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The former Wendy's, 40 S. Court St,. stands gutted during construction Sunday, Aug. 29, waiting to become something new. Its proximity to Ohio University made it a popular stop for hungry college students and faculty nearly all hours of the day.

The death of a staple: Wendy’s on Court Street

Walking along the sidewalk of Court Street, those who call Ohio University and Athens home can see the noticeable green overhang that once used to read the name “Wendy’s.” 

Now, when one passes by, all they see is construction equipment, worn-out chairs and the ghostly air of what used to be the popular fast food location.

After being away for roughly a year, many students are just now seeing the local Wendy’s on Court Street closed, which served as an utter shock to avid customers. Other students who returned last fall may have seen its slow demise, but it didn’t make the death any less of a shock.

“For a while, it was annoying that Wendy’s was gone,” Maya Djalali, a sophomore studying nutrition, said. “Especially because it was not really closed. You could see the lights on, and everything was still in there, but no one was standing in there.” 

Wendy’s used to hit its self-proclaimed “rush hour” between midnight and 2 a.m., when the late-night crowd would head in to slam Baconators and large chocolate Frosties. 

Oftentimes, there would be a line out the door, students waiting 20 minutes or more before they could even order their food. Many workers would find students slumped in booths half asleep, using the tables as their personal pillows. 

For students, Wendy’s was more than just a place to eat. It was also a place to feel at home, where one can guzzle down as much food as they please and practically walk around in their underwear.

Nathan Eyerman, a junior in the communication studies program, reflected on the late-night crowds disappointment, remarking how it “sucks.” 

“Especially after people go out, it’s a big place people are always at. It’s always packed,” Eyerman said. “It sucks that a place where everyone likes to go and eat and that’s affordable is gone.” 

Despite the food and reasonable prices, other students will miss the memories associated with the beloved staple. 

“It’s very disappointing because I’ve had a lot of memories there,” Makenzie Harrison, a senior studying political science, said. “I’ve cried there plenty of times. Halloween was also a big memory. I switched outfits with my friend in line waiting for our 4 for $4s.” 

As of now, the future of the space on Court Street is uncertain. Many are left wondering what will replace the cherished franchise. 

Although a large number of students are disappointed, some think the restaurant closure will make way for better things. 

Nicole Grant, a junior studying finance and analytics, points out how there are other locations of Wendy’s that students can still enjoy in Athens. 

“It’s still available,” Grant said. “And I feel in Athens, two locations of a franchise might be overkill, especially with other local businesses on Court that I might rather go to.”



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