May 8, 2009

Arby's (created in Texas)

When me and two ladies from work went to Thrift Town, on Jacksboro Highway in far west Fort Worth, Texas, I decided to take pictures of the surrounding area while they shopped. In the same shopping strip as the thrift store was an Arby's with one of its original huge neon signs, which looks like a tall ass cowboy hat. I wanted to document this bad ass sign so I took this picture of it. I love the colors, maroon, yellow and white. And look at the words "HURRY IN" followed by a notice that the place is "OPEN LATE". So why be in such a hurry if it's open late?

My second ex-wife told me she once worked at an Arby's in Erie, PA, her hometown, and said that the 'roast beef' was actually a HUMONGOUS and heavy piece of frozen meat formed into a round ball that they cut up in the back. So just think of that when you bite into one of their roast beef sandwiches. I know they're good but that shit arrives totally frozen and in a huge ball-like mass.

Yeah, I want to "hurry in" and eat that shit. NOT.

Anyways, here's an interesting tidbit I found on about Arby's:

"In the mid to late 19th century, a saloon was founded in West Texas by a retired Civil War Captain, Daniel J. Arby. The saloon gained much renown throughout the pan-handle for it's fine southern food and large gaming hall. After five years of outstanding popularity among Texans, Arby decided to expand his saloon to neighboring towns where the menu expanded and included his famed roast beef sandwich and family recipe barbecue sauce. After generations of the Arby family passed down the recipes and the saloon chain gained popularity in the early 20th century, the saloon was updated to restaurant status and included nightly entertainment (everything from magicians to minstrel shows). In the 1930s the family lost almost everything as the United States fell deeper into the Great Depression and was forced to sell their beloved restaurant chain. The Arby's name changed hands over the next 30 years, being owned at one point by the great Howard Hughes, until it was finally bought by brothers Forrest and Leroy Raffel in Ohio, who were determined to own a fast food franchise based on a food other than hamburgers. The brothers were insistant on changing the name to the preferred name of "Big Tex," but that name was already being used by an Akron businessman. They eventually decided on the Arby's moniker, based on R.B., the initials of the Raffel brothers [1] and also because they realized they could accomplish this without changing the original name, thus Arby's, LLC was born. (By coincidence, R.B. can also be short for roast beef, the company's main product, a point which was used when the backronym "America's Roast Beef, Yes Sir" was used as an advertising campaign in the 1980s.) They maintained the cowboy hat logo in reverence of the humble beginnings of the fast-food chain."

UPDATE: This sign is gone. So is the Arby's restaurant. It's boarded up. This is why I take photos around town of stuff like this knowing at some time or another it will be gone to make way for something new, er, worse. It's important to document with your camera your surroundings because one day a picture you took something of will no longer exist.

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