"First Wendys Restaurant" Top 5 Page for this destination Columbus Local Custom Tip by deecat

Columbus Local Customs: 11 reviews and 14 photos

  Wendys Original Restaurant
by deecat

By the time Dave Thomas was 35 years old, he was a millionaire due to his work with Kentucky Friend Chicken. So, in 1969, Dave Thomas opened his very first Wendy's Old-Fashioned Hamburger Restaurant in, of all places, Columbus, Ohio!

Yes, there are other restaurants that got their start in Ohio such as Burger Boy, Biscuits, Bob Evans, RAX, and Sisters Chicken; however, Wendy's is the most famous with restaurants around the world.

Thomas called his business after his daughter Melinda "Wendy" Thomas..Wendy was a nickname given to her by her siblings. In less than one year, he opened another Wendy's in Columbus, and in 1971 they added the first "modern-day, drive-thru window" Modern is the key; although it was not the first drive-thru, but the first modern one.

The first Wendy's
franchisee was in Indianapolis in 1972, but by 1976, there were 500 restaurants" Wendy's also claim as a milestone, "The Salad Bar for a national chain".

Today there are Wendy's in 34 countries, 5,000 restaurants in the US! Dave died in 2002, but he won't be forgotten in Columbus, Ohio, Home of the First Wendy's Restaurant.

At this first one, the walls are covered with displays, artifacts, and photographs.
Here, the original hamburger test griddle is mounted on the wall in the form of a plaque.

My favorite is the display about the "Where's the Beef?" advertisement..
Danny Thomas donated his Frosty cup and spoon that he used at the grand opening and that he saved for 25 years...it's under a glass dome..

Just walking around the town brought us luckily to a place and fact that I knew nothing about before this chance encounter!

World's First Wendy's
257 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio

Phone: 614-464-4656

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 17, 2006
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