First Buffalo-Area Arby’s Closes
I knew the day was coming, but you might be surprised by the reason. I was sad to see the Arby's location on Niagara Falls Blvd. near Maple Road had recently closed. It was the first Buffalo-area Arby's to open its doors around 1966 and ironically it opened right next door to the first Buffalo-area McDonald's.
That Arby's was a destination for my buddies and I when I was growing up. We'd ride our bikes along the Boulevard to enjoy roast beef sandwiches that cost only 69-cents at the time. And when you compare it to the 15-cent hamburgers they were selling next door it seemed like a lot of money, but it was worth it.
I don't even think they had french fries during those early days. And I think roast beef was the only thing they sold back then. You had your choice of a roast beef, a bigger roast beef or the biggest roast beef sandwich. You could add a bag of chips and of course a soft drink or a milk shake.
But with the competition Arby's was forced to expand its menu over the years adding turkey and chicken sandwiches, baked potatoes, curly fries and even Market Fresh Sandwiches and salads.
Sometime last year I happened to be speaking with the owner of that particular Arby's who also owns several other area locations and he said he had a major problem with that store. It wasn't necessarily a lack of business. He said he just couldn't get enough dependable people to work there. He said he had gone thru so many workers that the cost of training them just wasn't worth the hassle anymore.
So what a sad way for an iconic Arby's location to come to an end.
By the way, many people think that the name Arby's stands for the initials for roast beef - R.B. But it doesn't. It stands for the initials of the brothers who opened the first Arby's in Boardman, Ohio in 1965; Forrest and Leroy Raffel. Arby's stands for R.B. as in Raffel Brothers.