Fish Story: The Unique Taste That’s Gone From Michigan Forever
When I was a kid living near downtown Flint, my grandparents would drive up from Swartz Creek to pick me and my brother up and take us to church with them.
Sundays were usually the only day of the week that we might get to eat out. Often times we'd go to KFC or McDonald's, but my favorite times were the ones that we got to go to Arthur Treacher's.
At the height of its popularity in the late 1970s, Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips boasted more than 800 locations nationwide, including one on East Michigan Avenue in Lansing.
The mere smell in the air pulling into the parking lot back then brought a smile to my face. If the breeze was blowing just right, you'd detect it a lot sooner. We didn't order individual meals; we got plenty for the whole family. The cod fillets were lightly battered and had a crisp crunch unlike anything we ever got at home. The french fries seemed more potato-ey. I may not have been a huge fan of vegetables as a kid, but I sure liked Arthur Treacher's cole slaw.
Sadly, my kids may never experience that same delight.
According to Kiplinger, the chain eventually fell victim to skyrocketing cod prices and evolving consumer tastes. Individual locations began to close one by one, until very few remained. Today, there are only two free-standing Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips locations left in the United States - both in Ohio. One's in the northern Akron suburb of Cuyahoga Falls; the other, which just reopened in 2023 after having closed in 2020, is in the Cleveland suburb of Garfield Heights.
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