Who the heck was Arthur Treacher?
Arthur Treacher was a British character actor who was widely known for his butler-type roles in the old Shirley Temple and Mary Poppins movies. When Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips was founded in 1969, the above mentioned actor was chosen as the spokesman. Some people speculate that he had a financial stake in the business but that has never been proven.
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The founders of this great company were S. Robert Davis, L.S. Hartzog and Dave Thomas (who would go on to found Wendy’s later on). Mr. Davis was originally building and leasing properties for Kentucky Fried Chicken but eventually sold these properties outright to KFC for $3 million. Not a bad deal back then!
At the time, Americans knew little about food from the UK but Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips brought this cuisine to the USA and a craze was started! One could say it was The British Invasion of fast food! A massive publicity campaign was launched and franchises popped up all over the place! Who can forget their incredible FREE 32 ounce Coke with every basket. Great marketing!
While feeling the pressure from such knock-off restaurants like Long John Silver’s, Skipper’s, Captain D’s, Salt’s Fish & Chips and Alfie’s Fish & Chips, Arthur Treacher’s decided that making partnerships with such brands as Arby’s would help. This partnership did not last, however, because companies like Arby’s felt it weakened their own brand
What The Fish?
After succumbing to enormous pressure from the competition and several ownership changes, Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips shell companies filed for bankruptcy. It’s a lot more complicated than that but in the interest of not boring our readers to death with financial and legal details, let’s just say they blew it.
Is Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips still around?
The short answer to this question is yes! There are several cases in which the brand name co-exists with other brands in some locations, there is only one true location left. This location has been around since the 1980s and just celebrated it’s 50th year in business. The owner says customer’s brand loyalty has a lot to do with it. If you are ever in the area, check it out:
Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips: 1833 State Rd – Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44223
However, it’s important to note that this location is not affiliated with the original Arthur Treacher’s company and operates under a different ownership. Despite this, they still offer the classic menu items that made Arthur Treacher’s a favorite among fish and chip lovers.
It’s a sad tale for such a beloved brand, but the legacy of Arthur Treacher’s lives on through this lone surviving location. For those who have fond memories of enjoying crispy battered fish and hot, salty fries, a visit to this restaurant is a must. Who knows, maybe with enough support, Arthur Treacher’s could make a comeback and reclaim its place among the greats of fast food history.