10 Classic Fast Food Restaurants That No Longer Exist

The places we went and the food we ate as a child have created some of our strongest memories. Who could forget the excitement as a child of heading out to your favorite burger joint or getting treated to some guilty-pleasure fast food? If you haven’t noticed, a lot of once-huge restaurants from the past aren’t around anymore. The places that are around nowadays can’t replace the restaurants we had grown to know and love. Businesses may come and go but the following will never be forgotten. Read on to take a walk down memory lane and rediscover some restaurants that are no longer around.

1. Howard Johnson’s

During the heyday of Howard Johnson’s, sometimes lovingly just referred to as HoJo’s, there were over 1,000 locations nationwide. In fact, it was the largest chain of restaurants during the 1960s and 1970s. The chain of restaurants was known for its iconic buildings, including orange roofs, peaks and weather vanes.

Howard Johnson restaurants quickly started to fall behind its competitors in the fast food business, and its dinner-style restaurants didn’t leave much room for innovation and financial efficiency. “The downfall of Howard Johnson’s was ultimately their competitors. Friendly’s had their ice cream, KFC was all about fried chicken, and in comparison, HoJo’s was just too basic,” one critic stated.

2. Red Barn

The Red Barn restaurant was known for its, well, red barns. The locations looked like barns and the exterior walls were painted red. The design proved popular, seeing as customers could never mistake the Red Barn for any other restaurant in the game.

During the Red Barn’s prime, it had over 400 locations in the US and abroad. There is currently only one location left in Racine, Wisconsin, though its name is now The Farm. Read on to find out what other defunct restaurant chains are no longer around.

3. Beefsteak Charlie’s

Beefsteak Charlie’s was a chain of restaurants that started in Manhattan and grew to fame in the 1910s. They just loved to spoil their customers — maybe a little too much so, seeing as it became one of the reasons they couldn’t pull a profit.

The chain’s slogan was “You’re gonna get spoiled” and that is what they stuck to. The now-defunct restaurant offered all you can eat shrimps and salad, as well as alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and sangria. Unfortunately, all the unlimited booze hit Beefsteak Charlie’s right where they hurt: in the wallet and by 2010, all locations had closed.

4. Lum’s

The family restaurant Lum’s was opened in Miami Beach in 1956 as a hot dog stand then slowly grew. By 1961 they had four locations. They were best known for their beer-steamed hotdogs. Then they rapidly expanded their business.

By the year 1969 Lum’s had over 400 company-owned or franchised restaurants, including in Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Europe. The company, however, overextended their reach and ended up filing for bankruptcy. All of the original stores closed by 1982.

5. Minnie Pearl’s Chicken

Minnie Pearl’s Chicken was a line of fast food chicken restaurants established to compete with KFC. The venture was co-founded along with entrepreneur John Jay Hooker and the famous country singer Minnie Pearl allowed them to use her name. Initial estimates calculated huge success in the chicken business.

6. White Tower

Along with the success of White Castle, came imitators. White Castle was founded in 1921, then in 1922 along came White Tower. You might be thinking, “oh, they just have white in the name,” but that wasn’t all they took from White Castle.

The fast food restaurant chain White Tower took just about everything except the kitchen sink. And that was nailed down. No, White Tower took the menu, the style, the advertising methods and even the building architecture. So, pretty much everything. There were 230 locations in the 1950s, but many closed due to legal action against them. The very last location closed in 2004.

7. Isaly’s

Isaly’s was founded way back in the 19th century and they certainly left their mark on American history. Not only was the restaurant known for its chipped chopped ham, it was also famous for inventing the Klondike Bar. Wow!

The name of the restaurants was named after the founder, but in advertisements, it stood for “I Shall Always Love You Sweetheart.” In the later years the company was sold off a few times until it slowly it died out, along with the good ol’ days.

8. Henry’s Hamburgers

Henry’s Hamburgers was opened by an ice cream company to expand on their shakes and malts. Henry’s was modeled after McDonald’s, even though they were a competitor at the time. They offered ten hamburgers for as low as a dollar.

Henry’s Hamburgers was big during the 1960s but started to decline in the 1970s. Their main issue was that they just couldn’t compete with their other fast food competitors. Henry’s didn’t have a drive-in and also didn’t diversify their menu. There is only one location left in Benton Harbor, MI.

9. Horn & Hardart

Horn & Hardart stands out from the rest of the restaurants on this list being that they weren’t just restaurants. They were automated fast food joints, known as “automats”. At this restaurant you could purchase prepared food from behind a glass window, kind of like a giant vending machine.

You just needed to insert the proper amount of coins in the machine and pull a lever to take out the freshly-made food. Sadly the last location closed in 1991. However, similar automat restaurants exist today in other parts of the world, like Europe and Japan.

10. Burger Chef

Burger Chef was a chain of hamburger restaurants founded by General Electric in Indianapolis in 1954. At its peak it had over 1,200 locations nationwide. So what happened to Burger Chef? Well, let’s just say that their biggest competitor was McDonalds…

Candid Anthony Bourdain’s Childhood Photos Before He Became the Most Influential Chef in the World

“I have the best job in the world. If I’m unhappy, it’s a failure of imagination.”

Born on June 25, 1956, in New York City and raised in New Jersey, Anthony Bourdain knew he’d be a chef while vacationing on the coast on France with his parents as a boy. A local fisherman offered him an oyster fresh from the sea; he ate it, and “That was it, man,” Bourdain said in an interview. “That was it.”
In 2012, Bourdain wrote an essay about his father for Bon Appétit and shared a collection of his childhood photographs. “My father was, as he liked to say, ‘a man of simple needs.’ He grew up with a French mother, a French name, speaking French, and spent many summers in France. But this history wasn’t really a factor in my childhood. It always came as a shock to me when he’d break into French with a Haitian cabdriver as there was, seemingly, nothing ‘French’ about him, or us, or how we lived.
He taught me early that the value of a dish is the pleasure it brings you; where you are sitting when you eat it—and who you are eating it with—are what really matter. Perhaps the most important life lesson he passed on was: Don’t be a snob. It’s something I will always at least aspire to—something that has allowed me to travel this world and eat all it has to offer without fear or prejudice. To experience joy, my father taught me, one has to leave oneself open to it.”
Bourdain was found dead of an apparent suicide by his friend Éric Ripert on June 8, 2018, in his hotel room in Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France. He was working on an episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown in Strasbourg, France.
CNN confirmed the death of their colleague, while adding, “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much.”

(Via vintagees)

National Pizza Day A Great Excuse To Order Pizza

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February 9th is National Pizza Day or National Pizza Pie Day.  I can’t think of a better kind of food to celebrate!  Order your favourite pizza and then check out these intriguing pictures of neon pizza signs.

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Gust Half Beer-Pizza sign, 1987, Glendive, Montana

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national pizza day
Lorenzo’s Pizza sign on South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1980

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Tony’s Pizza statue. 1985, Margolies, John, photographer
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Tower of Pizza, vertical view, Route 22, Green Brook, New Jersey , 1978
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The building is the art: Two Boots Pizza, Downtown LA, Los Angeles, California, 2012. Carol Higsmith.

Liked these National Pizza Day neon signs?  Check out these neon signs from Hollywood’s golden era.

17 Old Photos of People Eating Ice Cream Pictures & Classic Ice Cream Truck

Farm boys eating ice-cream cones. Washington, Indiana

These old eating ice cream pictures and photos of the classic ice cream truck will have you smacking your lips!

The ice cream girl

Eating ice cream pictures, 1913

Eating German ice cream
Eating German ice cream, 1930
Ice cream social, Blackduck, Minnesota
Eating ice cream picture: Ice cream social, Blackduck, Minnesota, 1937
Fussell-Young Ice Cream Co., trucks
Classic ice cream truck, the Fussell-Young Ice Cream Co., trucks, 1921
Syracuse ice cream vendor, New York
Syracuse ice cream vendor, New York, 1941
Ice cream advertising near Berlin, Connecticut
Ice cream advertising near Berlin, Connecticut, 1939
Harvey Isaac’s Ice cream parlor & trolley station, Chapman Beach, Conn., 1910
Classic ice cream truck, the Reid Ice Cream Co. truck, probably in Washington, D.C., 1919
["Soda jerk" passing ice cream soda between two soda fountains
Eating ice cream pictures: Soda jerk” passing ice cream soda between two soda fountains, 1936

Washington, D.C. Good Humor ice cream truck
Classic ice cream truck, Washington, D.C. Good Humor truck, 1942
Semmes Motor Co. Fussel Ice Cream truck, [1926] En
Semmes Motor Co. Fussel Ice Cream truck, [1926]
Women selling ice cream to parade watchers, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1938
Women selling ice cream to parade watchers, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1938
Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyards, Baltimore, Maryland. A welder eating ice cream, 1943
Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyards, Baltimore, Maryland. A welder eating ice cream, 1943
Farm boys eating ice-cream cones. Washington, Indiana
Farm boys eating ice-cream cones. Washington, Indiana, 1941

Model of ice cream cone in front of candy store, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Model of ice cream cone in front of candy store, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, 1937