Try this:

Rum - 2 oz.
Orange Juice - 2.5 oz.
Coconut Cream - 1 oz.
Pineapple Juice - 2.5 oz.

Serve in Hurricane glass with Orange slice.

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Response to FSogol (Reply #112)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:51 AM

122. OOh!! Sounds like the Las Brisas!

Thank you so much!!!

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Response to FSogol (Reply #60)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:13 PM

65. I also miss Chi Chi's--bland for Mexican food, but

hey, in the 80's in the Northeast, salsa/tortilla chips and Mexican food in general were new and exciting!

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:16 PM

67. We used to have 3 Blimpies and a Ponderosa here in Fargo. Loved them.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:20 PM

70. For us West Coasters - Fatburger probably won't be around much longer

They used to kick ass but expanded too quickly and now they're virtually extinct

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Response to Initech (Reply #70)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:31 PM

76. that's too bad, i love their burgers

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Response to Initech (Reply #70)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:26 AM

102. Another case of corporate suicide. They abandoned the quality that made them successful

 

in order to pay off the absurd debt they took on to expand everywhere all at once.

In-n-Out OTOH has kept the same philosophy, owning and keeping control of every part of their business, and is making ever bigger piles of money. They also treat their employees well and pay better than anybody else in the business.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:31 PM

77. Any of you oldsters remember Sambos?

With their little black boy as their trademark?

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Response to llmart (Reply #77)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:46 PM

84. Oh yeah

late nite after a gig.....off to Sambos.

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Response to bagimin (Reply #84)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:13 PM

89. Pancakes were delicious.

My roommate and I used to go to Perkins Pancake House too! Stay out really late (ah, youth), hang out at Perkins trying to pick up guys, sleep for about 4 hours then get up to go to work. Used to drive our VW Beatles round and round the Manners Big Boy lot looking for guys too.

Geez, I was a loose woman

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Response to llmart (Reply #77)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:50 PM

85. I remember Sambo's

The little black boy was from a story about a kid from India who got two tigers to chase themselves around a tree so fast that they turned into butter.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17824/17824-h/17824-h.htm

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Response to llmart (Reply #77)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:39 PM

94. They gave out coupons for pancakes on Halloween...loved that.

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Response to llmart (Reply #77)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:41 AM

113. Jeez, yes. Hadn't thought about them in years. nt

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:35 PM

78. i wonder if those Food Shows make these places less appealing

and people prefer to either make stuff at home or go to many of the places shown on the tv shows which tend to be indie owned.

this is why it's a bad idea for idiots who own places that sell food that isn't that good like dennys to go off attacking people, espcially the type of people who are more likely to eat at their places.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:40 PM

80. Pound-of-grossa used to be the top place in town then....

they went the way of modified formed meat.

Tour bus's and seniors flocked to our every day.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:11 PM

90. We Stopped Going to Don Pablo's A Long Time ago

Bad service and marginal food killed it for us. We trekked down the road to Chevy's, which is MUCH better until recently. Then, a small, non-chain, family-owned Mexican restaurant opened up near us. Their food is EXCELLENT! And I feel better about patronizing them because they're a small business.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:46 PM

95. I don't think we have any of those where I live.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:25 AM

97. just in Western Mass alone these chains are no longer open

Ground Round
Big Boy
Hardee's
Bonanza
Ponderosa
Burger Chef
Roy Rogers

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:51 AM

99. how about

Stuckeys
Weinerschnitzel
Waffle House

Are they still around?

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Response to tj_crackersnatch (Reply #99)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:29 AM

104. Haven't seen a Stuckey's since I was a little kid. Der Weinerschnitzel is all over here in Vegas.

 

Waffle House is an institution at damn near every freeway off-ramp in the South.

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Response to tj_crackersnatch (Reply #99)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:14 AM

119. Waffle House is ubiquitous in the South.

And mighty tasty, may I add. Even if its CEO is a sexually harassing jerk.

There are a few Stuckey's around, but not a whole lot. That's another place I immediately associate with family vacations growing up. There was one on US 301 in Dalghren, Virginia that we always used to stop at right after crossing over the Potomac River.

Waffle House, Stuckey's, Shoney's.....all part of my childhood memories of the long drive down to Florida every summer for vacation. That and drinking Mello Yello, which they didn't sell in Maryland but sold throughout the South.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 03:39 AM

105. I live within an embarrassment of riches ...

Portland OR is food cart heaven .... There are countless local options when we include the many amazing brick and mortar restaurants that also seem to excel in this quirky, lovable city ....

Downtown itself has very few mainstream, national chain restaurants, if any ... Other than an occasional Carl's Jr and McDonald's, national restaurants barely exist ..... We are so spoiled ....

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Response to Trajan (Reply #105)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 04:27 AM

107. that is true

used to live in Portland, OR, now in Olympia/Tumwater area . . . more and better choices down there but most of the chains mentioned in the OP are either long gone from here or never were here.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:52 AM

121. Anyone remember the Morrison's Cafeterias that were popular in the southeast?

 

They had great comfort food at reasonable prices. I especially liked their egg custard and pecan pies. They sold out in the mid-Nineties to Piccadilly Cafeterias and the food just wasn't quite as good afterwards.

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