CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — The way to someone’s heart, is through their stomach and Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips holds a special place in a lot of people’s hearts.
“It has a very nice, light, crunchy crust to it,” said Becky Hogan. “It is the holy grail.”
Hogan drove from Oberlin to get her hands on Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips.
“You try to hang on to a few things from the past as you get older,” she said.
But no one knows the signature taste better than Ben Vittoria.
“My involvement with Arthur Treacher’s goes back to 1977,” he said. “Those were the good old days.”
At its heyday, Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips had more than 800 locations throughout the country.
Vittoria owned 11 of the Arthur Treacher’s franchise locations throughout the area.
“Happier, simpler times,” he said.
But over the years, that number dwindled to two restaurant locations: Garfield Heights located at 12585 Rockside Road and Cuyahoga Falls at 1833 State Road.
They were the last remaining, stand alone, Arthur Treacher’s in the country.
But Saturday, Vittoria decided to close the restaurant in Garfield Heights.
“It was an abrupt decision. It was a difficult decision,” said Vittoria. “Sometimes you have to retreat in order to survive.”
He said the current labor shortage was the catalyst to the closing.
“We kept losing people and we were not able to hire people,” he said. “As busy as we were, I was not going to be able to maintain the quality and standards that I pride myself on.”
Now, he’s focusing all of his attention and putting all of his resources into keeping the iconic brand alive at the Cuyahoga Falls location.
Customers like Dale Westerick, who drove from Michigan for the signature meal, are thankful to still have the taste of tradition.
“The food was great, just as I remember,” he said. “I know it sounds silly to drive that distance, but it is a real treat.”