The first Wendy’s fast-food restaurant to open in Chattanooga over four decades ago has apparently closed.
The restaurant at 5200 Brainerd Road a short distance east of the Moore Road intersection is now boarded up. One online restaurant locator website has a statement from Wendy’s saying it has permanently closed.
If so, it marks the end of an era, as the first Wendy’s opened in 1976 in the same building that has only been moderately remodeled over the years.
That restaurant was also the first quick-service restaurant in Chattanooga to offer drive-through window pickup service as well.
The local Wendy’s restaurants were initially opened by local franchisee Ed Tenent after having been started in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio, by Dave Thomas.
The restaurant when it first opened in Chattanooga was initially called Wendy’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers and was known for its “hot ‘n’ juicy” advertising slogan.
The second Wendy’s in Chattanooga was apparently at 4704 Rossville Blvd. and opened within a few months or so of the Brainerd one. A Wendy’s at that site is still operating.
In recent years, newer Wendy’s restaurants have had a more vertical look reflecting more modern architectural styles, a move done by other quick-service restaurants like McDonald’s.
The Brainerd one still had the classic original look.
Self-service salad bars were also popular aspects of the Wendy’s on Brainerd Road and at other stores in the early years.