Many of America’s favorite restaurant chains in the 1970s fell apart, living only in our memories, books, TV shows, and movies. And while the days of Howard Johnson or the Burger Chef are forever behind us, some beloved fast food chains of yesteryear may still have a bright future ahead of them. One such relic from this era recently announced a comeback. Nathan’s Famous recently announced plans to relaunch the iconic Arthur Treacher’s fish and chip chain.
According to RSR Magazine, Arthur Treacher’s will be relaunched as a ghost kitchen, with plans to open physical restaurants down the line. A quick reminder: a ghost kitchen is a restaurant without a dining room, which exists exclusively on online ordering platforms, available only for delivery (or sometimes for delivery and pickup). So when the beloved chain returns, you won’t be able to actually visit the restaurant at first.
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The once-widespread chain, which is credited with bringing authentic-style fish and chips to the American fast food scene, had as many as 800 restaurants at its peak, but only had seven (across New York and Ohio) two years ago. However, parent company Nathan’s Famous offers Treacher’s original items in several of their restaurants. The revival will keep some of those fan favorites while adding new ones.
“We’re using the same breadcrumbs that everyone loves. That same hand-made, crispy golden batter. We’ll have the same quiet puppies. But we’re improving all the protein,” said James Walker, famed vice president of Nathan’s restaurants. QSR. “We’re adding more shrimp to the menu. We’re really improving the quality, but keeping the same flavors and looks that people love about the brand. “
For those who grew up in an era without Arthur Treacher, here’s a brief history of the chain. The first of its restaurants opened in Columbus, Ohio in 1969 (with the help of Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas). The restaurant is named after British actor Arthur Treacher, best known for playing several butler and valet roles in 1930s films. The chain grew in the first half of the 1970s, reaching hundreds of people. ‘locations, but ended up filing for bankruptcy before the 1980s.
While the timing of his return is still a secret, experts say it could happen quickly. Fans may look forward to Fish n ‘Chips sandwiches, Captain’s Dinners, and Boom Boom shrimp platters in the near future.
For more fast food nostalgia, be sure to check out these 24 Forgotten Fast Food Restaurants. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest restaurant news straight to your inbox.