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New "Flagship" Wendy's in Dublin Is Hi-Tech, Historic

Wendy’s opened a new flagship restaurant across the street from its corporate headquarters in Dublin Tuesday. The building’s design is ultra-modern but it’s also packed with memorabilia. Some of the items came from the original Wendy’s on East Broad Street. Most everyone in Central Ohio knows the story. Dave Thomas opened his first Wendy’s in 1969 in downtown Columbus. Since then the company has become a fast-food giant with global operations. When the company decided to open a new “flagshipâ€? restaurant it set out to make it state-of-the-art but with elements honoring its roots. Wendy’s spokesman Denny Lynch says a lot of memorabilia came from the first Wendy’s on East Broad Street which has since been shut down.

“When we closed the restaurant we took the memorabilia and put it in storage. We knew that we were going to use it at some time in the future; we just didn’t know exactly when and when we decided to build this restaurant we decided to add a very special room and bring the memorabilia and put it on display for the public,â€? Lynch says. And there’s a lot to see. From the original Wendy’s lighted sign above the community room entrance to an original dining table with its newsprint top and bentwood chairs.

RELATED: 18 Photos of the Original Wendy's in Columbus, Ohio

There are souvenirs from memorable ad campaigns, says Lynch, and more.

“We have the history of advertising with Clara Peller and Where’s The Beef? The Dave Thomas campaign. In 1996 the Olympics came through here with the torch relay and Dave Thomas carried the torch. We have the actual torch that is on display here.â€? Lynch says. The building is not a shrine to the past, its ultra-modern exterior and interior are loaded with the latest technology: a WI-Fi bar, flat screen TVs, and digital menus over the counters. Lynch says the kitchen is also hi-tech.

“This is a one-of-a-kind kitchen; we’re using it as a test kitchen in our flagship restaurant. It is using modern technology, equipment technology, IT technology ... at the end of the day we want to serve more customers and they expect us to serve them fast,â€? Lynch says. One wonders what the late Dave Thomas would think about how far his business has come. It’s hard to escape the iconic entrepreneur’s visage either inside or outside the new Wendy’s. On the patio, there’s a larger than life size bronze of Thomas holding a Frosty and a bag of burgers and fries. [wpgmza id="17"]