Disappearing Restaurant Chains
While driving on Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford recently I pointed out to my wife--who is not from the area--where the Ground Round restaurant used to be. It was one of my favorite spots for a burger and beer not to mention the free popcorn. Alas, the Ground Round is just one of several national chain restaurants that are either completely or nearly gone.
24/7 Wall Street came up with a list of endangered restaurant species.
Howard Johnson's--Currently, there are only two restaurants; one in Bangor, Maine, and the other in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Mister Donut--Currently, there are no Mister Donut locations in the U.S., after most were acquired in 1990 by Dunkin’ Donuts’ former parent company Allied-Lyons.
Steak & Ale--Steak & Ale no longer exists. It was conceived by Norman E. Brinker, who also helped to popularize Chili’s.
Ground Round--As of 2012, there were just 25 locations nationwide, mostly in northern states, with four in North Dakota and seven in Minnesota.
Sambo’s--The chain suffered from financial troubles and filed for bankruptcy in late 1981. The first Sambo’s in Santa Barbara, which is owned by the founder’s grandson, remains in business.
There are a few other once popular restaurants either gone or on the ropes that you can check out here. Meanwhile, if I want a Ground Round burger and beer it looks like I'll have to head to Minneapolis.
Have you ever wondered what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restauran t while your food is being prepared? A chicken shawarma (look it up, I had to) master chef has some moves that even Jackie Chan would envy.