Marie Callender's Hitting A&W Phase

While Thanksgiving Day diners at the Carlsbad Marie Callender's, just off Palomar Airport Rd., enjoyed mashed potatoes, gravy, and pie, little did they know that their opportunity to enjoy the popular family-style, comfort food, would soon come to an end. The restaurant closed its doors the following Monday, November 29.

Next door at the McDonalds, employees said the Marie Callender's signs were removed right away on that morning. The restaurant obviously did not tell its regular customers. Two hand-written notes were posted on the front door December 8 advising groups that normally meet at the restaurant to go to other nearby establishments for their meetings.

Other chains like Carl's Jr., Claim Jumper, Costco, Holiday Inn, In N Out, 7-11, and TGIFridays, consider the area of I-5 at Palomar Airport Road a prime location near Legoland and the beach.

Mrs. Callender founded her first bakery in 1948 in Long Beach. Her son Don began opening restaurants in 1964 in Orange County,

eventually selling the 115-unit chain to Ramada Hotels. Perkins Family Restaurants, a popular midwest chain, purchased the corporation in 2006.

The Encinitas Marie Callender's closed in 2008, and the Clairemont location closed in 2009. One food industry insider says Marie Callender's may be going through the "A&W phase" referring to what happened to A&W Root Beer; once their product began to be sold in supermarkets, the restaurants become less important. Marie Callender's began selling its frozen food line about five years ago.

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This is just one of a number of food chains that are closing their doors and I believe it is an indication that folks do not have the money to spend "eating out" like they once did because the Middle Class is shrinking rapidly.

This will have a "game changing" effect upon our Quality of Life and our Country as a whole! San Diego's tourism will be much lower and we should expect to see many more foreign folks visiting, at least for a while...

Starbucks and Tully's coffee is also sold in stores. I sure HOPE that thier cafes DO NOT close.

With the economy in the toilet for an extended period of time we are for sure going to see restaurants, of all types, close as this recession marches on..........I am sure many are praying for the recession to end and for customers to come back and spend $$.

Marie Callender's locations have been closing for years. The location in Encinitas became a real estate office. The location in El Cajon is now a Chinese Buffet. Balboa Avenue was too small and just shut its doors.

I recall when they only sold pies, coffee, salad and sandwiches. Then they became big time and even added cocktail bars in the 1980’s. They don’t know who they are. They have no theme and perhaps did give up their “secrets” in the grocery aisle. Although, like Claim Jumper and TGI Fridays’, their frozen food sucks.

Every poster here has a good point. The economy is creating a great divide in dining options; those for the well to do and those for the poor. The rapid growth of the fringe economy is creating towns, for example Lemon Grove, that have two or three sit down establishments for the middle class and everything else in the city limits is junk food. So the poor get fat and the well to do go and eat $20 a plate dinners.

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