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Florida Chain Eateries

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The Royal Castle chain was established in Miami in 1938. It grew to about 175 locations in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Ohio. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3.

former Royal Castle
Cutler Bay, FL
former Royal Castle
Homestead, FL
These 1950s Royal Castle terrazzo aprons survive at now unremarkable building entrances.

The Cutler Bay location now houses Ernesto's Taco Shop. [map]

The Homestead location now houses the La Cruzada Restaurant. [map]

Royal Castle
Miami, FL
former Royal Castle
Tallahassee, FL
This Royal Castle in Miami was built in 1965 and is the last operating location. [map]

This former Royal Castle in Tallahassee was built in 1969. It now houses a Domino's. There are two other former Royal Castles like this that I know of in Clearwater, FL and Orlando, FL. For more, see this website. [map]

The Maryland Fried Chicken chain was founded in Orlando in 1961. The first 35-foot-tall sign was installed then. The "Maryland" name was meant to attract aerospace factory workers, many of whom had moved there from Baltimore, MD. The chain grew to around 200 locations in Virginia, Georgia, South Carolina, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and possibly other states. There were 160 locations left in 1975 when the owner cashed out. There are about 30 locations still independently operating. For more, see this website.

For some other examples of the chain's signs and buildings, see these locations in Bristol, VA, Albany & Augusta, GA, Florence, SC, and Imlay City, MI.

Maryland Fried Chicken
Orlando, FL
2005: 2021:
This Maryland Fried Chicken was built in 1970. Around 2018, the embossed sign panel with the chickens was replaced with a flat one. MFC-UP refers to the Union Park neighborhood where this store is located. There is another Maryland Fried Chicken in Orlando on Edgewater Dr. There was another location on Curry Ford Rd. [map]

Maryland Fried Chicken
Leesburg, FL
former Maryland Fried Chicken
Pinellas Park, FL
This Maryland Fried Chicken in Leesburg opened around 1979. It had a classic pole sign with neon until 2014. It was replaced with a short, modern sign. The early locations were box-like buildings. I think this one was expanded and remodeled with this slanted roof and modern signs at some point. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

This Maryland Fried Chicken in Pinellas Park is long gone but this sign-topper and the sign panel frames below are still there. The neon rings on this panel originally flashed sequentially. [map]

Maryland Fried Chicken
Winter Garden, FL
This Maryland Fried Chicken opened in 1966. The round, pulsating neon panel that was installed on top of the sign like the one shown in Orlando above has been missing since at least 2007. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Maryland Fried Chicken
Plant City, FL
This Maryland Fried Chicken opened in 1968. For more, see this website. [map]

Maryland Fried Chicken
Haines City, FL
This Maryland Fried Chicken opened in 1969. It has been known as the Maryland Fried Chicken Rice Bowl since at least 2008. The lower panel on the sign is such a close match to the top that it may have always gone by that name. [map]

The Horne's Restaurant chain was founded by Bob Horne in 1948 in Bayard, FL. By 1956, there were 17 locations in eight Southeastern states. By 1970, there were 79 locations. Horne's appealed to travelers and a one-stop for gas, food, and souvenirs. The buildings' roofs were painted yellow, making them immediately recognizable. In the 1960s, Horne's began building their own motor lodges. In the 1970s, the chain was on the decline and locations were sold off. The Port Royal, VA location is the only one still operating as a Horne's. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

former Horne's Restaurant
Defuniak Springs, FL
This former Horne's Restaurant was built in the 1960s. The building has housed the Plateful Chinese Buffet since 2019. For more, see this website. [map]

former Horne's Restaurant
Homosassa Springs, FL
former Horne's Restaurant
Lake City, FL
This former Horne's Restaurant in Homosassa Springs has housed a mattress store since at least 2007. For more, see this website. [map]

This former Horne's Restaurant in Lake City was built in 1966. By 2014, the building was housing a Florida Welcome Center. For more, see this website. [map]

former Horne's Restaurant
Lawtey, FL
This former Horne's Restaurant was built around 1961. It closed in the early 1980s. It housed the Florida Souvenir Land Gift Shop after that. The building has been abandoned for many years. For more, see this website. [map]

More Florida Chain Restaurants:
unknown chain: 1, 2, 3 (Jacksonville)

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