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So Cincinnati: Filet-O-Fish invented in Monfort Heights

Updated: Friday, March 7 2014, 08:45 PM EST
MONFORT HEIGHTS, Ohio (Joe Webb) -- The first Friday of Lent means fish frys at local churches and firehouses, but the big chain restaurants have also caught fish fever.

McDonald's owes its fish sandwich to a local man who saw an opportunity and wound up creating something memorable: the Filet-O-Fish.

 The McDonald's at North Bend and West Fork is responsible for the creation of the popular fish sandwich. In January 1959 Lou Groen opened the tri-state's first McDonald's franchise, and he did good business six days of the week.

During Lent, the restaurant suffered because they didn't have any fish on the menu. 87 percent of the population in Monfort Heights was Catholic at the time and they were losing business to the local fish frys and Frisch's which had a popular fish sandwich on the menu.

Groen knew he had to figure out a way to compete, so he developed the Filet-O-Fish, a fried fish patty on a steamed bun with half a slice of cheese and tartar sauce. However, McDonald's creator, Ray Kroc, didn't want fish smelling up his restaurants.

But when Kroc saw how popular the sandwich had become, he knew Groen had created something successful.

The sandwich had first been developed in 1962, but went on the menu in 1963. It was the first addition to McDonald's original menu.

Groen didn't make any extra money from his creation, but McDonald's did alright with it. They sell an estimated 300 million fish sandwiches every year, and it still has the faithful coming back 50 years later.So Cincinnati: Filet-O-Fish invented in Monfort Heights


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