When the original Applebees opened in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1980, it had a much longer name: T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs, to be exact.
According to Mental Floss, the original owners of the restaurant wanted to name it Appleby’s, but that particular spelling had been registered by someone else. So, they traded the “y” for two “e”s and added the “T.J.” in front — a nod to one of the founders, T.J. Palmer.
The name was altered to the (much simpler) Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill in 1986, and its popularity soon soared. Nowadays, we just call it Applebees.