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Arby's is 50 years old today, started in Boardman

Published: Wed, July 23, 2014 @ 12:51 p.m.

WARREN — Today, the Mahoning Valley was honored for its support of a global fast-food chain that rose beyond its roots with approximately 3,400 locations to date.

Boardman is home to the first-ever Arby’s restaurant that opened 50 years ago today — July 23, 1964.

Executives from the chain, local politicians and several others joined in the celebration of Arby’s 50th anniversary at one of the newly remodeled Arby’s locations in Warren.

“If [the residents] hadn’t been so supportive of the brand then we wouldn’t be here today, so we owe a lot to the Mahoning Valley,” said Paul Brown, chief executive officer.

The first Arby’s location opened on U.S. Route 224 in Boardman. Brothers Leroy and Forrest Raffel started the restaurant chain that featured roast-beef sandwiches.

The two first decided to call the restaurant “Big Tex,” but realized another restaurant in Akron had that name so they went with Arby’s to stand for Raffel brothers or R.B.

By 1967, there were 150 Arby’s locations.

In honor of this celebration, and in partnership with the Arby’s Foundation, local Arby’s restaurants will host a “Buy One Give One” offer July 21-25. Local Arby’s restaurants will donate a meal to Second Harvest Food Bank of Mahoning Valley for every meal that’s purchased throughout the week.

Additionally, 10 percent of sales today will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Mahoning Valley.

For the complete story, read Thursday's Vindicator and Vindy.com

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