Steak and Ale
Known as the inventor of the self-serve salad bar, Steak and Ale was a fast-casual force upon entering the field in 1966. Founded in Dallas by Norman Brinker, the mastermind behind Jack in the Box and Chili’s, the chain grew rapidly over the next decade, opening 109 locations in 24 states. In 1976, Brinker sold his chain to Pillsbury, and locations increased to 280.
Sadly, Steak and Ale was lost in the field of fast-casual giants in the ’90s and ’00s, and the doors closed on the last 50 locations in 2009.