Bob's Big Boy former L.A. locations

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javelin
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Bob's Big Boy former L.A. locations

Post by javelin » 05 Jan 2007 01:01

I've seen the original-style Big Boy in Toluca Lake, but I haven't been able to find any "former" locations, whether converted to other uses or razed. In particular is the Downey, CA location near Studebaker Road and from what I recall, close to a Penske Honda dealership. I've tried to find it, but can't remember exactly where it was The last time I was there was as a 6 year old around '83-'84.

Was it torn down, and if so, when?

How about other locations that have been converted?

greebs
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Post by greebs » 05 Jan 2007 01:32

There is a Big Boy in Glendale on Glenoaks next to the DMV that was still operating last year i believe. Also there was one in the Eagle Rock Plaza that is now some fast food joint. And not too far down on Colorado Blvd was another Bob's and across the street from it was a Corperate or Distric office. The Bobs was torn down and a mini mall wall put in, the offices i think were also torn down, it was a pool hall in the eary 90's now it's a gym.

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TheStranger
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Post by TheStranger » 05 Jan 2007 02:45

Though not LA, I THINK the motorcycle shop along US 101 near Santa Maria (right at the point where it is not a freeway, but just a four lane divided highway for a few miles) was ex-Big Boy.

The Big Boy in Burbank has thrived for years and still is operating; my family went there for lunch in August of 2005.
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Post by runchadrun » 05 Jan 2007 09:53

I don't have a list of former locations but anything that looks like the following is a former Big Boy:

http://www.laokay.com/lathumb/laphoto/ArmetDavis16.jpg
http://www.laokay.com/lathumb/laphoto/ArmetDavis13.jpg
http://www.laokay.com/lathumb/laphoto/BobsGlen3.jpg
http://www.laokay.com/lathumb/laphoto/ArmetDavis119.jpg
with more about the architect at the main page http://www.laokay.com/ArmetDavisNewlove.htm

Many of the old Big Boys became Cocos or Carrow's. My local Cocos (Mission Hills--the first picture above) is about to replace its vintage Big Boy style sign with a new one. The post is already in the ground.

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Post by Jeff » 05 Jan 2007 12:25

Bob's still has a location in Diamond Bar right on Golden Springs and Brea Canyon, next to the 60 Freeway. This location was never converted since there is a Coco's a block West, and a Carrows a block east.

The former Bob's near me which looked like the pictures, is a Carrow's.

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Post by mgrmk » 05 Jan 2007 17:38

In Las Vegas, there are 2 brand new "Bob's Big Boys" which have opened in the last year and 3 additional locations are in the works. Oddly enough, Sizzler has also opened next to both BBB restaurants and I had not seen a new Sizzler in many many years.

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Post by rich » 05 Jan 2007 18:58

Sizzler has been aggressively franchising in Asia.

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Post by TheQuestioner » 05 Jan 2007 20:57

mgrmk wrote:In Las Vegas, there are 2 brand new "Bob's Big Boys" which have opened in the last year and 3 additional locations are in the works. Oddly enough, Sizzler has also opened next to both BBB restaurants and I had not seen a new Sizzler in many many years.
Big Boy seems to be regenerating after years of dormancy. They opened a "new" location in Torrance, CA, in what was obviously a former original Big Boy. It was a nice mix of new and familiar, since it still had the original layout, floor tiles, etc. They recently opened another one in Signal Hill, CA, near Long Beach. This one is another former Coco's, although it doesn't appear to be a former Big Boy. The word seems to be that they are slowling trying to rebuild in the West, perhaps with wider expansion later on.

I would give this rebirth better odds at success than the rebirth of Howard Johnsons that is planned. Big Boy seemed to remain strong in Michigan (and in Ohio as Frisch's BB) through its lean period, and it never completely abandoned California, it's home. HoJos has been reduced to only 3 or 4 locations, and they aren't even in their home state anymore. I also suspect people under 40 (or even under 50) have stronger memories of Big Boy than they do of HoJos. I would love to see them both return, but I don't know too many people who aren't retired who have more than a passing memory for what HoJos was about, or their 28 ice cream flavors.

Rich mentioned that Sizzler has been franchising in Asia. It seems that Asia, especially southeast asia, has become a hotbed for American chains that have either declined or died. Swensen's Ice Cream Parlors have several locations overseas, and Mister Donut, the Yin to Dunkin' Donut's Yang, still lives on in Japan and possible other Asian nations even though Dunkin' bought them out years ago. Still has the same logo and everything. There are a couple of other brands I can't recall at the moment. The fact that these concepts are thriving over there shows that they are not bad ideas. It's too bad American consumer taste is so fickle that places like HoJos', Farrell's and Swensen's have all but died out in favor of glorified versions of Baskin Robbins like Cold Stone Creamery. What if I want a meal with my high-fat ice cream and milkshakes, huh? ;)

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Daniel
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Post by Daniel » 06 Jan 2007 04:56

And Bob's here in Fresno closed last year... The building is still sitting vacant, perhaps they could just re-open it? :)

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Post by tesg » 07 Jan 2007 21:40

Elias Bros Big Boy (who owned everything except Frisch's at the time) was acquired out of bankruptcy a few years ago by Robert Ligget, who was flush full of cash after selling his radio stations. He's the one behind the revitalization of the chain, and things are supposedly going well.

Here's the Big Boy story as I know it on my web site:

http://www.99w.com/evilsam/ff/bigboy.htm

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TheStranger
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Post by TheStranger » 07 Jan 2007 23:56

Speaking of Bob's, one of their newest locations takes over ANOTHER SoCal landmark, out in Baker. (Link was provided to me by a friend at another forum)

http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic ... 544fc2109a
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rich
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Post by rich » 08 Jan 2007 00:42

Re: upthread. The US franchises in Asia usually started up in good years for these chains and managed to thrive under good local management. The Dunkin Donuts franchisee also has Swensen's and sometimes operates them under the same roof. Shakey's survived in Thailand until a few years ago. Kenny Rogers took off in China just as it was crashing in the US. Mrs. Field's came to Bangkok right around the time they peaked in the US--now they're in decline here, but expanding in Bangkok.

Some US chains have not done well. Carl's Jr had weak locatations and folded in Bangkok after about a year in the mid 90s. Wendy's came to Bangkok around the same time and left after a couple years despite good locations and high traffic, with no explanation. Domino's lasted longer, but couldn't match Pizza Hut's volume, even with delivery. Pizza Hut, itself, took over its Thai franchise and after a long battle, the former franchise owner has its own Pizza chain that's doiung well, and Pizza Hut is still in business.

Coffee shop chains have more competition than they did in the 70s or 80s, with chains like Chipotle and places a bit up the scale, but still affordable like Applebee's. And there are plenty of burger places. Big Boy may yet come back. HoJos turnpike locations were awful and that rep hurt the chain, along with an inability to change with the times. They'll need to do more than bring back good, but unimporessive ice cream and fried clams to compete successfully.

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Post by Steve Landry » 08 Jan 2007 09:54

And how about Shoney's Big Boy?

I guess there are "Big Boy" chains all around the country with varying "first" names?

Wondering what's the connection and how many different "______" Big Boy chains are there?
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Post by Groceteria » 08 Jan 2007 11:17

Steve Landry wrote:And how about Shoney's Big Boy?

I guess there are "Big Boy" chains all around the country with varying "first" names?

Wondering what's the connection and how many different "______" Big Boy chains are there?
They were all franchises stemming from the original Bob's Big Boy in Southern California. Shoney's, Frisch's and Elias Bros. were the three biggest, although Shoney's dropped the franchise (and thus, the advertising icon) sometime in the 1980s. There are still Frisch's and Elias Bros. Big Boy locations scattered about, particularly in the midwest.

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Post by rich » 08 Jan 2007 21:45

Shoney's still has a very Big Boy-like menu, although they also have a terrible reputation that goes back to their Big Boy days. These days, it's catching up with them and they have closed quite a few locations.

Other Midwestern Big Boys: Azars (in Indiana, gone by the mid-80s) and Manners in Cleveland, which became Bob's in the 70s. The different chains varied quite a bit in quality & consistency. I always thought Frisch's was better and more consistent than Manner's or Elias Bros. The early days of the franchises apparently left some big loopholes. There wasa Manners near us in Willoughby, Ohio that was notoriously awful, but had little nearby competition. It technically wasn't part of the chain anymore, but was able to continue using both the Manners and Big Boy names for years after being split off from the chain.

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