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Architecture + Branding: Riding the contemporary architectural wave, the ship likely has sailed for Long John Silver’s iconic Cape Cod design

1-Don’t call it a comeback

It seems counter-intuitive that a seafood restaurant chain would be based in the American midwest, far from large-scale commercial fishing centers on the Atlantic, Southeast Atlantic, Pacific, or Alaskan coast.

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Pike Place Market, view looking towards Elliott Bay from Pike Street Seattle, Washington

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Pike Place Market, view looking towards Elliott Bay from Pine Street Seattle, Washington

Despite inherent geographical determinant challenges, operational stumbles and setbacks, ownership changes, store closings, and several other detours along the route, Long John Silver’s (LJS) has nonetheless managed to become the nation’s largest quick-service (QSR) seafood restaurant chain (source: longjohnsilvers.com, franchisekey.com, articles.latimes.com). And, with an eye on expansion, CEO James O’Reilly, appointed in the first quarter of 2015, vowed to stabilize the iconic brand (source: longjohnsilvers.com). Yet, as the brand heads into its annual “Talk like a Pirate day”, Long John Silver’s has long since thrown its iconic building design overboard.

ljs-long-john-silver-3201-broad-street-chattanooga-tn-11-2014-https___maps-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, (circa 2014), 3201 Broad Street, Chattanooga, Tennessee (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-3201-broad-street-chattanooga-tn-12-https___maps-google-sa-2015-closed

Long John Silver’s (CLOSED), right side 3/4 view, (circa 2015), 3201 Broad Street, Chattanooga, Tennessee (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-701-e-3rd-place-manhattan-ks-2-2013-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, (circa 2013), 701 E 3rd Place, Manhattan, Kansas (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-aw-long-john-silver-701-e-3rd-place-manhattan-ks-6-2016-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s/A&W, left side 3/4 view, (circa 2016), 701 E 3rd Place, Manhattan, Kansas (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-aw-long-john-silver-1304-south-main-street-belen-nm-5-2012-https___www-google-ganged

Long John Silver’s/A&W, left side 3/4 view, (circa 2012), 1304 South Main Street, Belen, New Mexico (source: maps.google.com)

Founded in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1969, the Long John Silver’s brand operated as a division of Jerrico, Inc., a publicly owned corporation which also operated a chain of family restaurants under the Jerry’s Restaurants banner (source: wikipedia.org, articles.latimes.com, seafoodsource.com, entrepreneur.com, fastfoodmenuprices.com, longjohnsilvers.com). Repurposing the concrete block building that housed the Cape Codder restaurant, a seafood carry-out concept, Architect Druce Henn created the New England inspired/Cape Cod styled restaurant that would come to define Long John Silver’s building design (source: wikipedia.org).

ljs-closed-long-john-silver-301-southland-drive-lexington-ky-2-salon-https___www-google-sa

Fantasia Styling Salon (Original Long John Silver’s), left side 3/4 view, 301 Southland Drive, Lexington, Kentucky (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-closed-long-john-silver-301-southland-drive-lexington-ky-3-salon-https___www-google-sa

Fantasia Styling Salon (Original Long John Silver’s),front 3/4 view, 301 Southland Drive, Lexington, Kentucky (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-closed-long-john-silver-301-southland-drive-lexington-ky-4-salon-https___www-google-sa

Fantasia Styling Salon (Original Long John Silver’s), right side 3/4 view, 301 Southland Drive, Lexington, Kentucky (source: maps.google.com)

In 1970, a scant year after its founding, Long John Silver’s began to franchise the concept (source: entrepreneur.com). Progressively, the brand spread its seaside aesthetic and pirate inspired menu across the United States.

2-Fish to water

In the early years, Long John Silver’s maritime inspired, quaint Cape Cod styled restaurants were stylistic unique, easily recognizable, and clearly communicated its intended coastal connection.

Usually located within a sea of parking spaces, the restaurant typically offered up the primary front facade towards the main street. The building geometry, largely limited to a square or rectangular footprint, features minimal, functional, articulation and mostly flat exterior wall surfaces.

ljs-closed-2016-long-john-silver-7834-gratiot-road-saginaw-mi-1-aerial-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s (CLOSED 2016), aerial view, 7834 Gratiot Road, Saginaw, Michigan (source: maps.google,com)

ljs-closed-2016-long-john-silver-7834-gratiot-road-saginaw-mi-2-2015-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s (CLOSED 2016), right side 3/4 view, (circa 2015), 7834 Gratiot Road, Saginaw, Michigan (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-closed-2016-long-john-silver-7834-gratiot-road-saginaw-mi-6-2015-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s (CLOSED 2016), left side 3/4 view, (circa 2015), 7834 Gratiot Road, Saginaw, Michigan (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-closed-2016-long-john-silver-1760-east-market-street-harrisonburg-va-1-aerial-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s (CLOSED 2016), aerial view, 1760 East Market Street, Harrisonburg, Virginia (source: maps.google.com)

Relatively small, the typical building balances a rather narrow facade against a deep body, and a short stature.

ljs-closed-2016-long-john-silver-1760-east-market-street-harrisonburg-va-2-2015-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s (CLOSED 2016), left side 3/4 view, (circa 2015), 1760 East Market Street, Harrisonburg, Virginia (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-closed-2016-long-john-silver-1760-east-market-street-harrisonburg-va-4-2015-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s (CLOSED 2016), front view, (circa 2015), 1760 East Market Street, Harrisonburg, Virginia (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-314-n-wilson-way-stockton-ca-4-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, front view, 314 North Wilson Way, Stockton, California (source: maps.google.com)

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Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, 314 North Wilson Way, Stockton, California (source: maps.google.com)

The front facade is divided into two halves, split down the middle by a large expanse of glass. At times, the glass is further subdivided into smaller window openings, with the use of muntin bars, to recreate a heritage look.

ljs-long-john-silver-4615-south-western-street-amarillo-tx-2-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 4615 South Western Street, Amarillo, Texas (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-6718-e-admiral-place-tulsa-ok-5-https___maps-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, front 3/4 view, 6718 East Admiral Place, Tulsa, Oklahoma (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-1005-latrobe-thirty-plaza-latrobe-pa-2-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 1005 Latrobe Thirty Plaza, Latrobe, Pennsylvania (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-1834-e-18th-street-anderson-in-3-2013-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, (circa 2013), 1834 East 18th Street, Anderson, Indiana (source: maps.google.com)

With both ingress and egress functions separated, the purpose defined entrance and exit doors bookend both sides of the facade. A few windows along the side wall break up the monotony of an otherwise blank surface.

ljs-long-john-silver-1005-latrobe-thirty-plaza-latrobe-pa-3-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, 1005 Latrobe Thirty Plaza, Latrobe, Pennsylvania (source: maps.google.com)

A prominent, high-pitched, gable roof, running perpendicular to the facade, sits atop the forward portion of the building footprint. A square cupola would traditionally sit atop the ridgeline of the traditionally blue-coloured roof.

ljs-long-john-silver-1224-east-edwardsville-road-wood-river-il-7-http___maps-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, front 3/4 view, 1224 East Edwardsville Road, Wood River, Illinois (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-1802-s-main-street-roswell-nm-4-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, front 3/4 view, 1802 South Main Street, Roswell, New Mexico (source: maps.google.com)

The rearward portion is adorned by a flat roof, which seems to blend into oblivion, and almost disappear, when set against the tall, dominant gable portion.

ljs-long-john-silver-5245-auburn-blvd-sacramento-ca-6-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 5245 Auburn Boulevard, Sacramento, California (source: maps.google.com)

Cladding at the gable end overhangs on either side of the facade is carried through into the cornices that edge the flat roof portion, thus resulting in a continuous, largely uninterrupted band that rises and falls and wraps the entire roof perimeter.

ljs-long-john-silver-360-w-olive-avenue-merced-ca-3-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, 360 West Olive Avenue, Merced, California (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-360-w-olive-avenue-merced-ca-4-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 360 West Olive Avenue, Merced, California (source: maps.google.com)

Inasmuch as the gable roof is emblematic and largely immutable, the rearward portion is somewhat less constrained. Flexible in height, in the use of parapet walls, or equipment fences, the rearward flat roof portion serves the more functional purpose of housing, and concealing, rooftop mechanical equipment, vents, and the like.

ljs-long-john-silver-1224-east-edwardsville-road-wood-river-il-3-http___maps-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, rear 3/4 view, 1224 East Edwardsville Road, Wood River, Illinois (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-314-n-wilson-way-stockton-ca-2-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 314 North Wilson Way, Stockton, California (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-4615-south-western-street-amarillo-tx-4-2013-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, rear 3/4 view, (circa 2013), 4615 South Western Street, Amarillo, Texas (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-10985-telegraph-road-taylor-mi-3-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 10985 Telegraph Road, Taylor, Michigan (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-1005-latrobe-thirty-plaza-latrobe-pa-5-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, rear view, 1005 Latrobe Thirty Plaza, Latrobe, Pennsylvania (source: maps.google.com)

Additionally, the drive-thru window projection typically sport a roof and canopy that is dissimilar to the rest of the overall composition.

ljs-long-john-silver-3444-donnell-drive-district-heights-md-4-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 3444 Donnell Drive, District Heights, Maryland (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-2007-west-andrew-johnson-highway-morristown-tn-4-https___maps-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 2007 West Andrew Johnson Highway, Morristown, Tennessee (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-3301-e-washington-street-indianapolis-in-2-june-2011-https___maps-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, right side, (circa 2011), 3301 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, Indiana (source: maps.google.com)

At times, window openings along the front and side walls may feature awnings in the brand colours.

Although a commercial construction, exterior material choices seem to delve deep into the residential realm, with wood, siding (aluminum, metal, wood) and metal cladding being featured prominently.

Encroaching further into a country cottage design ethos, the use of banding, chair-rails and wainscoting breaks up and compartementalizes the exterior walls, and adds a residential, “homey” touch.

ljs-long-john-silver-4615-south-western-street-amarillo-tx-3-2012-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, (circa 2012), 4615 South Western Street, Amarillo, Texas (source: maps.google.com)

Additionally, the board and batten style exterior cladding, harks back to more humble, traditional building methods.

Yellow, blue, white and light grey seem to round out the dominant choices in the exterior building colour palette.

Although the mold had been cast for a somewhat prototypical nautical-themed restaurant, accommodating various building sites, geographic/land features and authorities having jurisdiction (AJHs) warrant a less than rigid application of the formula.

Thus, the original Cape Cod design was bound to evolve and mutate over time.

In several instances, the building geometry introduced additional articulation, with appendages tacked onto the sides, to augment the usable footprint.

ljs-long-john-silver-3444-donnell-drive-district-heights-md-2-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, 3444 Donnell Drive, District Heights, Maryland (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-10050-w-55th-street-countryside-il-3-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, rear 3/4 view, 10050 West 55th Street, Countryside, Illinois (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-10985-telegraph-road-taylor-mi-6-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, 10985 Telegraph Road, Taylor, Michigan (source: maps.google.com)

In other instances, replaced by a trifecta of window openings, the traditional divided entrance and exit doors were relocated from the front facade to the sides.

ljs-long-john-silver-6740-n-blackstone-avenue-fresno-ca-2-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, front view, 6740 North Blackstone Avenue, Fresno, California (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-6740-n-blackstone-avenue-fresno-ca-3-2009-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, (circa 2009), 6740 North Blackstone Avenue, Fresno, California (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-6740-n-blackstone-avenue-fresno-ca-6-2009-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, (circa 2009), 6740 North Blackstone Avenue, Fresno, California (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-270-fletcher-pkwy-el-cajon-ca-8-2011-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, (circa 2011), 270 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon, California (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-1591-coolwater-ln-barstow-ca-3-2012-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, (circa 2012), 1591 Coolwater Lane, Barstow, California (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-long-john-silver-1591-coolwater-ln-barstow-ca-7-2012-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, (circa 2012), 1591 Coolwater Lane, Barstow, California (source: maps.google.com)

Wholly retaining the essence, building additions, bump-outs, vestibules, side door access points, and extended roof lines, served to expand Long John Silver’s trade dress, built environment, and architectural identity.

ljs-long-john-silver-2083-dix-highway-lincoln-park-mi-3-https___www-google-sa

Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 2083 Dix Highway, Lincoln Park, Michigan (source: maps.google.com)

As the Cape Cod-styled design provided some stability for the LJS brand, the story behind the scenes was much more tumultuous.

3-Hitched

In 1989, through a highly leveraged management buyout, parent company Jerrico, Inc., was taken private (source: prezi.com). One year later, Long John Silver would become Jerrico’s primary focus as other restaurant concepts were divested (source: prezi.com). Struggling for several years and laden with massive debt, the company was forced into bankruptcy in 1998, and fell under the control of Fleet Boston Bank (source: prezi.com). In 1999, the Long John Silver’s brand would be acquired by the owner of the A&W chain, and a newly created restaurant firm called Yorkshire Global Restaurants, Inc. would control both iconic brands (source: prezi.com). Combining two established brands that had few overlapping or competing product lines seemed like a winning strategy.

ljs-aw-long-john-silver-100-tarentum-bridge-road-new-kensington-pa-4-https___www-google-sa

A&W-Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, 100 Tarentum Bridge Road, New Kensington, Pennsylvania (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-aw-long-john-silver-1600-ross-street-amarillo-tx-2-https___www-google-sa

A&W-Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 1600 Ross Street, Amarillo, Texas (source: maps.google.com)

Co-branded locations quickly became the rage. Sharing common spaces, such as dining areas, support spaces, kitchen, back-of-house operations, storage, receiving and trash/recycling functions, should provide operational efficiencies, cost savings, and not adversely affect the client experience.

ljs-aw-long-john-silver-1910-w-ben-white-blvd-austin-tx-2-https___www-google-sa

A&W-Long John Silver’s, front 3/4 view, 1910 W Ben White Boulevard, Austin, Texas (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-aw-long-john-silver-3152-east-51st-street-tulsa-ok-1-https___maps-google-sa

A&W-Long John Silver’s, front view, 3152 East 51st Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma (source: maps.google.com)

New co-branded locations started cropping up, and A&W branded spaces started setting up shop within existing Long John Silver’s locations. Largely retaining the Cape Cod styled building design associated with the Long John Silver’s brand, A&W seemed akin to a houseguest that had crashed the LJS party, and simply refused to leave.

ljs-aw-long-john-silver-3702-north-brady-street-davenport-ia-7-https___www-google-sa

A&W-Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 3702 North Brady Street, Davenport, Iowa (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-aw-long-john-silver-4424-buffalo-gap-road-abilene-tx-3-https___www-google-sa

A&W-Long John Silver’s, front 3/4 view, 4424 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, Texas (source: maps.google.com)

Short of creating an aura of a merger of equals, A&W displayed traits of being subservient to the Long John Silver’s brand. In 2002, Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc., acquired Yorkshire Global Restaurants, Inc., adding the A&W and Long John Silver’s chains, to its portfolio which included, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC (source: prezi.com, franchisekey.com, entrepreneur.com, fool.com, qsrmagazine.com, bloomberg.com). At the time of the transaction, Tricon added 970 A&W restaurants, and 1,225 Long John Silver’s outlets (source: articles.latimes.com, seafoodsource.com). Tricon Global Restaurants, Inc., later renamed YUM! Brands, Inc., would continue, and accelerate, the former practise of co-branding LJS and A&W.

4-Modern mashup

Flush with an expanded portfolio of brands, YUM! Brands, Inc., also began to build-out new modern stores that largely broke with the Cape Cod design.

Some contemporary multi-brand outlets eschew traditional brand identifiers, thus making them easier to recast or substituted with another brand within the YUM! portfolio.

ljs-kfc-long-john-silver-299-s-euclid-street-anahein-ca-2-https___www-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 299 South Euclid Street, Anahein, California (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-kfc-long-john-silver-771-center-drive-san-marcos-ca-2-https___www-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, 771 Center Drive, San Marcos, California (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-kfc-long-john-silver-771-center-drive-san-marcos-ca-3-https___www-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 771 Center Drive, San Marcos, California (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-kfc-long-john-silver-771-center-drive-san-marcos-ca-5-https___www-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, rear left 3/4 view, 771 Center Drive, San Marcos, California (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-kfc-long-john-silver-771-center-drive-san-marcos-ca-6-https___www-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, rear right 3/4 view, 771 Center Drive, San Marcos, California (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-kfc-long-john-silver-2609-e-charleston-rd-mountain-view-ca-6-2009-https___www-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, front 3/4 view, (circa 2009), 2609 East Charleston Road, Mountain View, California (source: maps.google.com)

However, other new builds paid homage, and made clear references to the individual brand hallmarks. Examples include reinterpreting the blue-roofed Cape Cod-style building with cupola into a modern parapet wall design, adopting brand colours, and integrating brand markings and design elements.

ljs-aw-long-john-silver-1104-north-boomer-road-stillwater-ok-6-https___www-google-sa

A&W-Long John Silver’s, front view, 1104 North Boomer Road, Stillwater, Oklahoma (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-kfc-long-john-silver-2445-williams-blvd-kenner-la-5-https___www-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, 2445 Williams Boulevard, Kenner, Louisiana (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-kfc-long-john-silver-2445-williams-blvd-kenner-la-6-https___www-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 2445 Williams Boulevard, Kenner, Louisiana (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-kfc-long-john-silver-2705-dewar-drive-rock-springs-wy-5-2011-https___www-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, (circa 2011), 2705 Dewar Drive, Rock Springs, Wyoming (source; maps.google.com)

ljs-kfc-long-john-silver-2809-gentry-memorial-hwy-pickens-sc-5-https___www-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, front 3/4 view, 2809 Gentry Memorial Highway, Pickens, South Carolina (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-kfc-long-john-silver-1534-west-winnemucca-blvd-winnemucca-nv-6-https___www-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, 1534 West Winnemucca Boulevard, Winnemucca, Nevada (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-taco-bell-long-john-silver-322-south-broadway-salem-nh-2-https___www-google-sa

Taco Bell-Long John Silver’s, front 3/4 view, 322 South Broadway, Salem, New Hampshire (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-taco-bell-long-john-silver-1560-veterans-of-foreign-wars-pkwy-boston-ma-6-https___www-google-sa

Taco Bell-Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, 1560 Veterans of Foreign Wars Parkway, Boston, Massachusetts (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-taco-bell-long-john-silver-1700-north-broad-street-lansdale-pa-2-http___www-google-sa

Taco Bell-Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, 1700 North Broad Street, Lansdale, Pennsylvania (source: maps.google.com)

Throughout the consolidation and rationalization process, the Long John Silver’s brand stagnated, and contracted progressively, falling from 1,225 restaurants in 2002 to about 1,150 restaurants by 2007, and down to roughly 1,000 units by 2011 under the YUM! Brands ownership (source: seafoodsource.com, bloomberg.com, articles.latimes.com, qsrmagazine.com). After almost a decade, poor sales and a renewed focus on its core global brands, YUM! Brands revealed its desire to divest of Long John Silver’s and A&W (source: entrepreneur.com, fool.com, qsrmagazine.com, bloomberg.com, longjohnsilvers.com).

An unfortunate victim of the law of large numbers in finance, the LJS/A&W component simply did not move the needle enough within the larger YUM! Brands empire. In 2011, A&W and Long John Silver’s would part ways again.

LJS Partners LLC, a group consisting of Long John Silver’s franchisees and other private investors including Jim Patterson, Sr., the original founder of the brand, successfully bid to acquire the brand from YUM! Brands (source: pizzamarketplace.com, longjohnsilvers.com). Spearheaded by a franchisee leader with substantial interests in international A&W restaurants and the National A&W Franchisees Association, A Great American Brand LLC acquired the A&W brand (source: pizzamarketplace.com). Significantly depleted, and its architectural identity systematically chipped away and eroded over a decade-plus of YUM! Brands ownership, the task of rebuilding the Long John Silver’s brand would indeed be monumental.

5-Chipping away

For all its kitch, the Cape Cod design imagery fostered a sense of authenticity and familiarity. Flexible, expandable, and unique, the nautical visual cues created a cognitive association with the Long John Silver’s brand that even transcended mediums, and into pop culture.

http://cleveland.wikia.com/wiki/Long_John_Silver%27s

Additionally, the brand-associated building design remains recognizable, long after Long John Silver’s has vacated the premises.

ljs-closed-long-john-silver-2201-yale-street-houston-tx-6-2015-https___www-google-sa

Heights Asian Café, left side 3/4 view, (circa 2015), 2201 Yale Street, Houston, Texas (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-closed-long-john-silver-2800-w-florida-avenue-hemet-ca-3-2016-title-max-https___www-google-sa

Title Max, left side 3/4 view, (circa 2016), 2800 west Florida Avenue, Hemet, California (source; maps.google.com)

ljs-closed-long-john-silver-10-rocklawn-lane-lexington-va-5-2015-pizza-hut-https___www-google-sa

Pizza Hut, right side 3/4 view, (circa 2015), 10 Rocklawn Lane, Lexington, Virginia (source: maps.google.com)

Even in a more interconnected digital world of online restaurant ordering, and web-based meal delivery services, such as UberEats, Foodora, DoorDash, and GrubHub, physical locations remain relevant. As a more contemporary, interchangeable, and indistinguishable building design approach is adopted, any remaining physical vestiges tying the newer locations to the old, and memories of the iconic design, are likely to fade.

ljs-closed-aw-long-john-silver-2207-east-windmill-lane-las-vegas-nv-3-2014-https___www-google-sa

A&W-Long John Silver’s, front 3/4 view, (circa 2014), 2207 East Windmill Lane, Las Vegas, Nevada (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-closed-aw-long-john-silver-2207-east-windmill-lane-las-vegas-nv-2-2016-https___www-google-sa

A&W-Long John Silver’s (CLOSED), front 3/4 view, (circa 2016), 2207 East Windmill Lane, Las Vegas, Nevada (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-closed-kfc-long-john-silver-9310-us-highway-49-gulfsport-ms-5-2013-https___maps-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, left side 3/4 view, (circa 2013), 9310 US Highway 49, Gulfsport, Mississippi (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-closed-kfc-long-john-silver-9310-us-highway-49-gulfsport-ms-8-2013-https___maps-google-sa

KFC-Long John Silver’s, right side 3/4 view, (circa 2013), 9310 US Highway 49, Gulfsport, Mississippi (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-closed-kfc-long-john-silver-9310-us-highway-49-gulfsport-ms-6-2015-hardees-https___maps-google-sa

Hardees, left side 3/4 view, (circa 2015), 9310 US Highway 49, Gulfsport, Mississippi (source: maps.google.com)

ljs-closed-kfc-long-john-silver-9310-us-highway-49-gulfsport-ms-7-2015-hardees-https___maps-google-sa

Hardees, right side 3/4 view, (circa 2015), 9310 US Highway 49, Gulfsport, Mississippi (source: maps.google.com)

As the brand is forced to adapt to the new digital/physical retail realities, increasing talk of an impending restaurant recession can only cause additional alarm for many operators (source: cnbc.com, nrn.com). Capitalizing on the iconic Cape Cod imagery could tap into Boomer and Generation X memories while igniting the curiosity of Generation Z and web-savvy millennials, and assist Long John Silver’s in navigating the choppy seas that could very well lay ahead.

 

Disclaimer: All brands and trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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About marc lortie

marc lortie is an Architectural Designer (Technologist) currently based in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada). marc has several years of experience working in Canada and the USA on various projects, including commercial shopping centres, big-box stores, industrial plants, educational facilities, warehouses, storage facilities, intermodal facilities, hotels, offices, and residential developments. marc is a graduate of Carleton University, Algonquin College and La Cite Collegiale.

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