For the basic fish batter:
The simplicity of imitating the original Arthur Treacher Fish is to whip together the boxed pancake mix (used dry from the box) with the club soda, till the batter becomes the consistency of buttermilk. You may have to add a little more club soda to achieve this consistency. (Perhaps a 1/2 cup more will do!) Set it aside.
Cut 2 to 3 pound fish fillets each in half, making a triangle shape of each half. Moisten each in a bit of water. Shake off excess water and coat lightly in plain flour. Let pieces dry 3 or 4 minutes on waxed paper, without touching each other. The floured coating acts as an adhesive, so that when you dip them each into the wet batter, the coating will not break apart nor fall off during frying.
With tip of small sharp knife, pierce 1 floured piece of fish at a time and dip to coat evenly but lightly in prepared fish batter. Drop at once into 3-inch depth of hot oil (385-400 degrees F) and fry only a few minutes each side, turning only once to brown each side. Do NOT use tongs to remove fish from hot oil, or coating will break and fall apart. Spear pieces 1 at a time with tip of sharp knife &place on cookie sheet (ungreased) and keep pieces warm in 300 degrees F oven till all pieces have been fried.
The CHIPS are imitated by cutting frozen "cottage Fries" each in half to a crescent shape and fried in the same hot oil, after frying the fish, just as you would frozen French fries. OR prepare your own fries.
Source: Gloria Pitzer's Secret Fast Food Recipes 1976.
The world's first convenience food was fish and chips. Malin's of Bow, an enterprising restaurant in London, England began wrapping fried whitefish filets in newspaper for customers to take with them. That was in 1865. Over one hundred years later, Arthur Treacher's Inc. purchased Malin's of Bow and opened the first Arthur Treacher's restaurant. The location was Columbus, Ohio and the year was 1969.
The chain was named for Arthur Treacher after an English character actor who was known as "the perfect butler" for his performances as Jeeves the butler in several Shirley Temple films. He served as a spokesman for the restaurant chain in its early years, helping to underscore the British character of its food.
By the early 1980's, British fish and chips was well entrenched in America and Arthur Treacher's had grown to over 950 locations throughout the United States. During these years of high growth, customers would line up to eat in the restaurants with about 50% of the business as take out.
For more information, check out ArthurTreachers.com It has a variety of information on locations, menu items, and franchising information.