HOME > Chowhound > Chains >

Discussion

Currently operating chains that used to be, but are no longer in your state?

Here in PA, I was surprised to see that there are no longer any White Castle stores in the entire state (except for the frozen burgers you can but at the grocery store). Additionally, Hardees are all but gone from here as well. Can anyone from PA think of a few others? What chains have you noticed that have pulled out of your state? Also, what chains have opened locations in your state recently? In PA, Steak-N-Shake and Sonic are relatively new.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. RIP Krispy Kreme. The other chains we can do without.

    1. We really miss Donato's Pizza. Seems they were here, exploded and then left. I haven't seen one in PA for a LONG time. They had great wings, too. I miss them terribly.

      1. I haven't seen a Jack in the Box since the shooting that occured at the one on MacDade in Delaware County back in 1976.

        1. We're still wondering why all the Krispy Kremes disappeared from NY.

          1 Reply
          1. re: vvvindaloo

            I don't think they do as well in the Northeast, because I don't think we have the Southern sweet tooth up here, and Krispy Kremes do not travel at all. I have had them in the South, and the only one I liked was the original yeast-raised glazed, but you have to eat them hot, or they turn vile and greasy.

            In my family, donuts were traditionally a Sunday morning treat. My dad would pick up a dozen at the local bakery on the way to Mass, and we'd eat them when we got home (you still had to fast from midnight Saturday until after Sunday Mass back then). I used to like Dunkins back then, but they used to bake them fresh in each store. They haven't done that in ages, as they now ship them in from central bakeries.

            Luckily, we still have several independent donut shops in my area, some better than others, but all better than either DD's or KK.

          2. Long John Silvers disappeared from the Upper Penninsula of Michigan about 18 years ago.....people complained that it was too greasy......as if McDonalds. etc...aren't! Sure are some stupid backwoods people up here.....to the point of being pathetic at times!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Lindseyup67

              Del Taco is no longer in Ga. Thelast one on St Simons Is converted to starbucks.

            2. Jack in the Box pretty much was out in Michigan, and I believe the rest of the midwest, by the early 80's. I still for the life of me can't figure out why I saw a Jack in the Box semi in south suburban Dayton, Ohio at 5:30 A:M a couple months ago. Arthur Treachers and Kenny Rogers also both went out throughout both states. I have seen both sharing a location with Nathan's Hot Dogs and Miami Subs (the parent) in Florida.

              Romano's Macaroni Grill is pretty much gone in Ohio.

              1. The Black-Eyed Pea left Virginia a few years ago. I miss their chicken-fried chicken/steak and tasty veggies.

                Bruegger's Bagels left a few years ago thanks to a franchisee dispute. Good bagels for a chain.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bob W

                  I remember eating at the Black=Eyed Pea in Tulsa a long time ago. Been gone for some time now.

                2. Bruegger's Bagels disappeared from around here quite a few years ago (there was a big bagel boom here in the Seattle area during the late Ninteties that went completely bust two years later, and almost nothing is left of it.) The gold standard for chain flameouts here would be Boston Market though. They were all over the place for about eighteen months between 1996-1998 or so, then the company went into chapter 11 and every single one around here shut down practically overnight. Nowdays, the closest one to here is more than 1,000 miles away in Southern California. I'm actually working on a project for my Blog to track down all the former Boston Markets in the area and show what they got turned into.

                  Godfather's Pizza also used to be all over the place here, and all but a handful of those have closed down now. Skipper's is another one that went under recently, although I understand that a few independently owned locations are still operating. There also apparently used to be a number of Rax Roast Beef places in the area that aren't around anymore (one of the local Wendy's restaurants is recognizable as a former Rax.)

                  We've still got our Krispy Kremes here (for now) but Dunkin Donuts has been completely gone from Washington for about a decade now. As far as chains moving into the area, the most notable would probably be Fatburger, although there have been recent openings of a single Carl's Jr. and a Del Taco a bit to the south of here. I wish someone would get around to opening up a Sonic or two in the Seattle area though...

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Vexorg

                    off topic, but i used to love skipper's. back in the day, when quantity mattered to me, i tried to be there every tuesday for the all you can eat fish n chips and chowder. the fish was actually pretty good, and for $5 it was an amazing deal. spud has terrific fish n chips, and thankfully, they're still going strong. benjamin's had a fish n chip boat on south lake union (benjie's, i think) that served really tasty panko breaded fish fillets, but that's long gone.

                    1. re: beantowntitletown

                      I used to eat at Skipper's on a semi-regular basis, mostly because I liked their chowder better than the chowder at Ivar's. I agree that Spud is pretty good, but it's also a fair bit more expensive than a lot of the other places that sell similar food, so I don't get there too often.

                      1. re: beantowntitletown

                        *sob* I miss Skippers!They used to have three places in Alaska, and now they're gone...

                        1. re: Vexorg

                          Allstonian and I were driving down Route 1A from Maine on Thursday, and at a HessExpress convenience store near the New Hampshire/Massachusetts border, I saw a Godfather's Pizza sign. I was so gobsmacked that I turned around and pulled in: they just sell small personal pizzas and individual slices at about the same quality level as one of those little Pizza Hut Express kiosks (which is to say, more or less edible), but I never expected to see that!

                          Godfather's Pizza was the pizza of my youth, and I still think of a Godfather's Combo circa 1979 as the pinnacle of the deep dish pie. They haven't been any good in decades, though.

                        2. In Philly, Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips was an after church favorite for my family back in the late 70s to early 80s. But even then I knew that the Union Jack and good cuisine weren't meant to be together.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Chinon00

                            They are still around in PA. I pass by an Arthur Treacher's in Danville on my way to Selin's Grove Brewing Co.

                            1. re: Chinon00

                              Oh how I loved that place!!!

                              We have also lost Krispy Kreme and Jack in the Box out my way.

                            2. going back to the 70's & 80's in michigan:

                              arthur treachers
                              burger chef
                              top hat (sliders)
                              roy rogers (roast beef)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: xman887

                                Roy Rogers left Oklahoma and Texas about twenty years ago. Arthur Treacher's was in Oklahoma for a couple of years back in the late 70's but left quickly. I liked Arthur Treacher's. A number of Captain D's have recently closed in Oklahoma City. Jack-in-the Box left Oklahoma City in the mid-seventies. There is one in Ardmore, Oklahoma but none in OKC. All Hardee's in Oklahoma City were converted to Carl's Jr's when they were bought out by Carl's a few years ago.

                                Bigray in Ok

                                1. re: Bigrayok

                                  Benningan's and Steak and Ale died in Tulsa.

                              2. Dunkin' Donuts no longer has any franchises in California. Also, the only White Castle in California that I ever knew of is gone, too...it was in Long Beach, just off the Traffic Circle.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ricepad

                                  Wow, no DD and no White Castle? Inconceivable to this New Yorker!
                                  I detest DD and would gladly trade them for In-n-Out or even Rubios :)

                                2. I actually -miss- Boston Market. Here in Vegas, it was a good change from "typical" fast food. I wonder what happened to them? I've heard some stores are still in operation, like in California. Kenny Rogers Roasters was also fun to eat at, but they left town even before BM's did here. Oddly enough, KRR have teamed up with Nathan's and Arthur Treachers for a 3-way shop inside The Venetian's food court. Yes, I'm a sucker and have to eat it once and awhile, the onion rings from Nathan's are addictive.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Honeychan

                                    Here in Tampa there's a five-way shop with KRR, Arthur Treacher's, Nathans, Miami Subs, and one other I can't remember. I can't figure out how they stay in business, the food at this store is atrocious.

                                    1. re: aynrandgirl

                                      The one in Boynton Beach isn't much better.

                                    2. re: Honeychan

                                      Boston Market overexpanded themselves into chapter 11, and ended up getting bought out of bankruptcy by McDonald's, although they have since been divested.

                                      1. re: Vexorg

                                        And the one by me started to skimp on product. Weighing the meat, shaking excess off the scoop of potatoes etc.... and the cornbread was nearly transluscent! After my three year old finished a kids meal and was still hungry we stopped going.

                                      2. re: Honeychan

                                        Nathan's and Arthur Treachers teamed up here in the NY area, too, I think.

                                      3. Hardee's pulled out of Michigan in the early 90s. Popular rumor at the time said it was for chronic health department code violations, but in retrospect it was probably a franchisee that owned them all going under.

                                        The nearest Boston Market to where I live now in Florida is in Tallahassee, and we frequently end up eating at it when we head that ways- relatively cheap and reliable food.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: beachmouse

                                          Not sure what part of Michigan you are referring to beachmouse, but one is alive and well here in Upper Michigan.............

                                          1. re: Lindseyup67

                                            Lower Peninsula, the I-96 corridor and points southward.

                                        2. When I was a kid in the 70's we had Jack in the Box here in Brooklyn NY, but I don't think they are up here anymore at all.
                                          And what ever happened to Roy Rogers? Do they exist anywhere?

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: dorilou

                                            there is one or two around in NJ.....two I know of at the turnpikes rest stops...one up north and at least one down south...

                                            1. re: dorilou

                                              We have Roy Rogers here in Maryland....in Gaithersburg and Frederick....they're I believe owned by the same person who decided when they originally closed to bring them back....We also have several Boston Markets.

                                            2. Back Yard Burgers, and G.D. Ritzy's were in Ohio, but they seem to have abandoned the state. Ritzy's had good ice cream, and I always felt that BYB had a great fast food burger.

                                              Hardees used to be quite common, but there are still a few in Ohio.

                                              1. Alaska used to have dunkin' donuts, shakeys and skippers and those have all sense left/closed.

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: JackonCrack

                                                  When I lived in North Dakota as a kid they had Skippers, and Houlihans, now when I have gone back home and looked around both are completely gone from the area. In fact, does Houlihans still exist? Remember when Little Ceasars disappeared after they went bankrupt but then refocused and opened back up on the basis they are now?

                                                  1. re: flyerfan182

                                                    Apparntly Houlihans does stil exist http://www.houlihans.com/

                                                    Used to be on in AK as well but its been gone a loooong time.

                                                    There used to be Blimpie (http://www.blimpie.com/) as well in gas stations, but they pulled out as well.

                                                    1. re: JackonCrack

                                                      Has Houlihans in NJ....only a few of them left....plenty of Blimpies...but alas no Jack in the Boxes or IN and Out's ....and recently Arby's is making a comeback...only a few Long John Silver's to speak of...mostly connected with KFC....and a few Arthur Treachers

                                                      1. re: robertjsweet

                                                        I haven't seen a Jack in the Box in the Metro DC area in decades. There is one Arthur Treacher's in Alexandria (on Rt.1 ... a but run down, but does a NON STOP business) and a Long John Silvers in Falls Church Virginia in Rt. 7.

                                                        1. re: Plankwalker

                                                          I used to love Arthur Treacher's chicken when I lived in MD. The fish, not so much.

                                                      2. re: JackonCrack

                                                        Houlihan's has a couple Cleveland, OH locations. Also in the Atlanta airport.

                                                        1. re: JackonCrack

                                                          There is a Houlihan's in Springfield Virginia ... I have only seen it driving by, but it is in business.

                                                        2. re: flyerfan182

                                                          Little Caesar's used to be all over the place around here (Seattle area) as well, but all of them closed down about ten years ago. A few new ones have opened in the area relatively recently, but none close enough to here for me to justify going there.

                                                      3. Does Foster's Freeze still exist in Central California?

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                          I've seen a few in Orange County but not in Central Cali.

                                                          1. re: flyerfan182

                                                            They were around when I grew up in California. I've never seen one here in Cali (Colombia).

                                                          2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                            You bet! There are Foster's Freezes up and down the state. In fact, there's FIVE in Fresno!

                                                            http://66.221.2.57/Locations.html

                                                          3. waiting for Sonics and Cici's to hit NJ...one Sonic in Manahawkin or Waretown...supposed to be 6 or more built...

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: robertjsweet

                                                              As a former NYC-area pizza lover I can see Sonic succeeding in New Jersey, but Cici's Pizza anywhere north of Trenton is a disaster waiting to happen.

                                                              Then again, there are three Cicis around Pittsburgh and teens seem to enjoy it despite there being 363 other, better pizza options (the only one worse would be Chuck E. Cheese). And of those 363, maybe a half dozen could make it in Hoboken. The rest would be laughed at. So just don't see Cici's making it in any location short of perhaps the Lombardi service area near the Meadowlands.

                                                              Pittsburgh is weird... we've got next to nothing for Mexican in either fast food or sit down, yet Baja Fresh couldn't cut it here. People would actually rather go to Taco Bell. Four BFs opened here in 2003, with plans to open 12 total. All but one are gone. But we're getting more Taco Bells. Go figure.

                                                              1. re: Panini Guy

                                                                Go figure is right, Panini Guy. I think Baja Fresh would kick a@@ here in NYC, and yet they won't come east of NJ. I am pretty sure that Sonic is coming to Westchester, too. If they turn up anywhere near the Bronx border, I wouldn't be surprised to find city residents going up there to try it. It seems that "gourmet" or novelty fast food is all the rage these days.

                                                                1. re: Panini Guy

                                                                  I actually love Chuck E Cheese pizza, something about the crust and the overall taste. There is a Cici's opening here in Allentown, PA...look forward to trying that, it is a buffet style I believe?

                                                                  1. re: DapperDave

                                                                    Yes, it's a buffet. I think their pizza is lousy, though.

                                                              2. Carrolls and Chicken Delight (both in Orange County NY)

                                                                And I know they still exist, but it is not easy to find an Orange Julius anymore....

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: L_W

                                                                  has chicken delight in NJ....some in northern NJ....Orange Julius...maybe at the mall...

                                                                  1. re: L_W

                                                                    The Carroll's Corp still exists, but the stores all converted to BK's years ago. Carroll's is one of the bigger BK franchisees in NYS.

                                                                  2. Church's Chicken has disappeared from Ontario, as far as I know, as has Long John Silver's. I miss them both.

                                                                    1. According to their website, Checkers still has several locations in Illinois, but none of them are remotely close to the north side of Chicago. They were my favorite burger place.

                                                                      1. Here in the Metro DC Virginia area there used to be several Shakey's Pizzas (it was my very first job soooo long ago). They are gone now, but I understand the chain has been relaunched, mostly on the West Coast.

                                                                        1. Mister Donut. They were bought out by Dunkin Donuts but then even Dunkin Donuts disappeared from the Twin Cities. Dunkin Donuts is coming back to our market, but it just won't be the same.

                                                                          I worked a couple years at Mister Donut and the quality was top notch. Our bakers were going to National Baking Institute at Dunwoody and they took their jobs seriously (as seriously as 19 year olds can take anything).

                                                                          So much better than those tiny, flat glazed Os purporting to be doughnuts at Krspy Kreme.

                                                                          1. I don't know about the rest of the state, but in central NY we no longer have:
                                                                            Bob's Big Boy, Perkins, Popeye's, Hardees, KK, Old Country Buffett, & Bennigan's, to name a few. Blimpie also came and went.

                                                                            1. Oh how I would love to have a jack in the box taco. I'm in the NY Tri-state area. But I am happy I have white castles!