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Owning a restaurant is considered one of the riskiest ventures around. According to most studies, 9 out of 10 restaurants fail during their first year of operation, even in a good economy. Now, with restaurateurs across the country deploying a host of strategies—from specials to prix fixe meals—to bring in customers, BusinessWeek decided to look at those American eateries that have been in business the longest. They range in age from 41 to 183 years old, and all have weathered economic downturns, location changes, fickle customers, changing tastes, and culinary trends. Each found its own way to staying power.
Flip through this slide show for a taste of the longest-running restaurants in America.