Where Have All the Family Restaurants Gone?

American families enjoy eating out together; over the years, there have been some great family restaurants. Unfortunately, many of them have gone defunct, leaving behind only the memories of great family gatherings in these establishments.

‘Red Barn’ was a fast-food restaurant chain founded in 1961 in Springfield, Ohio. At its peak, ‘Red Barn’ had 300-400 restaurants in 19 states. Another famous family restaurant was ‘Wag’s.’ The restaurant was built on the concept of casual dining.

They were owned and operated by ‘Walgreens’ in the 1970s and 1980s, and they were modeled after places like ‘Denny’s,’ ‘Shoney’s,’ and ‘Big Boy.’ They were 24-hour establishments that served cheap food like burgers and breakfast.

Another popular location was ‘Showbiz Pizza.’ The stage featured ‘Chuck E. Cheese,’ an animatronic rodent who sang along to pre-recorded music tracks.

Families loved ‘Howard Johnson’s’ because it was a hotel that was formerly a restaurant chain. The restaurant was founded in 1925 by Howard Johnson himself. In the 1950s, the company began opening hotels, and it became the largest restaurant chain in America, with over 1,000 combined outlets.

‘Bob’s Big Boy’ was another successful family food chain that started in 1936 and was initially named ‘Bob’s Pantry.’ At its peak in 1989, there were over 240 ‘Bob’s’ locations in the United States.

Another cherished family restaurant was the ‘York Steak House.’ This national chain of steakhouses in the U.S. was owned by cereal manufacturer General Mills. By 1982, there were nearly 200 restaurants in 27 states. These now-defunct restaurants provided many great family meals through the years in America.

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Where Have All the Family Restaurants Gone?