Mystery restaurant with frying pan-shaped sign

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Andrew T.
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Mystery restaurant with frying pan-shaped sign

Post by Andrew T. »

I photographed this abandoned restaurant is on U.S. 52 in Bluewell, West Virginia during my final trip there in the spring of 2013. The most notable feature is a gigantic, angled signpost seemingly shaped like a frying pan:
wv-abandonment.jpg
Does anyone recognize what this once was?
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Re: Mystery restaurant with frying pan-shaped sign

Post by Groceteria »

Golden Skillet Fried Chicken. Originally connected with the Thalhimer's Department Store family, oddly enough. I've seen two still in operation, one in Danville VA and one in Portsmouth VA. Pressed for time now. More later.
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Re: Mystery restaurant with frying pan-shaped sign

Post by Clifton »

Agreed. I used to eat at Golden Skillets in various cities in Va back in the late 70s/early 80s.
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Re: Mystery restaurant with frying pan-shaped sign

Post by jleyerle »

Golden Skillet is it. Was centered on Richmond, VA. I was a mystery shopper for KFC in the 1987-1989 timeframe, and periodically went to the Tidewater/Richmond area. There were a couple around Richmond at the time. If memory serves, they used a pressure fryer (similar to KFC Original Recipe or Lees' Famous Recipe).
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the506
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Re: Mystery restaurant with frying pan-shaped sign

Post by the506 »

The Mary Browns chain in Canada started as a Golden Skillet franchise and I believe still uses the same recipe.
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Re: Mystery restaurant with frying pan-shaped sign

Post by storewanderer »

Looking around at the still open Golden Skillet units, I notice some of them have a greenhouse-type glass window front designs sort of like older Wendys units.

In Fallon, NV there is a Subway unit freestanding with drive through that looks very much like that design. Before Subway that was a Taco Time and possibly some kind of small chain/unknown burger format. I wonder if this Golden Skillet chain got this far west? I don't know of any other buildings of this design around the area.
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Re: Mystery restaurant with frying pan-shaped sign

Post by Groceteria »

For the record, I had no idea about the Mary Brown’s connection in Canada. I was just in Toronto two weeks ago and stopped in a Mary Browns. Great chicken, and yes, it did taste like my childhood memories of Golden Skillet.

So anyway, thanks for that pointer!
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the506
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Re: Mystery restaurant with frying pan-shaped sign

Post by the506 »

Here's an even bigger pointer: an early Mary Browns location in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, complete with what may be a vintage Golden Skillet-era frying pan sign.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@47.5188527, ... ?entry=ttu
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Re: Mystery restaurant with frying pan-shaped sign

Post by Groceteria »

the506 wrote: 14 Nov 2023 10:07 Here's an even bigger pointer: an early Mary Browns location in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, complete with what may be a vintage Golden Skillet-era frying pan sign.
That is incredible. Thanks!
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Re: Mystery restaurant with frying pan-shaped sign

Post by jleyerle »

I wonder, though if that was an earlier KFC/Scott's Chicken Villa (from the building size/shape) and only got the skillet to replace the weathervane.
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Re: Mystery restaurant with frying pan-shaped sign

Post by Groceteria »

The building shape and roofline are pretty quintessentially Golden Skillet, and the Canadian franchisee was originally based in Newfoundland so I'm guessing it's purpose-built. But I can't swear to that, obviously.

For example: https://www.flickr.com/photos/retroweb/31356112074/
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