When a family wants to go out for dinner, there are many chain restaurants to choose from. These restaurants become a place for celebrations, special moments, and fun nights out on the town. Some, however, disappear so quietly that you may have forgotten they even existed. Here are just a few chain restaurants that faded from the public consciousness.
1) Steak and Ale
Founded in 1966, this restaurant sought to give diners a steakhouse experience at a bargain price. It actually was one of the first fast-casual restaurants in history. The concept proved incredibly popular and the restaurant had 113 locations at its peak (some were known as Jolly Ox in cities where liquor couldn’t be mentioned in the restaurant’s name).
In 2008, its parent company, S&A Restaurant Corp, filed bankruptcy and the popular restaurant was forced out of business. In 2013, a Facebook campaign called for the revival of this restaurant under new ownership. The campaign worked. It was sold to Legendary Restaurant Brands, LLC in 2015 which plans to reopen the Steak and Ale.
2) All Star Cafe
Hoping to cash in on celebrity-owned chains like Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood, the
Its first store opened in Times Square in 1995, with other locations on the Las Vegas Strip and Disneyworld. Unfortunately, the concept never really caught on and the last restaurant was shuttered in 2007.
3) Chi-Chi’s Restaurant
Because this brand of chips and salsa is still sold in stores, many people assume the restaurants are still open, as well. The last one, found in Utah, closed in 2011.
Chi-Chi’s filed for Chapter 11 in 2013 then, a month later, one of its restaurants was the epicenter of the largest hepatitis
4) Kenny Rogers Roasters
This restaurant is probably best remembered for its appearance in a classic episode of Seinfeld. This rotisserie chicken restaurant was very popular in the ’90s but quickly declined due to competition from restaurants like KFC and a lawsuit from Clucker’s, which claimed Rogers stole their concept.
The last Kenny Rogers Roasters in North America closed in 2011. It’s not completely gone, however. There are still locations open in Malaysia and Indonesia.
5) Pancho’s Mexican Buffet
This all-you-can-eat Mexican buffet began in 1958 in El Paso, Texas. By 1988, there were more than 50 locations in the United States. That number dwindled until 2012 when the corporate office shut down for unknown reasons.
After it shuttered its corporate office, the name was sold and some restaurants continued operating. Today, there are only five locations still open—a far cry from its heyday in the ’80s.