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Roy Rogers - east of Cincy

Has anyone else discovered this little treasure that harkens back to the days when fast food really tasted good? A friend and I make the 70+ mile trip several times a year from Dayton to the eastside of Cincinnati to eat at this independently owned Roy Rogers Restaurant. These may be the best fast food burgers and fries made. There so good, I've never even tried the roast beef or chicken.

The building and menu are pretty much as they were 35 years ago when Roy Rogers first entered the S/W Ohio market (the building has never been changed). It located on Rt. 32 just west of the Eastgate Mall. I thought I was nuts about going here until I ran into an old high school friend who said he and his wife stop every time they visit their daughter who lives in the area.

Has anyone else tried this place?

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  1. I have. It was all right. It seemed just like Hardee's to me. Ham on a burger does separate them from other places around Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana. I do believe that is the sole Roy Rogers left in Ohio.
    Roy rogers has a couple places on the Pennsylvania turnpike. I beieve headquarters are now in Frederick, Maryland. There were a couple RR franchises in that area.

    1. I do the same. We make a special trip from Dayton to Roy's 3 or 4 times a year and stop there wherever we are anywhere near the area. The roast beef sandwiches are great, especially with the BBQ sauce. The roast beef sandwiches are made from REAL cuts of beef, not processed, pressed meat like at Arby’s that has the texture and flavor of cardboard.

      I thought I was alone in this obsession till one time we ran into a group of 6 guys who had made a special trip from Indianapolis for sandwiches.

      I miss the old days when there were four or five restaurants in Dayton and I’d have Roy’s two or sometimes three times a day.

      It’s 10:00 in the morning and my mouth is watering! LOL!

      1 Reply
      1. re: rstevens

        Just saw you response, a friend and I make the 70 mile trek several times a year. I was telling another friend some time ago, and he said he and his wife stop there every time they visit their daughter in Batavia. The owner knows us and makes sure our burgers and fries are made fresh. I figure I'll hear from my buddy some time soon saying it's time to go to Roy's again.

      2. I live 10 minutes from that Roy Rogers and haven't been there in at least 10 years. I will have to stop by one day and try a burger.

        1. roy rogers...wow...haven' t heard or seen that one since my days as a child growing up back east :) if i saw one..i'd go just for nostalgia's sake!


          1 Reply
          1. re: hhsoul35

            thanks for giving us the tip on the Roy Rogers.

            ~~have driven by it several times but had no idea it had such a fan club! so it pains me to know we have been missing out on it these past 6 years we've lived here in Anderson Twp!

            Will check it out tomorrow!

          2. I posted about this location a few months ago. I started picking up carryout there after client meetings. The roast beef is a big reason to try this place. It tastes as good or better than something made in a deli.

            The sad thing is, in the 70s Arby's sandwiches were on the same level as this stuff and one used to take "authentic" fast food pretty much for granted. Red Barns were also awesome.

            4 Replies
            1. re: donw9876

              I was there a couple of weeks ago and for a change I tried the roast beef instead of the burger. I couldn't believe how good it tasted! As far as the burgers, this place doesn't do anything special to them - no angus beef, no fancy toppings, but they cook them fresh and they don't sit under the heat lamp very long or not at all. It's a throwback to a time when all fast food was better.

              1. re: jackrugby

                Well, I'm here to report that my husband and I drove over (4 miles) to the Roy Rogers at Eastgate for lunch. He ordered a hamburger (I think with bacon?) and I ordered the fish sandwich (it's Lent). Both were good and I especially liked it that they had bins of lettuce and tomato so you could use as much as you like.

                My husband fell in love with the place and has been raving about it to our kids. I think it was all the photos of Roy and Dale on the counters that he connected with. The funny thing was that everyone in the joint were men his age (50 to 60) except for 2 women my age (and we won't tell that). I don't think I recognized any of you Chowhounders there, though!

                And another observation: the place must be a cash machine for the family that owns it. They were really busy with a line of about 15 cars at the take out window (and of course they haven't spent a cent on capital improvements or redecoration since Roy was alive so everything must be profit).

                Anyway, fun place to eat lunch.

                1. re: dumas

                  I completely agree, especially about the capital improvements part. When I was rang up there last week the gals at the counter had to beat on the cash register just to open the change drawer. :)

                  1. re: donw9876

                    It may be a cash machine for the owner, but that owner is there everytime I'm there. He must work everday of the week and rarely takes a vacation.

            2. After driving by this place dozens of times I finally stopped in today after the recs on this post. Mighty tasty roast beef. I would definitely frequent this place if it wasn't 30 minutes away.

              1. A little history about Roy Rogers Restaurant. It has been 41 years this month since this location was opened. It is still owned by the same family. The father will be 87 years young this year. Everything is mostly still the same. (The cash register has been fixed) This restaurant is very popular. At lunch time and on weekends the dining room is usually full. A lot of the employees have been working there for a long time. To all you newbies, the restaurant only accepts CASH

                12 Replies
                1. re: gobuckeyes

                  41 years in the same family? For fast food, that is just incredible. I have business in Georgetown shortly. I know where I'm stopping along the way.

                  1. re: Fibber McGee

                    I recently ate at this Roy Rogers and spoke to the owner and told him about this post. The food as always was great!

                    G-bucks you seem to know a lot about this establishment, you wouldn't be the owner would you?

                      1. re: gobuckeyes

                        Oh man, I remeber as a kid going to the R.R. in NCH. Whenever I am out east (very seldom) I ALWAYS stop at R.R. Double R Beurger, fries, coke and don't forget the apple crisp!!!!

                        1. re: ttboy84

                          I've heard that this location has changed it's name to Rooney's or something like that. Evidently the Roy Roger's chain is dead and this owner has broken any association with it. He is serving the same menu he always has.

                          Different name, same good food.

                          1. re: jackrugby

                            > Roy Rogers's chain is dead

                            Their website is still live and lists a couple of dozen stores.

                            1. re: rainsux

                              Maybe my statement that the chain is dead is a little strong, but this might be the only location in the whole state of Ohio. It is also a better represantation of how good Roy Roger's resturaunts used to be than any of the ones I've eaten in on the Penn. Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway in NJ.

                              1. re: jackrugby

                                Roy Rogers is one of the two chains I miss for fried chicken.
                                When I was by their place in Schaumburg, IL, I always had to bring back a large order for my mother. The other was Chicken Unlimited. They used to be a chain of about 300 stores, but the last I heard there are only a couple left in Florida.

                                1. re: exvaxman

                                  There are several Roy Rogers still active in Northern Virginia and Maryland. The fried chicken tastes identical to the Pappy Parkers Fried Chicken that was sold in the Hot Shoppes chain in the 1960s-70s. Roys Gold Rush Chicken Sandwich is the best chain chicken sandwich available.


                            2. re: jackrugby

                              what has happened is that some corp bought the rights to the Roy Rogers franchise some years back and are trying to revive the brand, and in the process they recently (last 6 mos or so, roughly?) decided to put the screws to the lone independent Cincinnati location to the point that the owner in Cincinnati decided to change the name of his joint. The food remains unchanged - the only changes from the customer point of view is the name of the place and the packaging -- for example they can no longer use the Roy Roger's name and/or logo, so fries no longer come in a "holster". Stuff like that.

                              1. re: TJ Jackson

                                I ate there over the weekend and heard the same story about the new ownerhsip. They (the new owners) should be studying the Cincinnat location to find out what he is doing right. Everytime I go there he is busy. He has kept his collection of Roy Rogers memorbilia (mostly photos) up on the walls.

                    1. re: gobuckeyes

                      I have been living in Cincinnati for about a year now and kept driving past- and commenting on the fact that I needed to try it! It sounds like I will now, next time I need a fast food fix.

                      One comment though- it's now called Roney's, after the street that it sits on. It looks kind of sad from the outside but it still looks like fun!

                    2. A friend just called me and said this place has closed up. Does anyone know what happened?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: jackrugby

                        They couldn't come to an agreement with the landlord. The last two days they had thousands of customers, and have decided to try to find a new location to reopen in.

                        I hope so, my absolute favorite place to eat, and that's driving from Dayton!

                        1. re: rstevens

                          I hope you at least stop by the new Jungle Jim's while you're out that way.Of course, all that develoment could have driven property prices up.
                          I hope they do move. A lot of places say they will find a new location, but never do, unfortunately.