There Is Now Just One Hot n Now Restaurant in America
Sturgis stands alone as the city with the last Hot 'n Now restaurant in the world.
Hot 'n Now, a restaurant chain that traces its roots back to Kalamazoo in 1984 grew to 150 locations in 15 states is now down to just one restaurant on M-66 in Sturgis. There had been two, but a location in Bay City closed Labor Day 2016 after a grease fire and is slated to re-open as "Burger 81."
The History of Hot N Now
Hot n Now was founded in 1984 in Kalamazoo by businessman Bill Van Domelen. He had been a franchise owner of Burger Chefs in Southwest Michigan and he opened the first Wendy's restaurants in Michigan before branching out on his own with a new creation called Hot n Now, a discount burger chain featuring only drive-thru service and burgers starting at 39 cents. The Hot 'n Now chain sold to PepsiCo in 1990.
The video below shows early archival Hot n Now footage including the crew at the very first location and the very first drive-thru customer.
That iconic Kalamazoo Hot n Now along Westnedge Ave was demolished in 2013.
Hot N Now Today
If you make a pilgrimage to Sturgis just north of the Indiana state line on M-66, here's a look at what you can expect.
An urban explorer took a look around an abandoned Hot n Now restaurant in the Grand Rapids area along 28th Street.