Saturday, March 28, 2020

There Once Was a Fast Food Chain From Holt

My friends and my family can't quell me,
From this rhyming habit, unhealthy,
This limerick shtick, 
Is a moldy old trick,
That I stole from Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.

There once was a fast food chain from Holt,
That sprang up quick, like old Usain Bolt.
Hot 'n Now was their name,
And from Michigan they came.
But they went down in a fast food revolt. 

They didn't have tables or servers, 
And sold drive-thru olive-topped burgers.
Most closed up in the nineties,
Leaving buildings behind, these,
The result of too many bad mergers. 

This one sits abandoned in Grand Rapids.
No new tenant moved in, so it happens.
Unkempt and alone,
Yet next to Auto Zone
One can hope that it's not dead, just nappin'. 
Across town, another is empty.
Devoid of a new occupant's symp'thy.
A later building design,
This Hot 'n Now could be mine.
If a real estate agent could tempt me. 

Not every Hot 'n Now is deserted.
This one, by renovation perverted.
But there's no need to sigh,
Because they serve up pad Thai.
With the building's old branding subverted.  
This one in Saginaw is a vape shop.
For nicotine addicts, a great stop.
Their usual crowd's,
Always ripping fat clouds,
Smelling like Froot Loops, gummies, or grape pop. 

This old Hot 'n Now just sells java,
Presumably served cold or like lava.
Another business in town,
Also makes money off brown.
'Cause that septic truck's not full of guava. 

It's been a while since this one saw action,
Serving ice cream like Robbins and Baskin
Its roof once was red,
But now, it's yellow instead.
And it's named for a film with Bill Paxton.

This Hot 'n Now, of the newer variety,
Gives preservationists little anxiety.
They didn't change much,
Just new signs and such.
So the building maintains notoriety. 
This one in Toledo grew awnings.
At its name, "Netty's," I'm not fawning.
Not Lucy's, nor Linuses,
It will clear out your sinuses.
And the monochrome orange leaves me yawning

This old Hot 'n Now wears a costume.
With a custom facade, it is entombed.
Sir, this is now an Arby's,
Where you stay in your car, please.
There's no dining room just a drive-thru.

That Arby's is my cue for conclusions.
And some vague current event allusions.
This post was brought to you
By Google Street View
Because I'm still stuck in seclusion. 


  1. I love how your mind works
    By rhymin'and other cute quirks.
    You're great with a pun and because you're my son, I'll just consider you as a one of my perks! Janet (or is it Judy?)

  2. Bravo. Thanks for that. Brightened up yet another isolation morning.

  3. I really enjoy all your poems
    Although we're all stuck here at home
    They help pass the time
    These nifty li'l rhymes
    And help us not feel so alone

  4. Hot 'n Now had a location in Midland back in the early 1990s, when I worked in New York and often came back for our Dow Chemical clients. It was hilarious seeing the appalled reaction of my colleagues from Europe and the East Coast when I'd get a burger on our way back to the airport. "Gut bombs" was one epithet that comes to mind.

  5. Wikipedia and everything that copies it mentions "changes to the chain's concept that frustrated the franchisees starting in 1992 with the menu" but it doesn't exactly say WHAT those changes were.

  6. Didn't notice either location now, but there is one in Taylor near the airport @ 26715 Eureka Rd.

    There is another former location in Big Rapids, @ 226 Perry Ave. It is now a bank. And yes, they renovated/expanded the long-abandoned restaurant and turned it into the bank.