Robin Shindler of Grove City, his daughter, Jenny Shindler, of Victorian Village, and his son, Matt Shindler, of northwest Columbus, all had the same reason for being first in line for the Sept. 6 official opening of Ritzy's restaurant in Clintonville.

"Wonderful family memories," said the 74-year-old father.

Robin Shindler had agreed to keep away from the once-iconic eatery "only as long as that door's still locked," he said, nodding at the side entrance to the restaurant that the chain's founder, Graydon Webb, has revived with the help of his sons, Bryan Webb and Corey Webb, and their friend, Drew Devilbiss.

After the door opened, obviously, all bets were off.

"It's our family's memories," Jenny Shindler said. "We were excited to hear they're coming back."

The regional chain's outlets once were ubiquitous in central Ohio, with 100 locations around the country. Founded in 1980, the restaurant's last local store closed in 1991.

"My fondest memory was being taken after football games to the one in Grove City," Matt Shindler said.

Robin Shindler didn't have to look at the menu to know what he wanted: "Hamburger, hot dog, fries and the ice cream," he said.

Though they were first in line for the 10:30 a.m. official relaunching of the restaurant, the Shindlers were far from the only ones.

About two dozen people were on hand for the opening, ultimately delayed for nearly a year. The restaurant's return was announced in May 2017, but the installation of a new traffic signal at High Street and Garden Road, as well as other complications, took their toll.

"We've been waiting for this ever since they started to build," said Alice Siddall, who lives not far from the former A&W Restaurant -- and more recently, a used-car lot -- at 4615 N. High St. "I used to go for lunch (to an earlier version) all the time.

"We're going to try the hamburgers and the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches."

Wynn Brown, who grew up close to what was then called G.D. Ritzy's in Clintonville, was toward the back of the line Sept. 6 with his son, Lucas, in a stroller.

"I used to get the hot dog because it had a good snap, and the shoestring fries and the only mint ice cream I'd ever eat," Brown said.

"We used to turn in our report cards to get ice cream for A's," Lindsey Gartz recalled.

With his sons handling grill duties Sept. 6, Graydon Webb hopped behind the ice-cream counter as the crowd surged inside. He had to assure a woman in line that, indeed, chocolate chip eventually would return to the lineup of flavors.

Ritzy's is open from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1