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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Church of Our Savior in Boynton Beach, FL

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today near the salad bar to celebrate the union of two lovely people, Geno and Denise. It is good to see all of the booths full, and even a handful of people waiting to be seated. I am told that the wait will be no more than 30-45 minutes.

Somebody, at some point, probably got married in an old Pizza Hut, and that puts a smile on my face. Imagine the happy couple, stepping out of the side door near the tabletop Pac-Man machine, having breadsticks thrown at them as they begin their new lives together as man and wife.

So, raise your red plastic cups for the newlyweds, and enjoy a piece of delicious, stuffed-crust wedding cake (the first topping was free!), as we celebrate what is, without a doubt, one of the tackiest locations to get married ever.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Psalms Funeral Home in Navasota, TX

Let's face it: you died. No use living in the past (or living at all, really) and wondering about whether or not it was the best idea to try to lick a car battery to see if it still worked. What's done is done (and it turned out that it was an alternator issue).

But now you are deceased and your loved ones have some decisions to make about your immediate whereabouts. They could just take you to your average run-of-the-mill funeral home. Navasota, TX has several from which to select that are neither gaudy nor ostentatious, but that offer peaceful, respectable services for dearly departed loved ones.

And there is nothing -- at all -- wrong with going to one of these places. After all, most people do prefer traditional funeral services.

But for those looking for something a little bit more... smelling like cheese, I have just the solution for you:

BEHOLD! The Psalms Funeral Home in Navasota, TX. Just like your favorite porno shop, the signature trapezoidal windows have been covered in stucco for your privacy. If you can imagine a better place for your family and friends to pay their final respects, I would love to hear about it.

Thanks to Jason for sending this in. Even for a guy who blogs about places that used to be Pizza Huts, I can't believe this is a real thing.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Owensboro, KY

You might write off Owensboro, Kentucky as being "no big deal," or, "I've never heard of it," but what you might not realize is that, after Louisville and Lexington, there is only one other city in all of Kentucky that is bigger (by population) than Owensboro (that, of course, being the booming metropolis of Bowling Green).

So when you stumble upon the 4th largest city across the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky, you know you are somewhere special. This ain't no Covington, Hopkinsville, or Florence (y'all). This is a real city. Never you mind the lack of interstates in Owensboro. They still have some roads. And for those (mostly paved) roads, you will need a reliable method of transport. That's where Enterprise Rent-A-Car comes in.

I bet you didn't even notice that the Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Owensboro is an UTBAPH. That is probably because you can't see out of your car that is inexplicably wrapped up like a package. Unwrap that thing before you start to drive. It's dangerous. Besides, it's not like we can't all tell that, underneath the wrapping, there is a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix in there. AWWWWW, I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE A PONY!!!

But I digress. Yes, this was indeed once a Pizza Hut. But the lovely people of Owensboro apparently had better things to do (a Google search of "things to do in Owensboro" turned up nothing) than to go to Pizza Hut, so it closed. Thanks a lot, Owensboroans.

And thanks to some guy named "Doug," who sent this one in to the site. I honestly think the world would be a much worse place without guys named Doug occasionally contributing in small ways to large scale projects like mapping all of the former Pizza Huts in the world, so thanks, guys named Doug.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Gators Hot Spot Sweepstakes Internet Cafe in Gainesville, FL

I am not going to lie. My full time job of writing about former Pizza Huts is both low-paying, and, largely, incredibly boring. You probably have some picture in your head of a handsome, well-to-do, worldly fellow in a pinstripe suit racing from town to town as teams of yes-men with cameras quickly snap photos of UTBAPHs on command for the prestigious blog that employs them.

But that image could not be farther from the truth. In between heating Hot Pockets, I spend most of my time in the UTBAPH headquarters trying to glean relevant information from the thousands of emails that you lunatics send me about how the Pizza Huts in your towns are now Mexican Restaurants.

I don't want to sound ungrateful. There is no doubt that I have been blessed with the magnificent ability to barely make any money writing an idiotic blog. Not just anyone can get a loan based strictly upon the success of a blog. At least, that is what the guy at the bank told me when he turned down my loan request, forcing my family to move into the forest and forage for spilled M&Ms from last Halloween.

But every once in a while, something besides a Mexican restaurant makes its way into by inbox. Just recently, it came to my attention that SHADY DEALINGS WERE GOING ON IN AN UTBAPH. Dealings so shady that the police raided the place!

Now, I know that you are thinking about those overzealous police officers you keep seeing in the news, and you are wondering if they were just overreacting to something minor.

Nay, I tell you. It seems that Gators Hot Spot Sweepstakes Internet Cafe and Illegal Gambling Ring  LLC was (allegedly) UP TO NO GOOD.

It turns out that gambling on the internet is illegal. It also turns out that quitting your job and writing a stupid blog full time is not, technically, considered "gambling on the internet," despite what was listed in the "irreconcilable differences" section of some recent paperwork that I received.

So the cops found out about the illegal activity happening inside thanks to a tip from a neighbor, Adam Brewer, who runs Adam's Rib Restaurant right next door. Apparently the police seized all of the computers inside the establishment, mostly just because they had never seen high tech equipment inside an UTBAPH before.

You can read more about the raid here.

In the meantime, remember that if there is one thing that you can never trust, it is: everything in the entire state of Florida, except for our good friend William, who alerted us to this shady UTBAPH.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Q104 (CKQV) Radio Station in Kenora, Ontario

They might pump out today's hottest music now, but, at one time, the headquarters for Q104 in Kenora, Ontario, pumped out yesterday's hottest pizza.

You can actually listen to Q104 online, and I encourage you all to do so. Not because Top 40 music is particularly interesting (or even listenable), but because you -- as a reader of this atrocity of a blog penned by a guy who barely passed high school English classes -- are obviously a glutton for horrible content.

Listen here:

I am not going to lie. I am not a big fan of Top 40 music. Call me a snob, or an elitist, or "someone with ears who is over the age of 8," but I just think that music, especially music that is interspersed with more advertisements than the inside of a city bus, should not be completely god-awful.

That said, I really wish for the best for our friends at Q104 in Kenora. As the only radio station in our entire catalog of UTBAPHs (so far), I am kind of rooting for them to do what the Pizza Hut in this location failed to do, and what this very blog strives to do: sell crap to the masses. So, from the greatest comedy of all time, I want to offer this message to my friends at Q104:

Many thanks to Ryan, who has a face for radio, for sending this one in.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pizza Planet in Mobridge, SD

It only makes sense for an UTBAPH to become another pizza place. Sure, a well-known pizza chain with worldwide brand recognition and franchise backing situated at the exact same location selling the exact same product failed just months (sometimes days) earlier, but I would attribute all of that to "bad luck" and "lack of innovation in finding more places to stuff cheese into pizza."

"Maybe we can fool people into thinking that we are the same well-known pizza restaurant that they, as a community, had already shunned into financial failure," says one truly delusional prospective small business owner to himself, as he (if he has any foresight whatsoever) downloads the correct forms to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and saves them in a folder on his desktop called "Business Plans for the Upcoming Year."

"Maybe if we keep the word 'Pizza' and just cover up the word 'Hut' with a picture of a planet, we can narrowly escape being sued by our predecessor, thereby ensuring that our failure comes directly from a complete lack of sales, and not litigation."

In 2014, that is considered "success."

If you have followed this so far, and nodded your head along with those ideas, panting and slobbering all the while, you might be an overheating dog, in need of some water. Find your owner and remedy that, and, upon doing so, return to browsing funny blogs on the iPad while pretending to nap. We all know what you dogs are up to.

But for the rest of us, who are well aware of the fallacies of the aforementioned plan, I would like to show you the full execution of such a plan, located in Mobridge, South Dakota.

Behold, friends (and dogs), the Pizza Planet:

I can't imagine the surprise of the good people of Mobridge when they drove past the old Pizza Hut and found, in its place, a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT restaurant bearing only SLIGHT RESEMBLANCE to some other DISTANT MEMORY of a pizza chain that had just closed days earlier.

As the disguise is quite heavy on this UTBAPH, allow me to bring you back in time (thanks to Google Street View) to see what used to be:

It is hard to see if your eyeballs fell out in an unfortunate "sneezing while getting LASIK" incident, but for the rest of us, I think it is pretty clear what is going on here. I did some digging and came across the alternate set of concepts for the Pizza Planet re-branding, in case you are curious.

Thanks to our good friend Bryan for sending this one in.

Monday, July 7, 2014

500! And a Call to Action...


Ever since I was a little kid, long before the internet as we know it even existed, I dreamt of creating a single-focus blog cataloging the current uses of former Pizza Huts. Call it a life's mission. Call it a waste of time. Call it a bald-faced lie that couldn't possibly be true. No matter what you call it, how much you doubt it, or how certain you are that even just reading this post is a complete waste of your time that could be spent doing something important like running the country (Mr. President... I appreciate your support of this blog but get back to work) or re-stocking the shelves of your family business that is, most likely, current situated in an old Pizza Hut, you must admit that this is the longest, most rambling sentence that you have ever read.

I can't even count the digressions in that last paragraph, but I digress.

The important thing is that we reached an unbelievable milestone today; one that would surely make my ancestors proud after at least 4 hours of explanation of the following topics:

- Pizza
- Franchising
- Food delivery
- The internet
- Tony Danza (but I digress)
- Blogging
- Podcasts
- Fox News
- Digital photography
- Google Maps
- Google Street View
- Not having to spend all of your time trying to find food to stay alive

Our work is not done. Nay, there is much left undone in this realm. Firstly, there are still 4 states that do not have UTBAPHs on the map. This is astounding to me, but logical when you consider that 3 of the 4 worst states are on this list:

- Wyoming
- Idaho
- North Dakota
- Delaware

So I am calling on you residents and visitors of these terrible states to get off your asses and, well, actually, sit back down in front of your computer and find me some UTBAPHs on the good old Google Street View.

Secondly, I am working on getting pictures of the UTBAPHs on the map, but many are still lacking. Many of you submitted locations with images that you might not yet see on the site. I am working on adding these, but I am always happy to add even more images to the map view when they are available. I always prefer images taken from devices other than robotic cars, but Google Street View works well in a pinch. So hop into your Toyota Tercel (or whatever it is you are driving these days) and grab me some photos!

Lastly, I want to thank each and every one of you for not having a job, or, in some cases, having a job that you are sure to lose by reading stupid blogs all day. You make me proud.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Maytag Laundry in Stevens Point, WI

I know that buildings, much like gingers and the Dutch, have no souls, but if they did, it is hard to think that the Maytag Laundry in Stevens Point, Wisconsin wouldn't have been crying tears of grease out of its trapezoidal windows upon realizing that a brand spanking new Pizza Hut was being built right next door.

I don't know, maybe it is like the pyramids, where they start to build the next one as soon as a new pharaoh is born. Perhaps another Pizza Hut manager had been born in Stevens Point and a second Pizza Hut had to be hastily erected to accommodate the pre-destined lord of the cheese. 

(Google Image Search returned nothing when I attempted to find a photo of a mustached newborn baby wearing a short sleeve shirt with a tie and a name tag, but that is what Pizza Hut managers look like when they are born.)

Whatever the case, it is kind of awesome to see an UTBAPH right next to a FUTBAPH. (Thats a future UTBAPH, in case you were wondering. Some folks just call them "current Pizza Huts," or, even, showing a complete lack of foresight into the inevitable, simply, "Pizza Huts.")

Call them what you will. FUTBAPHs have a sense of arrogance about them, particularly when standing next to their fallen brethren. Well, FUTBAPH, if you learn but one thing today, let it be this: Don't laugh. You're next.

Here is a screen grab from Google Street View showing the arrangement as of 2008. Note the red roof and smug look of the newer Pizza Hut.

Kudos to Bor, for spotting this odd little arrangement.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Best Catalog of Changing Landscapes

In an oddly specific category, this very blog has been named the unanimous winner of the prestigious "Best Catalog of Changing Landscapes" award, as decided by President Obama, the joint chiefs of staff, and the editorial board of Pittsburgh Magazine.

What this means, besides, of course, a smaller font on my resume to keep my most notable accolades under the recommended 14 page maximum, is that if you pick up the print version of Pittsburgh Magazine this month and do that little thing where you lick your finger to turn the page like 78 or so times, you will find this:

For reference, here is the entire page:

I know what you are thinking, which is that next year I should start a mobile fashion truck in an effort to get a giant photo into the magazine. Broke Little Rich Girl, I am coming after you!

But, full page photo or not, I am very pleased to have won this award and I am very thankful to live in a time when a blog can literally change the world into a dramatically better place which is a lot like the world that existed before the blog except with a handful of friends and family having something to talk about whenever I see them at social gatherings.

To see a list of all of the "Best of the Burgh 2014" winners, click here or pick up a print version for yourself (two, if you want to frame one).

No Name Pizza in Beaufort, NC

I recently took a trip down to Beaufort, NC. I had been told tales of a legendary UTBAPH in Beaufort called "No Name Pizza." Obviously, I had to make a stop to check this gem out in person.

Yours truly in front of No Name Pizza in Beaufort, NC

Regarding the unusual name (or, lack of name, depending on how you see it), I was told by a local that it was a Greek guy that owned the place, and, when asked what he wanted on the sign for his pizza shop, he said, "No name!"

Now if there is one thing I know, it is that you should never argue with a Greek guy, lest they unleash their buddy Yanni on you. Yanni, legend has it, can kill a man with a slingshot and an olive pit from up to 4 kilometers away. But I digress.

The point is, I guess the sign maker in this story also knew of Yanni's projectile prowess and opted instead to take the pizza shop owner literally. The rest, as they say, doesn't involve Yanni and is therefore completely uninteresting to Greek people.

Thanks for the submission, Ken.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bisbee Breakfast Club in Tucson, AZ

You have heard this story a thousand times before. Five high school students, all different stereotypes, meet in detention, where they pour their hearts out to each other, and discover that, despite all of their differences, their school library is actually a Pizza Hut.

The nerd, the jock, the misfit, the arsonist, and the girl who can put lipstick on with her boobs. I think that covers every possible high school stereotype in 1985.

I forget most of that movie, but I do remember that the entire thing took place in a Hut in Tucson, Arizona. You may have forgotten about the deleted last scene of the movie, when Judd Nelson re-enters the Pizza Hut to begin his career as a delivery driver.

Anyway, that is a great movie and Bisbee Breakfast Club in Tucson, AZ is a great UTBAPH. Many thanks to Terry for sending this in. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

House of Gyro, Salad & Hamburger in Hermitage, TN

When it comes to bizarre restaurant naming, seemingly haphazard and unrelated menu items, and ridiculous minimum credit card amounts, Greek places really have the market cornered. House of Gyro, Salad, and Hamburger in Hermitage, TN (just outside of Nashville) is no exception. When you have to refer to the AP Stylebook to figure out whether or not the Oxford comma belongs in your restaurant name, it is probably time to consider shortening the name.

And I know that it is tempting to include menu items in your restaurant name, but let's leave it at just one item, sort of like the previous tenants of this building did (Pizza Hut, in case you were left confused here).

"Hey Tony we have Coke products here, too. Should we call it 'House of Gyro, Salad, Hamburger, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, and Daily Rotating Specials (Generally Soups But Sometimes Dessert Items)' instead?"

I will answer for Tony. No. No you should not. Because what happens when the box of Sprite syrup goes dry? Now you have to get a new sign. 

Shoulda thought that one through, Tony.

And I don't know what it is, but every Greek restaurant seems to have a minimum credit card charge, assuming they take credit at all. I always feel like I am at a blackjack table when I see the "$10 MINIMUM" sign near the counter. I don't carry cash, on account of being completely broke, on account of being a blogger, on account of being bullied in middle school. Why do Greek restaurants have to discriminate against bloggers? Now I have to order at least $10 worth of food by myself (again, blogger) and get even fatter than I already am (yep, blogger).

Thanks to Trevor, for sending this in and then quickly deciding what to order from the menu before even setting foot in the restaurant. 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Rice Inn in Bethel Park, PA

Bethel Park, a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA, is the home to many great things, including, but not limited to, Rick Sebak, a national championship high school hockey team, and, of course, an UTBAPH.

If you are thinking what I was thinking when I first became aware of this UTBAPH, which is that it is odd to name a restaurant after poison, well, rest assured, there is no actual ricin used in any of the food prepared at the Rice Inn. On the contrary, the food at the Rice Inn is quite delicious.

Given the name, you might think that local news guy (and owner of the best eyebrows this side of the Mississippi) Ken Rice, of the Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA, is an owner of the Rice Inn. But you would be wrong, as usual (although there is a rumor that Condoleezza Rice sits on the board of directors).

Yours truly hanging out with Ken Rice at the Rice Inn

Still, Ken and I met up at the Rice Inn so that he and a cameraman could watch my terribly unruly kids and embarrassed wife try, unsuccessfully, to eat with chopsticks and act like a normal family. Fun times. Hopefully they lost the footage.

Ken proceeded to ask me all kinds of questions about UTBAPHs. Questions like:

  • "What is wrong with you?"
  • "Aren't there much better things to be doing with your time?"
  • "Do your kids get made fun of at school because their daddy is a blogger?"
  • "Can you please stop jabbing me in the eyebrows with chopsticks?"

And I like to think that Ken learned a lot that day, not just about UTBAPHs, but also about why you should never try to put a socially inept, introverted blogger on TV.

You can watch the finished product here:

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Yakima County Morgue in Yakima, WA

When I think of UTBAPHs, I think of death. Work with me here.

The death of a Pizza Hut, sad as it may be, almost always leads to a resurrection of sorts, often in the form of a Mexican restaurant, custom trophy shop, or flooring place.

With respect to the deceased, I don't know that I could think of a better place to be temporarily interred than an UTBAPH (and I am not just saying that because my friends have called my obsession with former Pizza Huts "deeply troubling, at best").

The Yakima County Morgue may not be flashy (or, even, adequately marked), but what it lacks in showiness, it more than makes up for in utility. For one, the walk-in cooler, I think it is fair to assume, is put to good use in this UTBAPH. Moreover, identifying a loved one with the benefit of a heat lamp is probably adequate, at least, but maybe even somewhat comforting (lots of speculation in this post).

So the point is that if you do have to die, what better place to do so than Yakima. It might even be better than living there (no offense, living people of Yakima).

Thanks to Anna for sending this one in.

Update: I am told that this is no longer operating as the morgue, so we will see what it becomes in its next afterlife. Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ocean Dental in Enid, OK

Just to be sure, I checked Google Maps. A scholar of many things, geography and political borders included, I had a hard time believing that Ocean Dental in Enid, OK was anywhere near an ocean.

My suspicions were confirmed when my advanced research showed, indisputably, that Enid, OK is, indeed, nowhere near an actual ocean.

But that is not the only lie that Ocean Dental spews at us like the water in one of those little annoying rinsing tools that the dentist uses to waterboard your teeth as if your teeth were some kind of little terrorists planning their next attack on food items and pen caps. TELL ME YOUR PLANS, BICUSPID. I KNOW YOU AND THE INCISORS ARE UP TO SOMETHING.

But I digress. The bigger lie that Ocean Dental is trying to get us to swallow is that this is just your average Spanish-speaking, medicaid-accepting dental practice in sleepy Enid, OK. No secret history here. Pay no attention to the familiar placement of the windows and very specific angle of the roof. Are you catching on here? Are you smelling the pizza that I am cooking up, metaphorically? If you aren't, put down your jug of Sunny D and scroll up real fast to look at the title of the website that you are currently reading. That's right, friends, this place used to be a Pizza Hut.

I know, I know. You are wondering what kind of crazed dentist would perform root canals in corner booths and x-rays at the buffet? Well, I assume that this particular UTBAPH has been cleared of its original furnishings, but one can never be too sure. It is entirely possible that the hostess stand is the receptionist desk and that marble-mouthed clients are rinsing out their freshly poked and prodded mouths with Pepsi served in red translucent cups. If that seems crazy to you, remind yourself how far Oklahoma is from ANYTHING THAT CAN POSSIBLY BE CONSIDERED AN OCEAN!

Thanks to our dear friend Tyler, who submitted this UTBAPH via Twitter to our clever handle @UTBAPH, which I encourage you all to follow and share with your friends to fuel my campaign to take over the world, open a shit-ton of Pizza Huts, close them, watch new establishments move in, and then document those new uses. MUHAHAHAHAHA.

UPDATE: There was some dispute on the Twitters as to whether or not this establishment was ever a Pizza Hut (besides the fact that it looks exactly like an old Pizza Hut). One commenter, a 34 year resident of Enid, OK, claimed to have never remembered it being a Pizza Hut, but another commenter came through with the closest thing there is to definitive proof on the internet; a claim that he worked at this exact Pizza Hut in 1983. Not that  I ever doubted it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cafe Silvestre in Salt Lake City, UT

If you look carefully at the sign for the Cafe Silvestre, you will notice that they feature "Homemade Mexican Food." I, for one, have always taken exception to the phrase "homemade" in reference to a restaurant. "Homemade" should mean that it was made in a home; a home being a place of residence, where people live, bathe, sleep, watch TV, and, when no one is looking, pick their noses.

So seeing this claim plastered so proudly on the giant sign has me wondering, amongst many other things, what in the world is going on at the Cafe Silvestre?

Regardless, it is nice to see the great state of Utah finally making an appearance on the blog, no thanks to you bums. I found this one myself by doing a Google Maps satellite view scan of the country (zoomed out to the state level -- I'm that good).

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Zia's Caffe in Kaneohe, HI

When your backdrop is a volcano and you are on an island one rogue wave away from being Atlantis, it is hard to say if you will even be alive tomorrow, so why worry about petty details like whether or not your friendly neighborhood cafe is hiding a dirty secret past.

But hey, this alleged UTBAPH has an upstairs. Pizza Huts didn't have an upstairs. 

Get it together, man! Don't let this facade fool you. You are smarter than that. Or, at least, your mom tells everyone you are.

Despite the extra fancy paint job by David, the submitter, to make that look like real brick on the second floor, the "upstairs" is faker than my interest in whatever people are talking about at parties other than old Pizza Huts.

I am not saying that this isn't a nice place -- it may well be. Just make sure you know what you are getting into with this one. Who knows what other secrets they are hiding. *coughdeadbodiesinthefreezercough*

Jake's Wayback Burgers in Monroe, NY

When you are in Monroe, NY, your options are limited in the food department, as well as the "finding something to do" department. When the Pizza Hut in Monroe closed a while back, it sat empty for a long time; a stark reminder of what once was.But that is not the end of the story, my friend. Thanks to what I assume was some kind of mix of drugs and unwarranted optimism, somebody decided to give the old Pizza Hut location another go, this time as a burger place called Jake's Wayback Burgers. There was definitely some effort put into masking this location, but I assume that most of the effort went into displacing the junkies who had, undoubtedly, turned this place into some sort of hobo storage facility during the long lull between legitimate business ventures. 

I have never been to a Jake's Wayback Burgers, mostly because I don't (and never will) trust people named Jake who aren't dogs. And, also, partially, because I have no idea what makes a burger a "wayback" burger, but I assume that expired ground beef is somehow involved. And then there is just the simple fact that there aren't any Jake's Wayback Burgers near where I live. OK, maybe that last one is the biggest reason. Although guys named Jake that aren't dogs are still on my watch list.Extra thanks to a guy named Charles who is not a dog (or, possibly, is a dog with excellent email communication and photo-taking capabilities) for sending this one in.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tampa Luv Chicken & Waffles in Tampa, FL

Before you try to scrounge together enough taxi fare to get down to Tampa to check out Tampa Luv, I should warn you that this place has gone the way of the Dodo. Sad, too, because the reviews were pretty good, despite the odd name.

Sent to us by Wendy, this UTBAPH is rocking some serious trapezoids. Looks like the roof hump may have been lanced off at some point. Hopefully some alert reader can help us track down what it becomes next.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Valley National Bank in West Orange, NJ

Oh, Valley National Bank. You sneaky little son of a Pizza Hut. You think you can plant some trees and make us all forget about your past? 

While there aren't many banks posted on this blog, I am often sent a link to an old Onion photo that pre-dates this blog by many years.

I am not even quite sure where the bank featured in the Onion photo is located (although, if it still exists, I would love to add it to the blog), but I know that the good people of East Orange can sympathize with it. But really, a bank in an old Pizza Hut is nothing to be ashamed of. It is probably a lateral move, if anything.

So stand proud, Valley National Bank. You have nothing to be embarrassed about. Besides maybe the fact that you live in New Jersey.

Submitted by Steve, who probably also lives in New Jersey.

The Beagle Brothers in Pittsburgh, PA Used to Be a Pizza Hut

What kind of blog doesn't have a theme song? A shitty one, that's what kind. Well, this ain't no shitty blog no more, because our good friends (and half decent people) the Beagle Brothers, based right here out of lovely Pittsburgh, PA (where UTBAPH is headquartered) have gone ahead and recorded a masterpiece that I would liken to Mr. Holland's Opus if Mr. Holland was completely awesome instead of being a big dumb boring sack of dust who hated his deaf son and his opus was an awesome song about a blog that went viral when the users of the internet apparently ran out of real things to look at online (90s movie references and run-on sentences are limited from this point forward in this post, I assure you).

So here, without much further ado, is the first of two versions. Note the cowbell.

And then, my personal favorite, featuring the Ladies Man, is the alternate version:

Since, apparently, the readers of UTBAPH know what to do to take things viral, I assume that these will both have (deservedly) a few million hits by tomorrow morning. And go check out the Beagle Brothers on Facebook and Twitter.

And, despite the post title, I should explain that the Beagle Brothers did not, in fact, used to be a Pizza Hut.

I think they were a Shoney's all-you-can-eat buffet.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

99% Invisible

If you don't already listen to the 99% Invisible podcast, then prepare to spend the next month or so catching up on old episodes (as I did towards the end of last year). Ostensibly, it is a podcast about design and architecture, but, in practice, it is a podcast about everything. The producers of 99% Invisible could argue, and rightly so, that it is a podcast about everything because design plays a role in almost every aspect of our lives, but that is only part of it. What I think is that, in an attempt to create a podcast about the interesting elements of design, they came to realize that there is almost nothing around us that isn't interesting if you dig in closely enough to the details.

As an example, a certain blog that I happen to curate (and that you, in turn, happen to consume) was the topic of the latest installment of 99% Invisible. Now, I put this blog, in terms of educational value/cultural awareness/architectural enlightenment somewhere in between a dick joke and a fart joke. It is, lest we kid ourselves, not much more than photos of old Pizza Huts.

But the good people at 99% Invisible (namely, Sam Greenspan and Roman Mars), who put this episode together, bothered themselves with the details of former Pizza Huts in a way that yours truly had not considered to do. The history of the buildings, the socio-economic reasons for their rise and fall, the official stance of Pizza Hut's corporate offices on this phenomenon -- these are all the kinds of things that they found interesting about this topic. And they were kind enough to share their findings -- with those of us who are still laughing over the word "fart" -- for our own enlightenment.

I had the pleasure of working with local producer Margaret Krauss on this piece, who, herself, is all kinds of interesting and talented.

Please check out episode 103 of 99% Invisible. Give Sam and Roman a follow on Twitter, and Like their page on Facebook. Maybe even buy a "Read the Plaque" shirt from their site (you will need to listen to a few episodes to get that reference).

Then, after you done got your learn on, come back here and laugh at silly pictures of abandoned buildings.

And if you came to this site via 99% Invisible, welcome.

Yours in childish humor being turned into something educational by much smarter people,


Monday, February 24, 2014

Dragon China in Moraine, OH

Submitted by Danny, Dragon China in Moraine, Ohio is a great UTBAPH. First of all, Chinese restaurants love making it very clear exactly what they are, using a small, repeating set of words in their names (dragon, king, jade, garden, buffet, dynasty, rice, wok, super, China). Basically, pick two random words from that list, buy an old Pizza Hut, and you have everything it takes to open your own Chinese restaurant.Just to illustrate my point, here is a list of a few random combinations of the words above:
  • Dragon Buffet
  • Super China
  • Rice Garden
  • King Dragon
  • Jade Garden
  • Dynasty Buffet
  • Rice Wok
If some of those names look familiar to you, it is because I just named 75% of all of the Chinese restaurants in North America (the other 25% are P.F. Changs).The second thing that makes this particular UTBAPH so great is that they kept that original roof. That shiny, metallic-looking original roof is really going extinct these days, and it is good to come across a restauranteur who has too much of a sense of history (and/or is too lazy) to replace the roof.And then, thirdly, I love how China has one font. You know exactly which font I mean. It is as if the whole of China had a meeting one day and just decided, "This is our font. We will use it on soy sauce packets, chopsticks, restaurant signage, menus, and, yes, even video games from now on."

So next time you are in Moraine, Ohio, or, hell, even in Dayton proper, do yourself a favor and get down to the Super China Double Dragon Garden Rice Wok Dynasty Buffet. Or whatever the hell it was called.

Vacant UTBAPH in Sarasota, FL

Quick, get Jerry Filipowski on the phone. I have an UTBAPH to buy. I did some searching around the commercial real estate sites and it doesn't look like this UTBAPH is currently for sale, so maybe it will find a new life and make its way back onto the site with a glorious update. But, for now, this sad specimen sits empty, reminding us of what once was. I can almost picture this thing all cleaned up and turned into the Used to Be a Pizza Hut headquarters. Not exactly sure if Mrs. UTBAPH would go for that.But, hey, better to ask forgiveness than permission, right? Thanks to Greg for submitting this one and, potentially, breaking up my marriage. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

La Parrilla Rotisserie & Grill in Margate, FL

First off, thanks to Napa Auto Parts for sponsoring this post inadvertently. Yes, we see you, Napa, and we are all really impressed by those dorky little trucks you guys drive around with hats on them. 
I am more of a Pep Boys kind of guy myself, but I mean, hey, hats on trucks. You guys obviously know a thing or two about car parts. That is a part I didn't even know existed.
But I digress. La Parilla Rotisserie & Grill in Margate, FL has the best of both worlds: A rotisserie, for that slow cooked goodness, and a grill, for when you don't feel like waiting 8 and a half hours for some chicken.
Not to be all over the place with this post, but I have to stop my normal banter here and ask you, the reader, a very serious question. Don't make direct eye contact, but see that guy against the building, just beyond the Napa sign? Is that Tubbs?
Yeah, I thought so too. Don't blow his cover. I think he is on a stakeout of some kind. Anyway, this place used to be a Pizza Hut. Sorry I never got around to discussing that more, but I feel like maybe you had already deduced that given your ability to put context clues together.