Arby's Roast Beef & Chuck Wagons (page 1)

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The first Arby's opened in 1964 in Boardman, OH and featured the Conestoga wagon style buildings and ten-gallon hat signs shown below. That original building is still there. The name was derived from the founders, Forrest and Leroy Raffel: "RB" for the Raffel brothers. The buildings were designed by Wily Christian Riedel. The roofs were originally yellow. By 1970, there were 250 locations. There are now more than 3,000 locations. The covered wagon building was phased out in the mid-1970s. Many have been adapted by other businesses. There are still many of the neon hat signs left other than those shown below. However, many have been replaced with smaller, plastic versions. For more, see this website.

Huntsville, AL
Arby's [gone]
Reno, NV
This Arby's in Huntsville is one of a handful of locations that still uses the covered wagon style building. However, the front of this one had been altered and expanded. This location was an Arby's from 1967-1973. Then from 1973-1985, it was used as a sub shop and two BBQ restaurants. It became an Arby's again in 1985. It had the original tile floor until it was replaced in 2010 [photo thanks Lance George]. The neon Arby's hat has been replaced with a modern one as well. [map]

This Arby's building in Reno was modern. This location had what seemed to be a modern and unique chasing bulb and neon sign. I've never seen one like it anywhere else. This photo is from 2008. By 2011, the location had closed and the sign was gone.

South San Francisco, CA
2008: 2014:
This Arby's has an intact covered wagon building. However, the neon hat sign was replaced with a plastic sign in 2014. Many locations across the country still have the original hat signs even if their buildings were replaced or remodeled. This location's original tile floor is also gone. This location had closed by 2017 and the sign was removed. In 2018, the lot was surrounded by chain link fencing. The building was still there in 2020 but it will probably be demolished. For more, see this website. [map]

Arby's [gone]
Redondo Beach, CA
This Arby's featured an intact building with Western theme tile floor and neon sign. Just a couple of months after this photo was taken in 2008, the building was demolished.

Buena Park, CA
This Arby's still features the original sign, building, and tile floor. [map]

former Arby's [gone]
Santa Rosa, CA
Huntington Beach, CA
This former Arby's building housed Mohawk Signs when this photo was taken in 2016. The Arby's sign was long gone. The building was demolished in 2017.

This Arby's in Huntington Beach still has the original hat sign, covered wagon building, and tile floor. [map]

Dayton, OH
Bartlesville, OK
El Paso, TX
Arkadelphia, AR
Laurel, MD
Mission Hills, CA

Phoenix, AZ
Tulsa, OK
Tulsa, OK
Gainesville, FL
Clearwater, FL

Arby's [building gone]
Wichita Falls, TX
These are just some examples of the Arby's hat signs. The original covered wagon buildings at these locations are long gone. The Laurel sign is from the late 1960s. It is the only one I have seen with the "Sandwich" on the bottom part of the sign and without the "Is Delicious" wording. The original sign from 1964 had the "Is Delicious". I believe these signs came in two sizes. The ones in Bartlesville and Arkadelphia are examples of the smaller size. El Paso, Phoenix, and Gainesville have the big signs. Tulsa has examples of both sizes. [Dayton map]; [Bartlesville map]; El Paso, TX; [Arkadelphia map]; [Laurel map]; [Mission Hills map]; [Phoenix map]; [small Tulsa map]; [big Tulsa map]; [Gainesville map]; [Clearwater map]

This Arby's in Wichita Falls was built in 1970. It featured the original sign, building and tile floor. Around 2001, the original yellow roof was painted red upon the insistence of corporate headquarters. In 2017, the building was demolished and replaced with a modern box. The neon was removed from the sign and replaced with backlit plastic letters. [map]

More Arby's Hat Signs:
Benton, AR
Conway, AR
Hollywood, CA
Denver, CO
Wilmington, DE
Wilmington, DE
Bradenton, FL
Lakeland, FL
Athens, GA
Countryside, IL
Galesburg, IL
Indianapolis, IN
Muncie, IN
Warsaw, IN
Auburn Hills, MI
Bay City, MI
Flint, MI
Flint, MI
Lansing, MI
Lapeer, MI
Redwood Charter Township, MI
Raleigh, NC
Winston-Salem, NC
Las Cruces, NM
Niagara Falls, NY [gone]
Syracuse, NY
Cincinnati, OH
Mansfield, OH
Miami, OK
Feasterville, PA
Meadville, PA
Williamsport, PA
Knoxville, TN
Waco, TX
Orem, UT
Hampton, VA
Norfolk, VA
Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA [map]
Spokane, WA
Tacoma, WA
Ashwaubenon, WI
Cudahy, WI
Green Bay, WI

There are probably dozens of other examples of these signs scattered around the country. If you know of any others, I'd love to know about them.

Arby's [gone]
Ventura, CA
Kent, OH
This Arby's in Ventura featured the large model neon sign. The building had been remodeled and the original tile floor was gone. In 2015, it was announced that this Arby's would be moving. In 2019, this location closed and the sign was demolished. In 2021, the building was demolished.

This Arby's in Kent featured the original sign and building when these photos were taken in 2011. The front part of the building had been altered to create a dining room but the original floor was still there. The "Delicious" on the sign had been changed to "Drive-Thru". Around 2016, the sign was replaced with a small, modern plastic sign. The building looked to be the same. [map]

former Arby's
Decatur, GA
former Arby's [gone]
Doraville, GA
This former Arby's in Decatur was built in 1969. It housed "Athens Pizza Express" when this photo was taken in 2007. The tile floor still had the old Arby's steer and branding symbols at that point. The tile floor is gone now. Athens Pizza closed in 2010. The building then housed the "Kitsch'n 155" restaurant and, later, the Sobban Korean Southern Diner. By 2016, it was housing the Golden Drops Cafe. [map]

This former Arby's in Doraville housed "88 Tofu House" when this photo was taken in 2007. The building was vacant and boarded up in 2011. By 2014, the building had been demolished and replaced with a gas station.

former Arby's
Riverside, CA
former Arby's
Fresno, CA
This former Arby's in Riverside now houses Los Jilberto's Taco Shop. [map]

This former Arby's in Fresno now houses United Investments Auto Sales, a used car dealership. [map]

Kaya Restaurant [gone]
Cambridge, MA
East Coast Custard
Parma Heights, OH
This former Cambridge Arby's was remodeled for a Middle Eastern restaurant. It housed the Kaya Restaurant when this photo was taken in 2007. The restaurant closed in 2013 and the building was demolished.

This East Coast Custard has occupied this former Arby's since 1985. This was the company's first location. There are now five others. For more, see this website. [map]

former Arby's
Pueblo, CO
This former Arby's housed Ms. Paycheck when the first photo above was taken in 2004. By 2012, it was occupied by Rocco's Riverside Deli. [map]

former Arby's
Denver, CO
This former Arby's has housed a used car dealership since at least 2004. These photos are from 2012. [map]

former Arby's
Durham, NC
former Arby's
Van Nuys, CA
This former Arby's in Raleigh now houses Raleigh-Durham Check Cashiers. [map]

This former Arby's in Van Nuys now houses a Tacos Mexico. [map]

former Arby's
Grand Rapids, MI
former Arby's
East Lansing, MI
This former Arby's in Grand Rapids now houses Atlantic Fish N' Fry. The building has been remodeled somewhat and the floor inside has been replaced. [map]

This former Arby's in East Lansing now houses a Biggby Coffee. The building was Beaner's Gourmet Coffee's first location. That coffee shop opened here in 1995. The company's name was changed to Biggby Coffee in 2007. [map]

Arby's & Chuck Wagons
(page 2)
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