The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

March 22, 2009

Recycled Newspaper: Fast Food in Bellevue

Filed under: Bellevue, History, Recycled Newspaper — Brian Lutz @ 12:35 am

Note: Coupon probably isn't valid anymore.

As I warned earleir in the week (back when I SHOULD have been doing this if I wasn’t procrastinating,) this week’s Recycled Newspaper is a bit thin, due to my current camera woes.  My camera is currently paying a visit to the Canon repair center to correct the dreaded E18 lens error that seems to be a common malady of those Canon models, and on Friday I was informed that it would cost $140 to get it fixed, which is just about more than it’s worth at this point.  I have a number of options at this point: I can just pay the $140 and get it fixed, I can pay the same $140 and upgrade to a refurbed Canon SD870, I can upgrade to a refurbed PowerShot S5  for $175 (This seems to be a nicer model with good zoom , but it’s definitely not pocketable like my SD850) or I can just buy a new Powershot SD890 for $199.  Either way, there doesn’t seem to be a cheap solution to this problem, but I’m probably going to have to bite the proverbial bullet and do something. 

That said, I did make a trip to the library on Wednesday to try to get some stuff, but my old Olympus camera doesn’t do nearly as good a job as the Canon did with this stuff, and the results are rather hit-or-miss.  Occasionally a shot turns out great, but most seem to end up barely readable, if at all, and the macro mode on the Olympus (which seems to be the secret to easily getting good images off the microfilm reader) is just short of useless.   As a result of this, I’ve got two options for what can do here:  I can bore you with minute details about the early history of  grocery stores in Kirkland (a subject that, in spite of best efforts, I’ll probably get around to eventually on here) or I can  do a bit of digging through the miscellaneous detritus in my newspaper files in order to find some stuff for this week’s post.  Since most of the random stuff sitting in my files seems to come from the Bellevue American, I thought this week I’d look at a few fast food restaurants from Bellevue’s past, and a couple which are still around.

The image at the top of this post shows a February 1971 coupon for the Jack in the Box restaurant on the corner of Bellevue Way and Main Street, which ran shortly after this particular restaurant opened.  When I moved up to this area in 1994, there were a number of fast food restaurants along this part of Bellevue Way, including this Jack in the Box, a KFC (later a combination KFC/Taco Bell,) an Arby’s (which, based on photos in the Eastside Heritage Center archive, was a replacement for an older Arby’s that once existed on the opposite side of Bellevue Way, and a McDonald’s.)  Of those, the Jack in the Box is the only one remaining.  The Arby’s got knocked down to make way for the Avalon Meydenbauer block (which includes the new Downtown Bellevue Safeway and a number of smaller retail shops at the ground level, the KFC closed down about a year ago when the lease expired, and will eventually be torn down to make way for condos, and the McDonald’s (which had a bit of a non-standard layout in the first place) eventually got subdivided into two separate halves, which are currently occupied by Fatburger (some would argue it to be an upgrade) and Baja Fresh. 

Meanwhile, the old Jack in the Box remains, not looking a whole lot different than it did back when it first opened, aside from the gratuitous sillhouettes of Jack painted on the wall (which, unless you know what you’re looking at, look suspiciously like someone got bored of painting the place and left the job half finished,) and an up-to-date interior.  Oddly enough, this particular Jack in the Box doesn’t have a drive-thru, which was an early selling point for the chain, as shown in this Youtube video of a commercial that ran in 1972.

Another fast food restaurant in Bellevue that didn’t fare quite as well is a little-known offshoot of Kentucky Fried Chicken known as Kentucky Roast Beef, which opened up in Bellevue sometime around 1968, but apparently did not last long.  Kentucky Roast Beef was a competitor to Arby’s which sold mostly roast beef and ham sandwiches.  Most were operated out of existing Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises, but a few of them were in standalone locations, such as the one you see here.

Thanks to the Eastside Heritage Center’s archives, we have a much better photo of this particular restaurant during the short time it was operating.  The address given (701 112th Ave. NE) would put this right next to the spot where Meydenbauer Center stands now. 

The Google map of this area shows a building that looks like it might be this one, but unfortunately by the time the streetview or Live Search birds-eye view got to it the building had been knocked down to make way to the Bravern complex currently under construction in this area.  The photos on are unfortunately a bit too blurry to get much detail out of them.  Either way, this restaurant most likely would have been a neighbor to a Dairy Queen which sat at the corner of NE 8th and 112th for many years before it too fell victim to the Bravern.  I can’t be entirely certain about this, but I believe it sat vacant for several years before it was torn down.

From the Bellevue American, January 14 1971

To finish off this week’s installment, we’ll move to the other side of town, where over by Crossroads there was a cluster of five fast food restaurants opening up in January of 1971, as shown in the ad above, which included Herfy’s Burgers, Hannah’s Pie Shoppe, Alfie’s Fish and Chips, Senor Taco and Kentucky Fried Chicken.   Of these five restaurant chains, only Kentucky Fried Chicken still exists as a major chain.  Herfy’s still exists (in name, at least) as a small local chain in the Seattle area with a handful of scattered locations (including one in Downtown Redmond,) although this is a far cry from it’s former status as a major regional burger chain up until its liquidation in 1986, with a handful of locations remaining until 1992 or so.  As for Alfie’s Fish and Chips, there appear to be a couple of locations by that name in California and one in Texas, which are presumably leftover independents that continued operating after the demise of the chain.  Although there are a number of restaurants by the name of Senor Taco throughout the country, it appears that most have nothing to do with this former chain (which appears to be fast food Mexican similar to a Taco Bell style place.)  It appears that there might still be an old location or two floating around, but it’s hard to tell which is which.  Hannah’s Pie Shoppe, on the other hand, turns up no relevant results on an Internet search.

On HistoricAerials, you8 can see the buildings from these restaurants as they appeared in 1980.  It appears that they were still around for the 1990 photos on the site, but disappeared once the land they were on was absorbed into Crossroads and used to build an expansion which currently houses a WaMu branch and a Bellevue Police substation, with the Sports Authority store in the next building over.  Although it’s hard to get much in the way of detail, based on the silhouette of the Herfy’s building in the ad above and the footprint of the building, it looks like this one could have been a match to the building identified as a former Herfy’s (see the comments on that post) in Renton.  Of course, today Crossroads continues to be a popular food destination on the Eastside, but for entirely different (and many would argue much better) reasons than it was back in the Seventies. 

Again, I apologize for the tardiness of this week’s installment and the somewhat lacking content, but until I can get my camera situation figured out, it will probably prove difficult to do too much of this, as my old camera just doesn’t handle photos off the microfilm too well.  I’ll see what I can dig out of my files in the meantime though.


  1. Interesting crossroads bit. I can picture it now: Emperor Smith coming from the sky with coupons for a free drink!

    Comment by Colin — March 22, 2009 @ 2:47 am

  2. Wow – brings back a lot of old memories. Thank you so much for sharing!

    At the time of that Jack in the Box ad, I believe the same store that sits there today had a drive through – and a talking Jack’s head out in front (that was before they blew up Jack’s head and sort of rebranded.

    Comment by Joe Kennedy — March 22, 2009 @ 10:02 am

  3. […] blog that sometimes features content from old newspapers in Bellevue.  In this post, there are a few old fast food  restaurants that are covered – including the Jack in the Box that still exists on Bellevue Way and Main Street – only it was a little different back then.  […]

    Pingback by Remember How Jack in the Box in Bellevue Used to Be? « Bellevue Business Journal Online — March 22, 2009 @ 12:33 pm

  4. WOW,

    I was searching to find access to the Bellevue American/Eastside Journal, and ran across this site. Memory lane and a half! The five businesses you mentioned morphed pretty quick. Herfy’s stayed, then a Chinese place opened in the pie spot.

    In 1972, the largest inter-high school street fight in the city’s history took place in this parking lot. Between 30 and 45 Interlake students were milling around waiting for the “lead car” to take off for a kegger. A smaller group of Newport students were also there awaiting another party. (This was VERY common, refer to the JA article about the “Big Beer Bust” out at 80 acres!) Anyway, Archice Williams, athlete and thorn in the side to the Bellevue Police, was confronted by a Newport student who called him a nigger. Archie was a golden gloves boxer with a NASTY temper. He tossed the newport student THROUGH the window of Herfy’s. By the time the newly formed Bellevue PD Riot Squad arrived, apprx. 75 students were involved in the brawl, including myself. I was Archie’s desginated driver that night.

    That spot was to Interlake, Sammamish and Newport Students what Dick’s Drive-In was to Bellevue High students during the late 60’s.

    Scott Olsen SHS Class of 73

    Comment by Scott in Missouri — October 21, 2009 @ 2:30 am

  5. I remember the Senor Taco places. They had a beef burrito with red sauce that I still would love to have the recipe. The Crossroads Senor Taco had a fast food Mexican for a year or so. The Lady running it cooked her family’s recipes. Someone talked her into moving and opening a bigger place, I lost track of it at that point. The Pie place had a fairly successful Mexican Restuarant. It expanded to a 2nd place in North downtown Seattle that was very popular for awhile. He ran the downtown one, and she ran the Crossroads place.

    Comment by Robert Dybas — February 7, 2017 @ 4:01 pm

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