Thursday, February 15, 2018

You'd be Surprised at What Still Exists




Welcome to Broken Chains, where I plan to write about my travels to restaurants, hotels, and retail spaces that are part of, or connected to chains that are defunct, regional, or otherwise obscure. My intent is to share my odd hobby with anyone who is interested and to encounter as many obsolete consumer outlets as possible while learning a little bit about their history.

10 comments:

  1. Can you do one on Zayres?

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    1. I would love to write about Zayre, but I make an effort to only write about present day experiences with brands that are diminished, but still exist. I don’t believe any Zayre stores are still open, but if someone revives the name for a physical or online business, I’ll be there to check it out.

      Thanks for reading!

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    2. ...but maybe I would write about Zayre if I could find a well-preserved former Zayre location I could visit, kind of like I did with Nickerson Farms and Howard Johnson’s.

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  2. Zap, this is the best site I've found in ages. Our food & travel blog (Marie, Let's Eat!) is kind of on hiatus currently, but we've loved finding stragglers and survivors of old chains like Shrimp Boats or Scottie's or Zesto, and repurposed old buildings like Arthur Treacher's or mission-style Taco Bells. We wrote about one of the Evansville GD Ritzy's a couple of years ago, but we rarely get out of the southeast so most of your chains are places I've only ever heard of. I can't wait to see what you will find next.

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    1. Hi! Thanks for reading. I still have a few recent finds left to write about, plus a couple of trips planned. I'll have to check out your blog too.

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  3. Zap, Very cool blog. I am emailing you a note.

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  4. Chains often don't go out of business all at once, they dwindle down. My hometown has two of the remaining 3-4 Kettle restaurants, once a big chain based out of Houston, they once had over 200 stores across 17 states and two dozen in Houston alone. The last Houston store closed about six or seven years ago, and the remaining stores have slowly been closing down.

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    1. “Chains often don't go out of business all at once, they dwindle down”

      Yep. It’s a phenomenon I always found interesting. Especially when there are only one or two holdouts sticking around decades after hundreds of other locations in the chain have closed.

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  5. Can you do a family entertainment center (i.e. places like Chuck E. Cheese's?)

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    1. That might be tough as I don’t have kids, but I can try. Do you know of any family entertainment center chains that are struggling or otherwise diminished?

      Casa Bonita fits those criteria I guess, but the last one is all the way in Colorado. Plus it’s pretty well known thanks to South Park.

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