Fast food has become ingrained in American society ever since Ray Kroc turned McDonald’s into an absolute food empire. Nowadays, you can’t drive down the street without seeing three or four chain restaurants outside of your window. Today, we are going to pay homage to the fast food restaurants of yesterday. Listed below, you’ll find 18 defunct fast food restaurants that might get your mouth watering for the past!
1. Gino’s Hamburgers
Gino Marchetti may have made his mark on the gridiron, where he became a Hall of Fame football player, but he wanted to feed people, as well! Gino Marchetti opened up Gino’s Hamburgers in 1957. Within a decade, there were 300 of the burger joints throughout the country. Marchetti would sell his franchise in the ’80s and that would be that for the original line of Gino’s Hamburgers.
2. Beefsteak Charlie’s
Growing out of Manhattan, Beefsteak Charlie’s was prominent in the early 1900s. The slogan that Beefsteak Charlie’s lived by would also end up running them out of business. The mantra that Beefsteak Charlie’s proudly put on all of their marketing materials was, “You’re gonna get spoiled!” the company went out of business in 2010, presumably due to profit loss from offering exorbitant amounts of food and free booze.
3. Burger Chef
Let’s just say this for Burger Chef, they came up at a time when McDonald’s was running everyone out of business — and they almost made it. Burger Chef was an early rival to McDonald’s and they were actually one of the first companies to introduce toys with their kid’s meals. Bad business practices ended up putting Burger Chef in the grave and the company was sold in 1981.
4. Howard Johnson’s
Also known as HoJo’s, Howard Johnson’s made a statement during the ’60s as one of the top chain restaurants in the nation. At its peak, Howard Johnson’s could be found in more than 1,000 locations throughout the country. The company is well known for their patented orange roofs and large weather vanes.
5. Bob’s Big Boy
We’d recognize Bob’s Big Boy mascot just about anywhere. Known for offering huge burgers along with their iconic ’50s fashion, Bob’s Big Boy was a major player throughout California and into the Midwest. Nowadays, you’ll only find a handful of the nostalgic restaurants around the country.
6. Official All Star Cafe
These eye-popping restaurants popped up overnight in 1995. Early investors of the restaurant chain included Joe Montana, Ken Griffey, Shaq, and Wayne Gretzky. Owned by the same people behind Planet Hollywood, the All Star Cafe didn’t have quite the same kind of success. The final All Star Cafe closed in 2007.
7. Ponderosa Steakhouse
Ponderosa & Bonanza Steakhouse was once one of the most prominent steak-focused chains in the United States. Nowadays, you’d struggle to find one in your state. There are currently only 20 Ponderosa restaurants still standing. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to get your meal somewhere else.
A Midwestern staple, VIP’s cropped up in Oregon before spreading throughout the rest of the country. The first VIP’s opened up in 1968 and they were initially marketed as coffee shops. Eventually, VIP’s would grow into the largest chain in all of Oregon with more than 53 locations. Now, VIP’s is just a memory having sold their locations to Denny’s.
9. Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse
Based out of New Jersey, this restaurant chain had little to do with the iconic cartoon. Instead, Charlie Brown’s offered semi-casual fine dining in the early 80s and 90s. The corporation behind the chain would go out of business but a few locations are still in operation to this day.
Naugles came into being in 1975 as one of the earlier Mexican fast-food restaurants on the market. Naugles liked to focus on fresh food that came fast for a clean kitchen. By the ’80s there were more than 225 Naugles in the country but by 1995 the chain was closed. Nowadays, Naugles is on life support after Christian Ziebarth, an entrepreneur, re-opened two locations on her own in the state of California.
11. Horn & Hardart
Horn & Hardart’s was ahead of its time as it offered automation to a degree that you wouldn’t have deemed possible. As the ultimate fast food joint, you merely walked up to a giant machine before inserting enough change to make your purchase. Your food was made fresh and pushed through a small glass window. Despite being one of the first ‘automats’ in the world, Horn & Hardart would be out of business by 1991. Now, this style of restaurant is all over Europe and Japan.
Established by Sam Battistone and Newell Bohnet, Sambo’s came to life in 1957. The company was under fire almost immediately due to the fact that their name was also a derogatory racial term, though unintentional. Sambo’s would get up to 1,000 locations at their heyday but scandal would cause them to shut down in the early ’80s.
Isaly’s is one of the oldest chain restaurants on our list. Isaly’s was founded back in the 19th-century ad they became known for inventing the famous Klondike Bar. The name of the company is an acronym which states, “I shall always love you, sweetheart.” Of course, the founder was also named Isaly so take from that what you will.
14. Kenny Rogers’ Roasters
Country music and fried chicken sounds like the perfect combination and that’s how Roasters came to life. Founded by Kenny Rogers in partnership with John Brain, this chicken chain had great food that would end up being featured in an episode of Seinfeld. Unfortunately, Roasters didn’t make it in the end with the last of their locations being sold to Nathan’s in the late ’90s.
Lum’s opened up in 1956 in Miami Beach. Their early focus was on delivering a delicious beer-steamed hotdog. By 1969, Lum’s had grown to over 400 franchise locations — including spots in Hawaii, Europe, and Puerto Rico. Lum’s would still manage to fail, filing for bankruptcy in 1982.
16. The All-American Burger
The All-American Burger is one of the most delicious fast food chains that nobody has really gotten the chance to eat at. Sporting ’50s decor, All-American Burger would have a revival after being featured in the ’80s film, ‘Fast Time at Ridgemont High’. Unfortunately, the film boom wouldn’t last and the chain would be closed by 2010.
17. White Tower
White Tower opened up in reaction to the prominent rise of White Castle but their results were very different. White Tower shamelessly emulated the White Castle design aesthetic while dishing up their own brand of fast-food hamburger. White Tower would eventually be sued out of existence by White Castle. Still, for a brief period of time WHite Tower was a prominent competitor with over 200 locations to their name.
18. Steak and Ale
One of the first restaurant chains to offer affordable steaks and a free salad bar, Steak and Ale sported a medieval exterior with delicious food and fast service. With low prices and free dessert, Steak and Ale did everything that they could to remain competitive with the changing market. Still, Steak and Ale wouldn’t make it as the company closed down in 2008. Nowadays, there are rumblings of a revival but nothing definitive.
Daring Rescue: Duluth Firefighters Save Dog from Frigid Lake Superior
In a heart-pounding rescue mission on the shores of Duluth, Minnesota, a brave dog found himself in a perilous situation after leaping into the icy waters of Lake Superior. The daring rescue unfolded amidst eight-foot waves that crashed against the shore, creating a challenging environment for both man and canine.
The intense situation began when the adventurous dog managed to slip out of his leash, enticed by the allure of a chilly swim. Unbeknownst to the canine, Lake Superior’s vast expanse presented a danger he hadn’t anticipated. The situation quickly escalated, prompting the owner to dial emergency services.
To pinpoint the distressed dog’s location, dispatchers utilized cameras on a life bridge, offering a bird’s-eye view of the unfolding drama. The dog, buffeted by the relentless waves, struggled to stay afloat as firefighters donned specialized ice suits to brave the frigid waters.
These ice suits, designed for extreme cold-water rescues, provide a crucial barrier between the icy environment and the rescuers. Comprising layers of insulated materials, these suits not only keep firefighters warm but also offer buoyancy and protection against the harsh elements.
As the brave firefighters plunged into the turbulent waters, the dog faced the dual challenges of the waves and the numbing cold. Despite the difficult conditions, the rescue team, guided by the worried owner who remained on the shore, managed to locate the struggling canine.
The dog, large and frightened, repeatedly disappeared beneath the waves, making the rescue a daunting task. Through effective communication between the owner and the firefighters, the team successfully secured the dog by the collar, preventing him from slipping away.
Once the dog was safely in their grasp, both the firefighters and the canine were brought to safety aboard a waiting boat. The dog, now shivering and scared, received prompt medical attention. After warming up, the resilient pup even leaped happily into his owner’s car, a heartwarming conclusion to a potentially tragic event.
The Duluth Fire Department, often questioned about responding to animal-related emergencies, emphasized the significance of such actions in a Facebook post. They highlighted the deep bond between pets and their families, explaining that in their experience, if emergency responders did not intervene, well-meaning bystanders might take unnecessary risks.
The post also revealed a chilling detail: one of the dog’s owners had considered jumping into the treacherous waters. The fire department strongly discouraged such actions, emphasizing the importance of leaving water rescues to trained professionals equipped with the necessary gear.
“The Duluth Fire Department wants to stress to the public the importance of not putting yourself into a situation you are neither trained nor equipped to handle,” the post warned. “Given the wave and temperature conditions in the canal last night, anyone entering the water without the proper training and equipment would most likely have ended in tragedy.”
Teenager Sam Sieracki Soars to New Heights, Solving Rubik’s Cube in Free Fall
Seventeen-year-old Sam Sieracki has etched his name into the Guinness World Records by solving a Rubik’s Cube while skydiving over West Australia. Jumping out of an airplane at 14,000 feet, Sam achieved the remarkable feat in just 28.25 seconds, breaking the previous record of 30.14 seconds held by Nitin Subramanian of the United States.
In a daring display of skill and concentration, Sam described the intense experience of solving the Rubik’s Cube in free fall. “It’s really intense. It’s very loud because you’ve got all the wind in your face,” Sam explained. “So it’s a lot harder to concentrate than if I’m just on the ground solving it… my record on the ground is a lot faster than in the air – it’s about 6.5 seconds.”
Despite facing challenges in the sky, Sam, who is both a speed-cuber and a skydiving enthusiast, tackled the feat with enthusiasm. It took him five attempts to surpass the previous record, showcasing his determination and resilience.
Sam, who has been attending speed-cubing competitions since 2017, expressed confidence in breaking the record but admitted that the challenge proved to be more demanding than expected. “Having attended speed-cubing competitions since 2017, I was confident about breaking the record, but it ended being far more challenging than expected and took me five attempts to achieve,” Sam remarked.
The teenager’s passion for both speed-cubing and skydiving has been a driving force in his pursuits. “I decided that I want to be a solo skydiver, so waited impatiently to turn 16 … so that I could become a licensed skydiver and go by myself,” Sam shared. “Since then, I’ve gone up to Jurien Bay every school holidays to do a few jumps, and am now up to 80 jumps in my second year of skydiving.”
Acknowledging the support of his loved ones, Sam expressed gratitude to his biggest fans and supporters, his mother and girlfriend, who encouraged him to break the world record. As a self-proclaimed rookie in the skydiving world, Sam doesn’t set grand goals but aims to continue improving his skills with each jump, all while enjoying the thrilling experience.
Daughter Overwhelms Parents Restaurant With Customers By Posting On TikTok
A seven-second video posted on TikTok by Jennifer Le has saved her parents’ Vietnamese pho restaurant from going out of business. In the video, Le showed the empty restaurant and her dad looking sad at the register. She then asked for social media’s help to keep the restaurant in business. The restaurant is in California and was doing ok before the pandemic, but has since had trouble getting customers to dine in.
The video went viral, and within hours, it had garnered millions of views and shares. People all over the world were touched by Le’s message and began sharing the video on their social media accounts. The response was overwhelming, with people expressing their support for the restaurant and their willingness to help.
As a result of the video, the restaurant was flooded with customers, many of whom had never heard of the place before. The increased business allowed Le’s parents to keep the restaurant open and the phones are ringing off the hook. The family was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and expressed their gratitude to everyone who had shared the video and visited the restaurant.
Le’s video is a perfect example of the power of social media to effect change. In just seven seconds, she was able to capture the attention of millions of people and inspire them to take action. The video also highlights the struggles faced by small businesses during the pandemic and the importance of community support in keeping these businesses afloat.
Le’s video has since become a source of inspiration for many people who are struggling with similar issues. It serves as a reminder that even the smallest actions can have a significant impact, and that we all have the power to make a difference in our communities.
Massive Sandcastle Built by Auckland Brothers Impresses Scores of Beachgoers
When you have run out of Christmas ideas, nothing beats going to the beach and letting your creative juices flow. That’s what two brothers in New Zealand did this past Boxing Day and ended up with an amazing and eye-catching sandcastle.
After building a massive sandcastle on Boxing Day, two Auckland boys gained praise from other people around Mt Maunganui’s beach area that day.
Jared and Paul Brandon spent 10 hours that day building a two-meter-high sandcastle, beginning with a sketch of the structure “on a piece of A4 paper” and beginning at high tide. The pair plans to turn this into a Boxing Day ritual.
On Christmas Eve, the brothers started strategizing on how to top last year’s one-meter-high tower on Boxing Day 2021.
Because Jared and Paul are “very competitive,” they wanted to outdo their performance from the previous year. Before beginning their construction, the two searched online for sandcastle designs after visiting Bunnings to get tools, buckets, as well as a footrest.
Both residents and visitors have expressed admiration and astonishment at the beautiful creation.
Jared chuckles, “A guy is assessing how tall it is currently with his beach umbrella.
Jared informed the media, “This one is 2 meters, so we needed a few footstools to climb up tall enough and also used a builder’s level so it didn’t topple over.
The 150-liter pail was the biggest we were able to use, and the traditional household bucket was a fairly small one. We purchased them both from Bunnings.
Paul explains, “There are a few techniques, such as two portions of water to one portion of sand.”
Then came the spatulas to shape the windows, then toothpicks for creating the roof piles, as well as the straws for blowing off the “extra sand.”
The previous night, the two worked on it until 8 p.m., and unlike last year, it is still standing.
“Time went by incredibly quickly; it seemed like we were only at the beach for five hours, instead of ten.” “Paul spoke to the press.
He claims that while working for a California hotel plus learning how to construct sandcastles as a kid-friendly activity, he acquired the skill there about eight years ago.
“Now that he’s used that knowledge and developed it, he taught me. Therefore, for the previous four to five years, whenever we had the time, we would construct a sandcastle once a year ” says Jared.
The two, who are both camera operators, intend to go much further next year and are hoping to enlist the aid of a larger family.
We will attempt to teach my sister as well as my brother-in-law to assist us as they appear interested this year. “We are striving to dredge up more relatives to get involved in creating a village in 2023.”
Man Finds $47,000 Historic Ring
England is very much metal detector country. The land outside the big cities is stuffed full of artifacts and leftovers from ancient times, ranging from before the Romans’ arrival to the Middle Ages and more. So, it’s not surprising, with the blessing of local farmers, that many a fellow with a metal detector is out there spending a Saturday or Sunday scanning through a fallow farm field to see what might be found. As it turned out, David Board was one of those hunters, and he just happened to come across a very small gold ring in one of his ventures.
Located outside of Dorset, Board was busy scanning a pasture field and had been doing so for hours. The sun was late in the sky, and Board was about to wrap up when his machine pinged a definite metallic substance under the soil he was waving the sensor over. Sure enough, pinpointing the location and then digging specifically into that spot, Board unearthed a very small gold ring.
It was in the farm soil, the ground typically tilled for planting, but this particular field had been used for cattle instead. So, five inches underground, the ring remained until Board found it and pulled it back into the daylight. At first, he chalked up the discovery to just another piece of metal from old times, he cleared off the dirt, pocketed the ring and kept going. Then, at the end of the day, Board went home and washed off his finds in the sink. It was only then that he realized what that ring actually was.
While the method of metal detecting in England gives archaeologists utter heart attacks every time they hear a similar story, the finds are generally split between the metal detector and the farm owner, unless the farm owner just waives off the matter and lets the hunters keep whatever they find. Whichever the case in this instance, the ring was no small trinket. It turned out to be an exceedingly well-crafted and rare gold wedding ring from the Medieval period and in very good condition. To be auctioned off later this year, the find is expected to net between 30,000 to 47,000 British Pounds.
The only surprise to anyone hearing the story in England these days is why the local farmers still allow detectors to scan their fields without any stake in the finds.
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