YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio, Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- In 1964, the Beatles, boxing and beef helped shape the culture of America. The "Fab Four" invaded the United States. Cassius Clay won the world heavyweight championship. And, the first Arby's restaurant opened its doors in Boardman, Ohio. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19990823/CLMFNS1-a http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19990823/CLMFNS1-b ) Decades later, fast food aficionados would voice their "beef" with hamburger chains as they searched for protein in a sea of condiments and carbohydrates. But in 1964, consumers discovered that the beef was in Boardman, and that they could find it at Arby's. "Arby's instantly beefed up the food service industry," Bob Rogers, RTM/Arby's president, said. "Now with a worldwide presence of more than 3,000 restaurants, Arby's continues to provide customers with high-quality food and industry innovations." Sensing the fast food industry's potential, brothers Forrest and Leroy Raffel decided to develop a franchise operation based on food other than hamburgers. A late-night excursion to a small Boston sandwich shop provided the inspiration for the Raffels, who joined a determined huddle of patrons to await the main attraction -- roast beef sandwiches. The idea was born. The only kink in development came with choosing the name. The partners wanted to use "Big Tex," but were unsuccessful in negotiating with the Akron businessman already using that name. "We came up with Arby's, which stands for R.B., the initials of Raffel Brothers," Forrest Raffel said. "Although, customers might think the initials stand for roast beef." Arby's original menu was limited to 69 cent roast beef sandwiches, potato chips and Texas-sized iced tea. One year later, the first licensee opened an Arby's in Akron, Ohio. Today, more than 500 licensees operate more than 3,000 Arby's restaurants worldwide. While the roast beef sandwich remains Arby's signature, the restaurant constantly updates the menu. The latest items are SideKickers(TM), which include appetizers such as jalapeno bites, onion petals and mozzarella sticks. Things are changing on the outside, as well. New Arby's feature a revamped design, which includes a pinnacle atrium as part of the restaurant's facade. "The pinnacle restaurants symbolize the beginning of a renewed presence for Arby's. We are confident the millennium will provide a tremendous opportunity for growth," Rogers said. RTM Inc. owns approximately 700 Arby's franchise sites across the nation. The company expects to open 50 new Arby's over the next three years and remodel many of its existing Arby's to include the new atrium design and other improvements. Arby's will celebrate its anniversary with a week-long series of festivities in mid September, including the Arby's Charity Tour Golf Tournament.