After a 29-year run, Wendy’s serves up its last meal

A work crew boards up Wendy’s on Monday morning after closing on Sunday. The company said it plans to sell the site.




By Charles Sercombe

          Where’s the beef?

          Not anymore at Wendy’s restaurant on Jos. Campau, just south of Caniff.

          The company-owned outlet closed on Sunday, said Kitty Munger, Director of Communications for the company.

          “The restaurant had seen declining sales for the past few years,” Munger said in an email to The Review. “The cost would be too high to remodel. The crew and managers were placed in nearby restaurants.”

Munger said the site will be put up for sale.

          The restaurant had operated in the city for 29 years. The site was once the home of the Martha Washington Theatre, one of the last movie theaters in operation before being torn down about a year before Wendy’s opened up.

          According to a report by the Columbus Dispatch newspaper, the Ohio-based company is closing about 130 of its restaurants that aren’t performing well. The company plans a major redo of its restaurants, much like Taco Bell has been doing in recent months.

          On her Facebook page, Mayor Karen Majewski was more concerned about the tearing down of the Martha Washington Theatre than the closing of Wendy’s.

“The Martha Washington Theatre they knocked down to build it can never be replaced,” Majewski said. “This is why a strong zoning ordinance that protects our urban character and historic buildings is so important.”

The last years of the theater were surrounded with controversy. That’s when the owner of the theater resorted to showing adult-rated films, which spurred residents to protest in front of it.

Majewski noted that protecting the city’s urban character and historic buildings takes more than a strong zoning ordinance.

 “That ordinance has to be defended by a Zoning Board of Appeals that grants variances only under actual circumstances of hardship, not just inconvenience or for the benefit of one constituency or another,” she said. “And equally important is a Plan Commission that is willing to defend and protect the regulations spelled out in that ordinance with a vision for the good of the entire city over the long term.”

The Zoning Board has allowed four mosques, a church and a non-profit organization to open up in commercial buildings on Jos. Campau in recent years, despite an ordinance forbidding that.

Sandy Bakic, whose family owns Campau Tower Hamburgers and Martha Washington Bakery next to Wendy’s, said she doubts there will be an uptick in business in either locations.

“It means less people will be around,” she said. “No business closing is good.”

6 Responses to After a 29-year run, Wendy’s serves up its last meal

  1. roger lamm

    October 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    “The Zoning Board has allowed four mosques, a church and a non-profit organization to open up in commercial buildings on Jos. Campau in recent years, despite an ordinance forbidding that.”

    apparently they are just guidelines because if they forbidded then those approvals could have never gone through. Over and over I hear about ordinances and the all mighty “city charter” but who enforces those rules? no one.

    absolutely no one! city hall can do what it wants and there are no consequences or someone to answer to. we’ve seen proof of that over and over again. Always there is someone saying “Oh, well now that the mistake has been made theres nothing we can do about it”

    “Oh well”

    Karen, If you want the people to see you as the leader of the city then you’ve got 2 weeks to show them what you are. Start busting heads and undoing the wrongs.

    And the council is just as responsible, i hear people like Kathy and Bob constantly quote the charter and ordinances yet somehow items pass.

    Get control people, stand up and be respected.

  2. Karen Majewski

    October 26, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Zoning Board of Appeals, appointed by city council. And that is another reason why who sits on council is important.

  3. Albin Burkacki

    October 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    For some reason, people still think we are under a strong mayor system (I know, because that’s what my brother still thinks). There is no executive except the City Manager, who is always under the review of council. Council makes all the decisions and the mayor only gets a vote to brake a tie.

  4. Nasr

    October 26, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    The zoning board of appeal has no power in stopping Mosques, churches or any other religious institutions from setting up shop in commercial districts.

    It’s against the law to do so.

    Religious Land Use is a Federal law that basically says: ” You can’t deny religious organizations the right to assemble in a certain district if you allow it for non-religious use.”

    Basically, if you allow places where people can assemble for non religious use, i.e: restaurants, theaters, bars, nightclubs…….you can not deny the same right to assemble to religious organizations.

    For More Information Google: ” RLUIPA ” Act.

  5. Karen Majewski

    October 27, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Please pay attention to Nasr’s post. This is basically the information city council, the zoning board of appeals, and the plan commission were given a couple years ago, and that we’ve all been acting under. Since then I’ve heard that other cities have been able to restrict religious uses in districts zoned commercial. But nothing definitive about how that was done legally, given RLUIPA, which is federal law.

  6. roger lamm

    October 31, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    people have been targeting the zoning commission allowing tax exempt entities in business districts for years, and now we get a reason! that’s all we wanted!

    it would have been nice to have someone bring this up earlier so we didnt waste time on the issue, but now that we know there’s no reason to target it anymore except to see how we can legally work around it.

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