16 restaurant chains you once loved that you'll never be able to eat at again

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Valle's Steakhouse was an East Coast chain that started in 1933.

Valle's Steakhouse was an East Coast chain that started in 1933.

Source: New England Historical Society

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The final locations of the chain closed in 2000.

The final locations of the chain closed in 2000.

Source: New England Historical Society

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Burger Chef, a McDonald's competitor that once had thousands of locations across the country, expanded too quickly and ended up selling to Hardee's in 1981.

Burger Chef, a McDonald's competitor that once had thousands of locations across the country, expanded too quickly and ended up selling to Hardee's in 1981.

Source: Time

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Burger Chef was the first chain to include small toys in its kids' meals, before McDonald's had Happy Meals.

Burger Chef was the first chain to include small toys in its kids' meals, before McDonald's had Happy Meals.

Source: Time

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Chi-Chi's grew to almost 250 locations from 1975 to 1986.

Chi-Chi's grew to almost 250 locations from 1975 to 1986.

Source: The Daily Meal

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However, it failed to expand further because of increased competition. By 2002, there were 144 locations. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2003.

However, it failed to expand further because of increased competition. By 2002, there were 144 locations. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2003.

Source: The Daily Meal

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A month after the bankruptcy filing, onions served at a Pittsburgh-area Chi Chi's reportedly set off a massive hepatitis-A outbreak, sickening 660 and killing four. The remaining 65 locations closed within the year.

A month after the bankruptcy filing, onions served at a Pittsburgh-area Chi Chi's reportedly set off a massive hepatitis-A outbreak, sickening 660 and killing four. The remaining 65 locations closed within the year.

Source: The Daily Meal

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Gino's Hamburgers was a McDonald's competitor that opened in Baltimore in 1958.

Gino's Hamburgers was a McDonald's competitor that opened in Baltimore in 1958.

Source: Baltimore Business Journal

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It grew to over 500 stores before it was purchased by Marriott in the 1980s, and the restaurants were all turned into Roy Rogers. In 2011, 10 Gino's restaurants were reopened in Baltimore.

It grew to over 500 stores before it was purchased by Marriott in the 1980s, and the restaurants were all turned into Roy Rogers. In 2011, 10 Gino's restaurants were reopened in Baltimore.

Source: Baltimore Business Journal

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Henry's Hamburgers had more than 200 locations from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Henry's Hamburgers had more than 200 locations from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Source: Henry's Hamburgers

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Today there's only one Henry's left. It's in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Today there's only one Henry's left. It's in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Source: Henry's Hamburgers

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Howard Johnson's hotel and restaurant chain started in the 1920s. By the 1960s, there were thousands of locations.

Howard Johnson's hotel and restaurant chain started in the 1920s. By the 1960s, there were thousands of locations.

Source: Kiplinger

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But the hotels were sold off soon after that, leaving the restaurants struggling. The last one closed in 2017.

But the hotels were sold off soon after that, leaving the restaurants struggling. The last one closed in 2017.

Source: Kiplinger

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Kenny Rogers' Roasters, made famous by an episode of "Seinfeld," opened its first restaurant in 1991. Nathan's Famous bought the chain in 1998, but sold it again in 2008.

Kenny Rogers' Roasters, made famous by an episode of "Seinfeld," opened its first restaurant in 1991. Nathan's Famous bought the chain in 1998, but sold it again in 2008.

Source: Kenny Rogers' Roasters, Nation's Restaurant News

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There are still Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurants internationally, but none in the US.

There are still Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurants internationally, but none in the US.

Source: Kenny Rogers' Roasters

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Minnie Pearl's Chicken, named after the famous country singer, grew to over 500 locations in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But it expanded too quickly, and it didn't have a set menu or recipe. Because none of the locations were really the same, the chain fell apart within a few years.

Minnie Pearl's Chicken, named after the famous country singer, grew to over 500 locations in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But it expanded too quickly, and it didn't have a set menu or recipe. Because none of the locations were really the same, the chain fell apart within a few years.

Source: Mental Floss

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Pup 'N' Taco sold tacos, hamburgers, sandwiches, and more.

Pup 'N' Taco sold tacos, hamburgers, sandwiches, and more.
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It opened in 1965. 99 locations of the chain were purchased by Taco Bell in 1984.

It opened in 1965. 99 locations of the chain were purchased by Taco Bell in 1984.

Source: Nation's Restaurant News

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The three locations not purchased by Taco Bell closed in the 2010s.

The three locations not purchased by Taco Bell closed in the 2010s.

Source: Pop Culture

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Sambo's opened in 1975, but found itself at the center of controversy when some claimed the name was a reference to a racial slur.

Sambo's opened in 1975, but found itself at the center of controversy when some claimed the name was a reference to a racial slur.

Source: The Daily Beast

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At its peak, Sambo's had almost 1,000 locations ...

At its peak, Sambo's had almost 1,000 locations ...

Source: The Daily Beast

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... but it shut down in the 1980s after most of them were sold to Denny's. There's still one location left, in Santa Barbara, California.

... but it shut down in the 1980s after most of them were sold to Denny's. There's still one location left, in Santa Barbara, California.

Source: The Daily Meal

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Sandy's was a McDonald's competitor launched by former McDonald's employees.

Sandy's was a McDonald's competitor launched by former McDonald's employees.

Source: MeTV

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In the 1970s, financial issues forced a sale to Hardee's.

In the 1970s, financial issues forced a sale to Hardee's.

Source: MeTV

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All American Burger was a West Coast burger chain made famous by the 1982 film "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

All American Burger was a West Coast burger chain made famous by the 1982 film "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
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By 2010, all locations of the chain were closed. There is an All American Burger in Massapequa, Long Island, but it wasn't part of the original chain.

By 2010, all locations of the chain were closed. There is an All American Burger in Massapequa, Long Island, but it wasn't part of the original chain.

Source: LA Weekly

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White Tower was a White Castle knock-off that opened in 1926.

White Tower was a White Castle knock-off that opened in 1926.

Source: The Daily Meal

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It copied almost everything, including the style, advertising, and even the architecture.

It copied almost everything, including the style, advertising, and even the architecture.

Source: The Daily Meal

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The chain died shortly after White Castle took legal action and forced it to change almost everything.

The chain died shortly after White Castle took legal action and forced it to change almost everything.

Source: The Daily Meal

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The Planet Hollywood-owned All-Star Cafe only had 10 locations, but major athletes including Andre Agassi and Joe Montana invested in the chain.

The Planet Hollywood-owned All-Star Cafe only had 10 locations, but major athletes including Andre Agassi and Joe Montana invested in the chain.

Source: The Daily Meal

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The last one closed in 2007.

The last one closed in 2007.
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Lum's hot dog chain had over 400 locations and was so successful that the chain's founders purchased Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas in 1969. By 1982, they had divested from that business.

Lum's hot dog chain had over 400 locations and was so successful that the chain's founders purchased Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas in 1969. By 1982, they had divested from that business.

Source: The Daily Meal, Miami Herald

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It was known for steaming hot dogs in beer.

It was known for steaming hot dogs in beer.
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Lum's filed for bankruptcy in 1982.

Lum's filed for bankruptcy in 1982.

Source: The Daily Meal, Miami Herald

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VIP's was a West Coast-based diner chain that started in the 1960s. But it couldn't compete with Denny's, and closed in 1989 after two decades.

VIP's was a West Coast-based diner chain that started in the 1960s. But it couldn't compete with Denny's, and closed in 1989 after two decades.

Source: Eat This

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