Where can you find the last Wimpy burger bars in Scotland?

The former Wimpy restaurant on Princes Street in Edinburgh is now a branch of HSBC. Picture: TSPL

The former Wimpy restaurant on Princes Street in Edinburgh is now a branch of HSBC. Picture: TSPL

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They were once a fixture on many a Scottish high street, but now there are just four Wimpy burger bars left north of the Border.

For many people, Wimpy was their first introduction to American-style fast food, albeit served up with real crockery and cutlery.

Wimpy was once a familiar sight on Scotland's high streets. Picture: TSPL

Wimpy was once a familiar sight on Scotland's high streets. Picture: TSPL

The very first Wimpy Bar opened in 1954, at the Lyon’s Corner House on Coventry Street in London. It was originally a specialist fast-food section within a more traditional restaurant, but its popularity soon led to the establishment of separate Wimpy sites serving only hamburger-based meals.

READ MORE: Wimpy owner swallows Gourmet Burger Kitchen for £120m

By 1970, the chain had grown to more than 1,000 outlets in 23 countries, and innovations included the introduction of the first vegetable burger from a fast-food chain – the Spicy Beanburger – in 1985.

However, the 1970s saw the arrival of US-grown competition in the form of McDonald’s and Burger King, which first set up shop in London in 1974 and 1977 respectively.

Edinburgh's Queensferry Street once boasted a branch of the burger chain. Picture: TSPL

Edinburgh's Queensferry Street once boasted a branch of the burger chain. Picture: TSPL

Wimpy once had a presence in towns and cities the length and breadth of Scotland, including Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kirkcaldy, Paisley and Peterhead, but these days only a handful remain. Its Peterhead branch closed in 2014, after four decades of trading in the Aberdeenshire town.

The surviving outposts are in Dingwall, Fraserburgh, Kilmarnock and the M&D’s amusement park in Motherwell, next to Strathclyde Country Park.

READ MORE: Five lost Edinburgh eateries you’ll remember

In 2007, Wimpy was acquired by South African group Famous Brands, which operates the business on a franchise model.

An interior view of the Wimpy on Queensferry Street, Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

An interior view of the Wimpy on Queensferry Street, Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL

Famous Brands’ most recent annual report, for the year to the end of February 2015, shows the burger chain has 83 branches across the UK, having opened two new sites in Oxfordshire and Surrey.

“It is planned to open two further Wimpy restaurants in the forthcoming year,” Famous Brands chief executive Kevin Hedderwick wrote in the report.

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