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Roy Rogers' planned Long Island return halted

Roy Rogers closed its last Long Island restaurant,

Roy Rogers closed its last Long Island restaurant, in Shirley, in 2010; above, a restaurant in Burtonsville, Md., in 2017. Credit: Mark Gail

Fans of the Roy Rogers fast-food chain will have to wait a bit longer for the restaurant to return to Long Island.

An agreement struck last September with Port Washington-based Burger Brothers Restaurant Group to open up to seven Roy Rogers on Long Island and in Queens has fallen through, according to Jim Plamondon, co-president of Maryland-based Plamondon Hospitality Partners, which franchises the chain.

However, that doesn't mean the chain is abandoning hopes of bringing Roy Rogers back to Long Island.

"We’re still looking for good, qualified operators to bring the Roy Rogers brand back to Long Island," Plamondon said via a spokesman. "We think it’s a great market and it’s ripe for development."

A phone call to a Burger Brothers representative was not returned.

Roy Rogers, best known for its western theme and Double R Burger and Fixins Bar, closed its last Long Island location in Shirley in November 2010, after the chain shrunk from a high of 648 stores in 1990 to 40 in the mid-2000s. But in recent years, the chain has been more aggressive in expansion throughout the Northeast, upping that number to 48 by 2019, and Plamondon said Long Islanders have been asking about the chain's potential return.

"We continue to receive a lot of interest from 'Royalists' on Long Island who are excited to have Roy Rogers back in their communities," he said. "We’re looking forward to announcing a new agreement paving the way for such development, and hoping that it will happen soon." 

There are five Roy Rogers in New York State, all along the New York State Thruway. The closest location to Long Island is along the New Jersey Turnpike in Cranbury, New Jersey, roughly 60 miles from the Nassau-Queens border. There are also locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. 

Burger Brothers, which had originally planned to open a Roy Rogers location in Brookhaven Town on the South Shore sometime this year, owns 36 Burger Kings, three Green Turtle Sports Bar & Grilles and two Qdoba Mexican Eats in the area.

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