Do you remember the old Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips fast food restaurants?

Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips fast food restaurants 1969

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Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips fast food restaurants were based on the English tradition of serving fried fish together with crispy potatoes. Take a look back!


Vintage ad from the Chula Vista Star-News (California) June 14, 1970

Arthur Treacher brings All-American dish back to its birthplace, National City

For years the world has assumed that fish & chips are as native to England as fog. England’s own Arthur Treacher says “Balderdash! They’re as American as smog.”

So he’s bringing good old fish & chips back to their birthplace. And will be serving them to hungry Americans in his own carry-out restaurants.

His recipe called for the choicest whitefish filets, dipped in a secret batter, deep-fried to a golden brown and served with crisp French fries (or as the English call them, chips), salt and malt vinegar.

Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips vintage fast food restaurants (4)

As the story goes, some alert English smuggled this original recipe back to England in 1865, as reparations for the Revolutionary War, then opened England’s first fish & chips house, Malin’s-of-Bow. The word spread. And soon fish & chips became England’s national dish.

And that original recipe? Still a Malin family secret. Upon being apprised of the 1865 recipe heist, Mr. Denis Malin agreed that Americans should have it… and has designated Arthur Treacher to put up Original Recipe Fish & Chips Shops all over the colonies.

May we suggest you try Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips soon… before the English decide to steal our whole restaurant chain.

Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips vintage fast food restaurants (1)


Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips has more than great fish (1976)

Adapted from The Terre Haute Tribune (Terre Haute, Indiana) Aug 28, 1976

In Indiana, Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips, home of famous seafood, has been serving their secret recipe for nearly ten months now. Since their grand-opening last November, thousands have passed through the doors to enjoy the crunchy fillets.

The quick-serve restaurant was built around the English tradition of serving fried fish together with crispy potatoes, which resemble our home-cooked French fries.

Arthur Treacher’s offers the only authentic version of this popular British meal, which traces its heritage from Lain-Malin’s of Bow, the first certified seller of the product in 1865. Today, hundreds of the familiar yellow and green restaurants dot the countryside.

Only North Atlantic whitefish are used. The portioned sizes come from Zanesville, Ohio, and are taken through eight separate steps before the finished morsels are ready to eat.

Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips vintage fast food restaurants (3)

Each fish portion is coated in a secret batter, then cooked to a crunchy goodness outside while moist and flaky inside. The English style “chips.” which are long, thick cuts of potato, are cooked to crunchy perfection, too.

The varied menu goes beyond the original fish and chips. Arthur Treacher’s Shrimp are succulent pieces of shrimp treated to the secret batter and deep fried in peanut oil.

Chicken & Chips represents a new look at an old standby. Who can resist tender chicken fillet cooked in Arthur’s batter and served up crunchy and light with plenty of English chips?

Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips vintage fast food restaurants (2)

Arthur Treacher’s Krunch Pup will be family fun for kids and grown-ups alike. This is a 100 percent pure beef wiener, dipped in their batter, and served crunchy on a stick.

This fall, seafood chowder will be added to the menu — just in time to warm up a winter’s evening. Tuesdays are always special at Arthur Treacher’s. Get two pieces of fish, chips, coleslaw, and beverage for a reduced price.

By calling, carry-out orders become a convenience, especially if the customer wants large quantities. Treacher’s Trawler, Arthur’s Family Boat, and Arthur’s Shrimp Boat serve from three to seven, depending on your order. Great idea for upcoming football games.


Ad in the Chula Vista Star-News (Chula Vista, California) June 14, 1970

British claim invention of fish & chips in 1865 

London — According to British sources here, one Joseph Malin first invented fish & chips in 1865 at his shop in East London.

The shop was called Malin’s-of-Bow and is today operated by Denis Malin, the great, great grandson of the founder.

One irate Britisher curtly informed me that America’s claim to the invention of fish & chips is as absurd as the British trying to claim that Shakespeare organized the New York Yankees. (By the way, who did organize the New York Yankees?)

Newspaper ad for Arthur Treacher fish n chips - June 1970

Meet! In person, England’s Denis Malin (1970)

A controversial figure will be attending the grand opening of Arthur Treacher’s Original Recipe Fish & Chips Shop. He is Denis Malin, the great, great-grandson of the Englishman who Britishers say actually invented fish & chips.

The younger Malin was a key figure in the successful pirating of the old fish & chips recipe back to America by Arthur Treacher.

As to whether or not Malin will return to England, where he is now known sourly as “The Benedict Arnold of Fish & Chips,” is at this time uncertain.

Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips fast food restaurants: Vintage TV commercial (1970s)

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Comments on this story

3 Responses

  1. This article is a load of s**t! Charles dickens referenced fried fish in Oliver Twist in 1839 and the first fish and chip shops were opened in 1860! one in London and another in lancashire, but prior to the opening of the first chip shops it was already a very popular dish in the UK! Btw the potato was brought back to Britain in the 17th century by Walter Raleigh and the French are credited with creating the first fried “chips” known as pomme frites !

    1. You are probably right! The text you’re referring to was written as restaurant ad copy in 1970, and I imagine it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. :-)

  2. We loved our local Arthur Treacher’s when I was growing up. From the mid-70s to the mid-80s, it was probably the busiest fast food restaurant in the area save for McDonald’s… and good luck trying to get a seat there on a Friday or Saturday night! It’s a surprise and a shame that the chain didn’t stick around longer; according to Wikipedia, there is currently only one stand-alone Arthur Treacher’s operating, in Ohio.

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