The World’s First Ever Wendy’s Restaurant is Closing

The original Wendy’s Restaurant at 257 E. Broad St., the first ever, is shutting its doors next Friday. Rats! This is a place I take people when they are visiting and we’re venue hopping in the downtown Columbus area. It’s sort of near the Statehouse, Columbus Museum of Art, COSI (the science museum), and the Franklin Park Conservatory, making it a great last minute stop idea. An “I’m hungry. Let’s eat” kind of place. Plus, it’s cool to say, “This was the first Wendy’s.”

Dave Thomas, Wendy’s founder opened this first one in 1969. Inside is a Wendy’s museum of sorts. Toys given in kid’s meals, the uniform made by his wife and worn by his daughter for the restaurant’s logo, an employees’ how-to manual, and loads of photographs, awards and news clippings of Wendy’s news over the years are some of the items on display as a nostalgia bonanza to fast food. Historic or not, this particular Wendy’s loses money and lots of it. The parking is lousy and there isn’t a drive through which is partly to blame. Plus, not many people live downtown so the hours are limited. City Wendy can’t keep up with suburbs Wendy.

About the neat memorabilia. All will be moved to the Wendy’s headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. Ironically, Dublin, although it has a small town center, is a suburb of sorts of Columbus. I’m going to miss this downtown marker. Seriously, there will be no where to eat on the fly in Columbus’s downtown area on the weekends after this Friday.

Here’s an article from about the first Wendy’s. There are some photos as well.