Note: All information in this blog was accurate and up to date as of June 9, 2022. Please be sure to confirm whether the businesses listed here are still open before setting out on a road trip to visit them! Thank you, and happy travels!
I recently watched the 2019 documentary The Last Blockbuster, which is as the title suggests – about the last Blockbuster video store on the planet Earth. Specifically, it’s in Bend, OR, and it has become a Mecca-like destination for movie buffs, ’90s nostalgia buffs, Gen Xers, tourists, travel bloggers – you name it!
1. the last blockbuster store – bend, oregon
Among its cast includes the real-life store manager Sandi Harding – whom is very hard not to like and wish was your boss – and film director Kevin Smith, among many others.
It’s hard to not want to plan a trip to Oregon after watching this movie! I still miss video stores – the browsing, the ogling of the movie posters, reading the movie boxes, trying to reach a compromise about what to watch with your significant other – and all of the heart-racing drama of attempting to return the video rentals on time. Netflix makes it too easy! If an actual bricks and mortar video rental store opened near me, I would become a customer! Who wants to buy into every streaming service (not me)! Hey, if record stores can have a revival, why not video rental stores?
The last Blockbuster is located at 211 NE Revere Avenue in Bend, Oregon. Phone 541 – 385 – 9111
Want another last one standing business to visit? And also have lunch?
2. Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips – Cuyahoga falls, oh
|I remember seeing Arthur Treacher’s locations all over the place when I was a kid growing up in the ’70s, but don’t remember if we ever actually set foot inside one of them. Now, when I watch videos such as this one – https://www.wkyc.com/article/features/cuyahoga-falls-arthur-treachers-day/95-636a461d-4800-4353-9ef1-b7ccbf544aaa|
Well, it makes me really want to take a six hour round trip just to have lunch! With gas prices being higher than they have ever been in my lifetime, however, I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon!
What really made me want to visit this place is when I saw bottles of MALT VINEGAR ON EVERY DAMN TABLE! Yes! I won’t have to beg the server to bring me a dusty, seldom used bottle of malt vinegar which might – if I’m lucky – still have a few drops in it! And I won’t have to break a nail trying to open those dinky packets of malt vinegar they give you at Long John Silver’s. Yes, I guess the hand-battered fish would be a draw, too (just watch that video and if it doesn’t make you want to make an excuse to go to Ohio then I don’t know what will – besides amusement parks). Sorry, Ohio! Your amusement parks may be a draw, but as a Michigan gal, I’m gonna say we got the best of the Great Lakes (you can have Lake Erie all to yourselves).
I took a road trip to Virginia five years ago, and that’s when I noticed that Arthur Treacher’s was still open (at the time there may have three locations still remaining). I’m still kicking myself for not making a stop so that I could douse every damn thing on my plate with delicious, delicious malt vinegar! It’s also great on fries…It’s an acquired taste and apparently kind of a “British” thing.
Did I mention that I also love tartar sauce? This is why I don’t indulge in fried fish very often! I tell myself that drowning it in malt vinegar makes it more healthy (it may even help reduce cholesterol).
The last Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips is located at 1833 State Road, Cuyahoga Falls, OH. Phone 330 – 923 – 8900
Now that I’ve convinced you to let your concerns about cholesterol, saturated fats and carbs fly out the window – and maybe convinced you to give malt vinegar a try (seriously it’s SO good) – then why don’t you keep that streak alive and visit…
3. The last hot ‘n now – sturgis, Mi
I’m going to be totally honest. I’ve never ordered any food from Hot ‘n Now. The only little bit of nostalgia I have to offer this lame attempt at a food/travel blog is that when I was dating my future husband, he lovingly referred to this place as “Rotten Cow.” Being a budget-minded college student who probably weighed 100 pounds soaking wet (including his long hair), he greedily gobbled up those 25 cent burgers. It was a nice break from eating those10 cent packages of ramen noodles – and whatever leftover pizza his roommate Pat’s friend Chaz would bring home after his shift at Pizza Slut (sorry, Pizza Hut).
I’m not sure what other businesses out there are the last of their kinds, though I hear there are still a handful of Bonanza restaurants in operation! 🙂
The last Hot ‘n Now is located at 69310 State Road, Sturgis, MI. Phone 269 – 651 – 1983
Have you visited any of these places I mentioned or know of any other “last of their kind” businesses? Please hit me up in the comments (thank you)!