Wendy's to close original restaurant, Columbus, Ohio

TRAVEL TIPS, road trip journey queries, motels, coffee shops, drive-ins, bowling alleys, dinner houses, gas stations, giant objects, signs, theme parks, Disneyland, and roadside sites to see along the way

Moderators: I_LUV_POWER!!!!, Joe, Adriene, moderns-r-us, Tony, Futura Girl, sean, nichols, Java

User avatar
Modern Guru
Posts: 1302
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2002 10:06 am
Location: Far from the crowds in downtown LA

Wendy's to close original restaurant, Columbus, Ohio

Postby Lynxwiler » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:37 pm

Wendy's first restaurant about to serve last customer
The hamburger chain says various factors contributed to the Ohio outlet's demise.
From the Associated Press
February 26, 2007

COLUMBUS, OHIO — Wendy's International Inc. is closing the restaurant where the nation's third-largest hamburger chain began in 1969.

The iconic restaurant, filled with memorabilia and photographs of the late Wendy's founder, Dave Thomas, will close Friday, company spokesman Denny Lynch said. "This is a very difficult decision, but the truth is we kept it open for sentimental reasons much longer than we should have."

Thomas, who died in 2002 of liver cancer, opened his first Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurant Nov. 15, 1969. He named it after his 8-year-old daughter Melinda Lou, who was nicknamed Wendy. Thomas later became a nationally known figure as a Wendy's pitchman in television commercials.

But the original restaurant, on East Broad Street just a few blocks from the Ohio Statehouse, has its sales restricted because its hours of operation closely follow those of government buildings, Lynch said.

The restaurant has no drive-through window, has limited parking and soon would have required substantial building improvements, Lynch said. No sales figures were released.

Thomas knew before he died that his first restaurant was struggling, Lynch said.

"I guarantee he would support this decision," Lynch said. "He recognized that a company needs to be profitable."

Employees of the restaurant will be offered jobs at other locations, Lynch said. The company hasn't decided whether it will hold a closing ceremony.

Memorabilia, including the dress worn by Thomas' daughter when she posed for the restaurant's logo, will be moved to the corporate offices in Dublin, Ohio.

Wendy's operates about 6,600 restaurants in the United States and abroad.

Wendy's International shares rose 3 cents Friday to $33.29.

User avatar
Special Secret Modern Agent
Posts: 684
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2004 11:21 pm
Location: Nampa, Idaho

Postby roadsidepictures » Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:16 pm

Such a shame to loose the first Wendy's Restaurant. Anybody around here have pictures of it?


User avatar
Special Secret Modern Agent
Posts: 521
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 4:13 am

Postby MD² » Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:44 am

there's an article on roadsideamerica.com with a couple of pics: , and another one:

Modern Master
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2003 10:41 pm
Location: Fresno, CA

Postby Dustyman73 » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:15 am

Sad to see this go...Wendy's is a part of modern American culture, and this first location has significance. Anyone know what the oldest remaining location will be? I wonder if there are any other early locations around that still have the tiffany lamp/newsprint formica tabletop decor that Wendy's was known for. I kinda liked that.

Modern Groupie
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:47 pm
Location: WV

Postby wvmodernist » Sun May 06, 2007 3:54 pm

This is incredibly sad! I grew up spending lots of time in Columbus, and even moved close (Athens) for college, but only found out about this location a year ago.

This makes me incredibly grateful that my fiance and I went out of our way to hit that on our roadtrip last June. It's amazing how even things that seem this important can slip away so quickly and quietly.

We took QUITE a few pictures in the restaurant, and I'd be glad to see what I can find and share with you guys. I think my fiancee has them, but I'll be sure to ask her where they might be when she comes home.

Return to “Roadside Rambling”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests