Nov 15, 2023 - History

A Columbus-area history tour begins with a burger

A historical marker for the "Site of First Wendy's Restaurant"

This East Broad Street historical marker notes the first Wendy's restaurant. Photo: Tyler Buchanan/Axios

Over the course of eight years, I traveled around the state photographing the sites of Ohio's 88 county bicentennial barns.

  • The project led me to explore areas of Ohio I had never been to before, including cities and countrysides.

What's happening: As a new travel challenge, I've decided to visit all 121 (and counting) Ohio Historical Markers located in Franklin County.

The (first) marker: The site of the first Wendy's restaurant, 257 E. Broad St., Columbus.

  • Dave Thomas opened his first location here in 1969.
  • It closed in 2007, with pieces of Wendy's memorabilia moved to the chain's corporate headquarters in Dublin. Now, the building houses The Catholic Foundation of Ohio.

The intrigue: This has to be the only historical marker in Ohio with the phrase "hot 'n juicy hamburger."

View the Franklin County historical marker map

Editor's note: This story first published in the Axios Columbus newsletter on Oct. 21, 2021.

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