Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sundown for Roy Rogers?


"Thank You, Newington! Please Visit Us In Manchester."

is the only explanation a snowcapped Roy Rogers on the Berlin Turnpike served up last week.
So what's going on over at Roy Rogers on the Berlin Turnpike? It's not just the US-5/CT-15 location that's abrupty closed it's doors to the lunch rush along the ever-heavy Pike.

Early this year, it seems Roy Rogers will share a limited future with the state of Connecticut as it has shut down its "old-fashioned" style fast food dining along the Berlin Turnpike which has served customers for a few decades. Fellow Ames Fan Club forum posters have rung in on the shock of the sudden closure of a North Haven location as well as the Newington location, which was discovered and reported shuttered early last week upon its property not having been cleared from a wintry storm early last week.


No explanations, no appearent warnings. Signage has now been removed from not only the somewhat architecturally outdated wooden-grooved facade but also the nearby stucco-faced trashcans lining the edges of the parking lot along with the sundown-canyon logo doning its attract pylon to forecast motorists coming along the way. Some people are walking in-and-out of the place, but not serving customers any longer.


Roy Rogers, whose well known for its old-fashion, old-western way of doing things, like successful rival franchiser Wendy's and other Arby's, offers a "Fixin's Bar" which allows customers to add as many toppings or and condements "Fixins" as they pleased.

But in a more health and bacteria-centric world of today, the liberty of the idea might be host to a contributing decline of Roy Rogers. Their stores are generally left behind; distressed, often dingy, neglected, and never really on the continued zeal and edge the other fast food restaurants hold today. Ideas don't keep the company fueled or pressured to market "low-carb salad" trends which keeps them down. But some people might've liked that casual devoid-trendy-atmosphere at Roy's. Appearently, not enough.

The next phase is this; who will fight for the prime placement the fast food retailer had along the Berlin Turnpike? There's very little doubt this space won't be occupied by Summer as its location at the junction of The Pike itself, 173 and a host of prime retailers' traffic; Wal-Mart and then Lowe's behind it.

Is the company suffering? It might seem that way as we've seen the company purge locations over the years, like its once dominant placement at the Meriden Square; it was one of the first quick food places to open the mall's new food court in 1993 before it closed a few years back.

Roy Rogers now has one, remaining location left in Connecticut; Manchester is the lone, remaining cowboy in the state which shares a close proximity to the Northern end of Connecticut along the Tolland Turnpike. They also operate in many travel plazas upstate New York, which was my last outing there in recent time. Better get your "Fixins" now...

Got any memories at Roy Rogers? Will you miss them?

40 comments:

Dave (Daddy Pronto) said...

I love Roy. The fact that they don't give into the latest fast food crazes is what makes them great. Plus, Roy's roast beef blows Arby's out of the water. There is still a free-standing Roy open in Pine Beach, NJ (outside Toms River) which used to be a Burger Chef. RIP Roy, your promise will always live on in my heart.

Mark said...

MNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

That was one of the last "classic" Roy Rogers restaurants left!

I remember eating at Roy Rogers very well, their cowboy burger (one consisting of onion rings,bacon,BBQ sause AND beef I think) was delicious!,their onion rings were spicy!

They had delicious food yes fattening, BUT DELICIOUS!!!!!

This is not the only recent closing of a restaurant without any warning either, recently an original styled Burger King on Winsted Road in Torrington,CT closed with NO WARNING either!

Funny thing is this restaurant WON AN AWARD for one of the best serviced Burger Kings in the state!

The award was called the King Award I believe,and this restaurant had the award placed plainly for all to see on the front counter!

Yet even though this was one of the best acclaimed Burger Kings they decided to close it.

A little heads up on the retail area:
The plaza it's in Torrington Parkade has plans for redevelopment in April. The current Big Y will move into the Ames space and construct a larger Big Y in it's place (I suspect Center Subaru to be gone by then), the old Big Y will then be replaced by a newly constructed Lowe's Store,(possibly demolishing the Burger King space)there is no word what will happen to the "mini mall" area in the center of the plaza.(no word on the fate of the vintage "Torrington Parkade" sign,if it is possible I may make pleas to restore it or preserve the sign,but I'm really not a person who's in a high position right now. I'm only 19 and go to college,sigh.

Perhaps I should contact the historical society? sort of iffy about a sign from the 60's being considered "historical".

Anonymous said...

I'd bring the family there for a bite to eat before going to Lowes or Target. On the way to target last night, I was surprised the lights were out and didn't believe the place was closed.. I've been going there since I was a kid.

Nicholas M. DiMaio said...

They closed the Torrington/Winsted Road Burger King?! That was an oldie; had the orange lettering (not the fat kind from the 70s) when I last saw. There's a mini-mall in the Parkade? Are you talking about the shops inbetween Ames and Big Y?

I'll have to get out there in March for a final shoot. Thanks for the info Mark, I didn't know they were going to total the whole plaza and rearrange the store placement. That Big Y there is also a old store.

And about your wanting to consider the Torrington Parkade sign as history; absolutely it is! Don't allow your age to limit you either; you still have a voice (as corny as that sounds). I'll have to raise some awareness on my site when I get down there soon.

Anonymous said...

This latest closure is very sad! Roy Rogers was the only business that was originally there before the big Lowe's Center along with all those restaurants in a row. Roy Rogers was a fond memory for me as a child. During the weekdays in the mid 90s when I was a little kid, my mom and grandma would take me shopping at Bradlees or Ames on the turnpike and then we'd go here sometimes for lunch. The food was good from what I remember. The fries were good!! I remember this Roy Rogers being painted differently over the 90s, although I read that this location opened in 1970.

Anyways, things aren't like they used to be. The Newington Ames, Bradlees, Caldor, and Roy Rogers are gone, along with the Berlin Woolworths. It's very sad to think about.

Mark said...

Update: Jo-Ann fabrics is closing it's store in Torrington Parkade to make room for the new "expanded" Big Y,the survival of the "mini mall" area in the back seems unfortunately doubtful.

I can tolerate 2 stores being demolished and replaced but if they're planning to demo the whole plaza (which would require the removal of Radioshack,Dollar Tree,Grog Shop,Center Subaru) then I'm gonna be a little ticked. A redevlopment plan requiring the removal of every functioning business left,just to "revitalize" the place is a bit rediculous and more than so inconvienient. I mean the plaza does have empty spaces but still I could see it functioning with at least some of it's structre intact,it may require a large renovation and a few more tenants and replacements for the two (soon to be)demo-ed stores but it's not like the shopping center isn't completely salvagable!

We're not talking about a mall here we're talking about a open-air plaza for crying out loud!

Seriously I think the excuse for the redevelopment isn't just lack of tenants but that "they don't have enough room" I never understood that.

This plaza was seriously thriving once Ames took over the building Caldor occupied and recovered after a long decline (Big Y I believe renovated their building at the time)but once the competition moved in everybody fled to see the "new plazas" built on East Main Street,which in turn Ames and Torrington Parkade were left behind and in turn once Ames started going out the plaza went back down the crapper. Now theres talks of further developments on East Main as in a new Target store. whopp-dee-do, the big mistake this town keeps making is that it focuses on completely creating new developments FARTHER from town while doing a half-ass job on the remaining shopping areas and even downtown is suffering! We've got vacancies in Torrington Plaza,Torrington Shopping Center(Stop & Shop Plaza) numerous buildings in the downtown area are up for sale. We've just lost Eblens,Sears Hardware,and Billards (a sports bar) and then JUST NOW they decide to make inprovements on Torrington Parkade!!!!

(and this is supposed to be called "progress")

What the hell happened to fixing up the existing shopping areas before going bezerk and creating all new ones futher from the city itself!!!

Consider this is the same city that had Caldors,Kmart,Nu-Stars,Bradlees,Price Buster etc. just 14 or 15 years ago and back then the shopping areas were at least FILLED with open stores! but no, a fully functioning city wasn't enough for developers and Connecticut back then was insultingly called the "quiet corner" because it didn't have the "latest and greatest" stores every other state had back then. Give me a break.

But now Torrington's being hailed as a "growing city" sure right, a city center that contains many buildings going up for sale,hugely vacant shopping centers,and news of trafficking of drugs in the area. Who are they kidding?

Mark said...

It's offical Torrington Parkade will be demolished...in phases

from NewsLibrary:

Republican-American (Waterbury, CT) - February 28, 2007

TORRINGTON - The State Traffic Commission on Tuesday gave a Maryland-based developer approval to move forward with plans to bring a larger Big Y and a Lowe's home improvement store to the Torrington Parkade shopping center on Winsted Road. Maryland-based Dudrow Torrington LLC owns the 24-acre, 216,000-square-foot shopping plaza on Winsted Road. It plans to expand the site to 268,176 square feet, including a 149,164-square-foot space for Lowe's with a 24,543-square-foot
TORRINGTON - The State Traffic Commission on Tuesday gave a Maryland-based developer approval to move forward with plans to bring a larger Big Y and a Lowe's home improvement store to the Torrington Parkade shopping center on Winsted Road. Maryland-based Dudrow Torrington LLC owns the 24-acre, 216,000-square-foot shopping plaza on Winsted Road. It plans to expand the site to 268,176 square feet, including a 149,164-square-foot space for Lowe's with a 24,543-square-foot...

mandy-n-hams said...

I know almost all Roy Roger's locations in Jersey are gone and have been since at LEAST the early mid 90's. I never went there much, a few times though i recall i went for my birthday in second grade, and another time they gave out these kid meal toys, sunglasses featuring characters from Return to OZ..a disney film from like 85 or 86

Anonymous said...

The talk is, Arby's is going in theformer Roy's building shortly...

Orochimaru said...

Oh, I remember the tasty roast beef sandwiches before going over to Bradlees or Showcase Cinema 123. I remember the pictures inside, the cruise nights before that god danged crackdown by the NPD. It was THE PLACE to be, besides Burger King, Mickey-D's, and The Media Play parking lot Thanks a lot Newington, thanks a lot, *itch. Anywho, whoever said Arby's was right on the money!

Janis of Newington said...

I loved Roy Rogers. Great food. My son LOVED their fried chicken. He and his friend drive out to Manchester at least once a month now that Newington Roys is gone. I previously worked in that Roy's building on the pike...back when it was HARDEES in 1973/1974. Always had a fondess for the building that was my lst job! :)


btw... It's Thurs.2/28/08...something is going down in the Arby's (former Roy Rogers)building today. Just drove by there at noon today..yellow police tape, cars in the lot, 3 NPD cars and the State Police crime van parked in the parking lot...haven't heard any news of what's up there.

Anonymous said...

According to Roy's web site, they actually are opening (or have already opened) a NEW Roy's down in North Stonington at a truck stop off exit 93 (last exit before RI). Remember the one on Queen St. in Southingon (now Wendy's) as a kid, as well as in Newbrite Plaza (now McDonald's, near where Chuck E Cheese was). Used to love the Gold Rush Chicken Sandwich and the Double R Bar Burger. The one off exit 1 in Sturbridge, MA is still open as well.

Anonymous said...

1/12/09

appears the one in manchester,ct is closed now as well, even though its still listed on the corporate page. I took a pic of the front door, it's due to be an Indian restaurant.

HAMMER said...

I miss Roys so much. I just took a roadtrip about 70 miles to Woodbridge nj, and spent $112 on Roy's food, for my fridgerator...I hope they make a big comeback like they used to be

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ringo said...

Roy Roger's know all the places I went to Jersey and the mid-90's to a minimum. Second grade, I went for my birthday, and another time to the characters they sanglas Return to OZ, meals, toys for the child to recall a few times, although it never went there .. A Disney film, such as 85 or 86