Famous Restaurant Chains That Went Out of Business


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More of a regional success, Wetson’s hamburger joints were nevertheless a New York area mainstay in the ’60s and ’70s with over 70 locations. Directly inspired by a visit to the first McDonald’s, Herbert Wetanson founded the chain in 1959 in the image of the fast-food juggernaut. Wetson’s had its own Big Mac-style burger in the Big W, and even had twin clown mascots named Wetty and Sonny.

Although initially popular, Wetson’s ended up drowning in the fast-food boom of the ’70s, losing ground to larger chains including McDonald’s. The company was sold to the Nathan’s corporation in 1975, and Wetson’s was immediately shut down.