First Dayton-area Wendy’s restaurant still serving 50 years later

The Wendy’s fast-food chain was founded in Columbus on Nov. 15, 1969. This had us wondered when Wendy’s first came to the Dayton area.

A December 1972 article in the Dayton Journal Herald announced that Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers was entering the Dayton market with four outlets.

Shortly after, a fifth location was announced, to be at First and Main streets in the Sheraton-Dayton building in downtown Dayton.

The first location at 7435 Brandt Pike in Huber Heights, which opened in March of 1973, continues to be a Wendy’s today, 50 years later.

Two of the four other original Wendy’s locations are also still in operation, at Salem and Hillcrest avenues and East Dorothy Lane.

Wendy’s was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas, who started as a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise owner. Wendy’s found success with a menu including homemade chili, single, double and triple patty hamburgers, shakes and drinks.

In a May 1973 Dayton Daily News article, Wendy’s owner Dave Thomas said, “We have 256 ways to order our hamburgers, and we use only quality meat.” Burger prices started at 65 cents.

The 1972 article described the restaurants as having “seating from 80-120 and are furnished with stained glass lamps, red carpeting and wall finish and tables with newspaper print formica tops.”

Currently, there are 12 Wendy’s locations in the Dayton area and 5,890 Wendy’s restaurants across the United States.