COLUMBUS, OHIO — Wendy's International Inc. is closing the restaurant where the nation's third-largest hamburger chain began in 1969.
The iconic restaurant, filled with memorabilia and photographs of the late Wendy's founder, Dave Thomas, will close Friday, company spokesman Denny Lynch said. "This is a very difficult decision, but the truth is we kept it open for sentimental reasons much longer than we should have."
Thomas, who died in 2002 of liver cancer, opened his first Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurant Nov. 15, 1969. He named it after his 8-year-old daughter Melinda Lou, who was nicknamed Wendy. Thomas later became a nationally known figure as a Wendy's pitchman in television commercials.
But the original restaurant, on East Broad Street just a few blocks from the Ohio Statehouse, has its sales restricted because its hours of operation closely follow those of government buildings, Lynch said.