My fiance and I went on a random road trip through the south western part of Michigan. We had a few days and this is something we enjoy doing. Just get a car and drive. It is truly amazing the place and things you will see and find. This trip we did see a lot of open fields as it is mostly farm country. In our driving though there was thing we found that absolutely brought my childhood nostalgia back. That was the only Hot N’ Now that is still in existence.
If you are unfamiliar with Hot N’ Now, It was a fast food chain started in Michigan in 1984. At its peak, the restaurant had over 150 locations in 15 different states. In the early 1990s it was sold to PepsiCo which then placed the operations under that of Taco Bell. A lot of these changes started to frustrate existing franchise owners and that started to becoming then undoing of this fast food chain. By 2004 almost all of the remaining locations had closed except for one in Sturgis, MI and one in Bay City, MI. On September 5th, 2016 the location in Bay City had caught fire and burned down. It was rebuilt but not as a Hot N’ Now, instead as a different type of restaurant. That left the only one still around in Sturgis, MI.
As a kid, I use to love going here to eat. I don’t remember the food being spectacular or anything but it was just one of those places that as a kid, it stuck with you. I don’t know if it was the style of the building or the always hot hamburgers but something about this restaurant stuck with me. It would get brought up from time to time as adults on if we remembered eating at Hot N’ Now. We had a few of the empty buildings still by us so every once in a while you would drive me and remember those hot hamburgers and fresh fries. I had just assumed they were all closed and it was just another company lost in the world of bankruptcy or something else.
That did all change though as we were driving and I saw it. I could see the sign from the road and just assumed it was another vacant location that still had the signage. As I got closer though I could see lights and cars in the parking lot. I started to have this rush of childhood memories as my fiance looked at me like I was crazy. As we approached it I could see that it was open and I knew we were eating there.
We pull up and the menu looked just as a I remember. A piece of 1990s art work. Colors and styles that reminded me of the time I grew up. I always remembered eating just regular burgers and fries so that is what we got. It was 2 cheeseburgers, a fry and drink for only $4. It was a great deal. We placed our order, got our food and pulled over in the parking lot to enjoy.
Now the food is nothing special at all. It just taste like a basic hamburger and fry. But there was something special about remembering this place from being a kid. As a kid I didn’t care it was just a burger and fries. As a kid I remember the whole place. So for me this wasn’t about the food, it was about reliving a childhood memory.
Finding this place is definitely something that makes these little road trips worth it. I never would have guessed one of these was still around or we would randomly find it, but we did. You never know what is really out there until you go out and find it.