It was the largest fast-food chain under African American ownership in the country at the time. It was sold twice before going bankrupt in 1991. In 1982, they sold the bulk of their restaurants to Marriott. According to Yelp reviewers, it was going downhill. At its peak popularity, Doggie Diner had 30 locations in the Golden State, but unfortunately, competing with larger chains like McDonald's lead to this chain's unraveling. In 1956, Pup 'N' Taco began gracing roadsides in Southern California. But all hope wasn't lost. Founder Russ Wendell's vision was, at the time, fairly unique: hot dogs served alongside a less common quick-service option for the era—tacos. But '80s kids probably didn't get to experience much of it. Howard Johnson's might just hold the title for most sorely-missed failed restaurant chain of not just the '80s, but any era. This is a list of defunct fast-food chains. Unfortunately, Webb could only put on the ritz for so long. "Howard Johnson's was the king of the road," one former franchise owner told Eater. Hardee's marketing executive said in 2007, 19 Old Happy Meal Toys That'll Bring You Back to Your Childhood. "They just let Ritzy's somewhat atrophy over the next eight or 10 years, and it dwindled down to seven locations," Webb said to The Dallas Observer in 2004. The original Pioneer Chicken opened in 1961 next to a Pioneer Market, a grocery store chain in Los Angeles. But the chain got an extra boost in the 1980s, thanks to its spokesperson, O.J. Founder Theodore Holmes spent a small fortune developing the menu and ensuring quality. Jrs – Owned by Church's, by 1982, the company would operate 62 of these restaurants in Texas. G.D. Ritzy's first opened in 1980, but when you walked into one, you were instantly transported back to the classic diner vibe of the 1950s. Howard Johnson's. "I used to eat here as a kid at lunchtime with my father," one Yelper wrote. New Location Opening on Sunset", "Is Burritofication Kinda Like Scarification? The menu at G.D. Ritzy's stood out for all the ways that you could customize your burgers, drinks, and ice cream. Eventually, they renamed several locations to No Place Like Sam's or Jolly Tiger instead. (Well, not quite the same fries.) The name Sambo's comes from a combination of the founders' names: Sam Battistone and Newell F. Bohnett. The sale put Walgreen's "completely out of the food business," The New York Times reported. According to Eater, during the height of its popularity in the 1960s, Howard Johnson's served "more meals outside of the home than any entity in America, except for the U.S. It took 10 years for the chain to die a slow death, which meant children of the '80s did get to experience the Big Barn and the Barnbuster burgers. The stronghold of McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and other giants of the '80s made the competition stiff. And any New York kid in the 1980s grew up loving this chain, thanks to its unlimited portions. "The love affair with Burger Chef remains strong," a Hardee's marketing executive said in 2007 when Hardee's brought back Burger Chef's iconic Big Shef. Typically, the restaurants within a chain are built to a standard format through architectural prototype development and offer a standard menu and/or services. G.W. In 1984, G.D. Ritzy's was taking in about $5.2 million just from ice cream sales. Nine years in, Naugle sold his modest three-location chain to a businessman named Harold Butler, who took the concept and ran with it. I wish it was still here.". By the time the chain filed for bankruptcy in 1988, there were 300 Pioneer Chickens all over the country. In 1982, Denny's offered the company about $12 million to buy out 35 VIP's locations. And for more restaurants that didn't stand the test of time, Only 1990s Kids Will Remember These Restaurants. During the heyday of Howard Johnson’s, sometimes lovingly just referred to as HoJo’s, there were over 1,000 locations… Doggie Diner was a staple in Northern California's Bay Area in its heyday. Eventually—with a lot of enthusiasm and tons of help—Ziebarth was able to open a new Naugles location in 2017. Bennigan's got its start in Atlanta in 1976, but by the early '80s, they were everywhere. "Bennigan's was the weakest of the major players," one analyst told the Associated Press at the time. "Come on into Pup 'n' Taco and give your tummy a treat"—we wish we could! In 1979, McDonald's launched its Happy Meal. The final restaurant closed in 1989. Sadly, to the dismay of fans across the country, Burger Chef failed to keep up and was ultimately sold to the owner of Hardee's in the early '80s.

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