It's the end of an era!

The Michigan-based fast food chain's loss could be your gain. How would you like to own such an iconic and delicious piece of Michigan history?

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If you grew up in Michigan during the mid to late '90s like I did you're probably still coming to terms with Hot 'n Now's disappearance, even all these years later. And if you moved here after the fact and you have no idea what I'm talking about well, I'm sad you'll never experience one of the true culinary highlights of The Mitten.

Hot 'n Now Menu
Lauren G/TSM

Hot 'N Now History

Originating in Kalamazoo in the mid-'80s, the chain once operated over 100 stores in 15 different states at its peak. Featuring a menu of cheap cheeseburgers, poppers, and cheesy taters, the chain was known for its brightly colored orange-slanted roof. There's certainly nothing fancy about Hot 'n Now, but it was darn good food.

Their drive-thru service-only model allowed them to keep prices down and ensured prompt service for those of us that wanted it both hot and now. Imagine that!

The Hot 'n Now brand was eventually absorbed by the Taco Bell corporation and after a series of sales BTND, LLC fell into ownership of the Hot 'n Now brand. For a time only 2 Hot 'n Now restaurants remained in Michigan until the Bay City location unfortunately caught fire in 2016.

The Hot 'n Now in Sturgis, Michigan is the only location still in existence to this day.

Hot n Now Sturgis
Lauren G/TSM

New Menu Board

Although they are the sole Hot 'n Now still in operation the Sturgis location is alive and well: they keep us informed and update their Facebook page often, they're open 7 days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and they're still continuing to update and improve their operations.

Just recently the restaurant shared their new electronic menu board, and I'll be the first to admit I was a little sad to hear they were joining modern times! See, part of the fun about visiting the last remaining Hot 'n Now is the nostalgia.

Hot n Now
Lauren G/TSM

The last time I made the drive to Sturgis there were still plenty of original promotional posters lining the drive-thru. Even though the signs were extremely sun-faded it's still fun to pretend you've stepped back in time. I'll never forget: Hot 'n Now is where I first discovered the joys of popcorn chicken; a memory I still hold close to this day.

What About the OG Menu?

Turns out I wasn't the only one sadden by news of the replacement menu board. Folks chimed in with similar sentiments writing:

  • 'I will say im a little sad. The old sign was so great to see when i pulled up." - Chris Hopkins
  • "Don't trash the existing one. It belongs in a museum. Seriously. " - Greg Donahue
  • "It’s a thing of beauty! Glad you aren’t getting rid of the old one. Might I recommend donating it to the Smithsonian?" - Scott Christy

Well, good news-- the original Hot 'n Now menu board can be all yours if the price is right!

New Hot n New Menu
Hot n Now via Facebook

An online auction for the OG menu board is currently taking place on the official Hot 'n Now Facebook page. Bidding ends Saturday, December 23 2023 and you're in charge of moving it yourself.

What do you think? How much would YOU be willing to spend on such an iconic piece of Michigan history? More importantly, what would you even do with it?!

Former Hot 'n Nows of Michigan, What Are They Now?

The Michigan-based burger chain operated in nearly 15 states at its prime. Today the only remaining location in operation is in Sturgis, MI.

Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon

Used to Be a Pizza Hut

Check out these former West Michigan Pizza Hut locations that have been given a second life!

Gallery Credit: Google Street View

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