Bob's Big Boy former L.A. locations

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TheStranger
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Post by TheStranger » 22 Jan 2007 01:13

Here's a former Bob's Big Boy in Vegas:

http://flickr.com/photos/54177448@N00/365452142/
Chris Sampang

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Post by TheQuestioner » 23 Jan 2007 20:58

TheStranger wrote:Here's a former Bob's Big Boy in Vegas:

http://flickr.com/photos/54177448@N00/365452142/
I love this prototype! I think it is one of the first designs used by the chain. I am not sure if Armet Davis designed all of the Big Boy prototypes used around the country but they designed several, including this one. Does anyone know if there are any Big Boy's still in business in this style of building? I don't know if this design ever made it to Michigan, where most remaining BB's are. This design seemed to be used quite a bit out west. This style seems to have been phased out by the 60's.

The only one I know of that is still open as a restaurant is in San Jose, CA, near the Winchester Mystery House. It's called Flames, and though they serve some similar menu items to Bob's, it wasn't really that tasty the time I tried it. The building is intact, though the interior has been modified somewhat.

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Post by Dean » 23 Jan 2007 21:39

The Bob's in the City of Industry CA was located on Valley Boulevard...just east of Hacienda Boulevard. The restaurant was demolished, and a YOSHINOYA Beef Bowl was built. Yet, in the same parking lot was the Southern California Bob's Maintenance office/building. Last time I DROVE BY...! It was a "gentlemen's club"!

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TheStranger
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Post by TheStranger » 23 Jan 2007 23:07

TheQuestioner wrote:
TheStranger wrote:Here's a former Bob's Big Boy in Vegas:

http://flickr.com/photos/54177448@N00/365452142/
I love this prototype! I think it is one of the first designs used by the chain. I am not sure if Armet Davis designed all of the Big Boy prototypes used around the country but they designed several, including this one. Does anyone know if there are any Big Boy's still in business in this style of building? I don't know if this design ever made it to Michigan, where most remaining BB's are. This design seemed to be used quite a bit out west. This style seems to have been phased out by the 60's.
Wasn't Michigan more of Frisch's/Elias Brothers territory? So I'm thinking this was a Bob's prototype in particular.
Chris Sampang

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Post by rich » 23 Jan 2007 23:58

Michigan was Elias Bros. Ohio was Frisch's, except for the Northeast quadrant (Manners, then Bob's).

There were stores a bit like this one in Frisch's territory and to a lesser extent Manners--rather small indoor dining, otherwise, pick-up or carhop service. They didn't have the sloping roofs--flat or modestly pitched roofs predominated. Frisch's had drive thrus by the early 70s.

Manners adopted what they called a "California" style coffee shop prototype (some still exist) in the mid-60s and those characterized the chain from then, onward. These were almost wedge shaped in the front & back---a kind of transition from the Googie style to the later Denny's style--simpler design elements than the Googie. Sambo's had a similar design, although they were smaller than Manners' prototype. Manners also had some locations with covered large carhop areas--the one on Euclid Ave near Noble Road (adjacent to their training center) was like this. This was probably the 1st "California-style" outlet. Later restaurants weren't built to include carhop service. The only Manners I can remember approximating the one in the pic was a location that kept the Manners name despite breaking off from the chain. It was in Willoughby, Ohio near two 9 hole golf courses. It was horrible, but a long-time hangout for teenagers, because there wasn't much else around.

I haven't seen an old style Frisch's since the 80s. The old Manners that lasted into the 80s, tended to be a bit bigger than these oldies and more individual in design (one is now a Starbuck's on Warrensville Center Rd in Shaker Heights). Elias Bros probably started with something simple and small, too, but I'd guess those are long gone, too. On a recent trip to Michiagn, Elias Bros semmed to have many fewer locations and a much smaller territory than it once ddi.

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Post by dth1971 » 24 Jan 2007 17:44

What about Illinois state Big Boy chains Marc's and Tops?

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Post by ieguy441 » 04 Nov 2007 21:06

Growing up in Oceanside, CA, we had what was called "Allie's" that later became Coco's. Was Allie's apart of Bob's Big Boy? I remember they had a great buffet for breakfast and lunch. Sure missed it when Coco's tookover.

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&c ... &encType=1

Look's like a newer Bob's Big Boy.

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Post by Toby Radloff » 04 Nov 2007 22:31

rich wrote: I haven't seen an old style Frisch's since the 80s. The old Manners that lasted into the 80s, tended to be a bit bigger than these oldies and more individual in design (one is now a Starbuck's on Warrensville Center Rd in Shaker Heights).
The former Manners in Shaker Heights is now a Wendy's. It is an octagon-shaped building that was a bit more posh than most Manners locations, considering that the restaurant is in Shaker Heights. The Starbucks is across the street...I know a bagel shop was in there previously...earlier I think that building was a bank.

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Post by Toby Radloff » 04 Nov 2007 22:49

TheStranger wrote:I think the special sauce recipe between Bob's and Frisch's is different, judging from what I've seen on each of their sites...Frisch's also offers an Indianapolis-area delicacy, fried pork tenderloin sandwiches, in its locations (my best friend tried one of theirs and said it was pretty decent).

The Bob's Big Boy burger I tried in Burbank in 05 reminded me of a better Big Mac.

Other differences between Elias Brothers/Big Boy LLC restaurants and Frisch's include the Big Boy statues themselves...some are the black-haired Big Boy with the red checkered overalls that is the most familiar, while other Big Boy statues at Frisch's locations are a blonde-haired Big Boy with striped overalls and wearing a white cap. Manners used the blonde/striped Big Boy statues for the most part while they were in business, then when Marriott (Bob's) took over Manners in the late 1970's, the Big Boy statues were replaced with the black/red checker Big Boys. Also, Frisch's uses tartar sauce on their Big Boys (which is also a patented Frisch's recipe-they sell jars of the tartar sauce at their restaurants), while Elias/Big Boy LLC uses mayonnaise or a "traditional red sauce" (a choice on their menus). And Elias/Big Boy LLC serves Pepsi products, where they once served Coca-Cola, while Frisch's serves Coca-Cola products, where they once served Pepsi. I think at one time all Big Boys nationwide served Coca-Cola products-maybe Frisch's went the Pepsi route in the 1970's/1980's. It was only a few years ago that Elias/Big Boy LLC went to Pepsi after serving Coke for years. Lastly, on Big Boy LLC menus and their website, http://www.bigboy.com , they mention that "Big Boy LLC is not affiliated with Frisch's Restaurants, Inc.".

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Post by Toby Radloff » 04 Nov 2007 22:53

One other difference...Elias/Big Boy LLC has "Big Boy Seasoning Salt" on their tables (they also sell containers of the salt), while Frisch's has Lawry's Seasoned Salt (a brand found at any supermarket) on their tables.

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Re: Bob's Big Boy former L.A. locations

Post by Jeff » 30 Dec 2008 20:24

kind of history here, i went to Bob's Big Boy today in Torrance. It is located in a former Carrows / Bobs Big Boy (the Chula Vista design). The exterior on the front and one side has been altered and added on to, but if you go inside you can see the beams in the new seating area that were once outside! I wonder what is hidden still above the drop ceiling.

And Bob's is growing with another new store opening in the SGV!

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Re:

Post by runchadrun » 31 Dec 2008 10:56

ieguy441 wrote:Growing up in Oceanside, CA, we had what was called "Allie's" that later became Coco's. Was Allie's apart of Bob's Big Boy? I remember they had a great buffet for breakfast and lunch. Sure missed it when Coco's tookover.
Allie's was a Marriott-owned chain. When Marriott bought Big Boy they announced plans to convert all of the BBs to Allie's but changed their mind. Marriott sold off the two chains to REG, the parent of Coco's and Carrows, who then converted all of the Allie's and Big Boys to those formats.

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Re: Re:

Post by TheQuestioner » 01 Jan 2009 06:53

I'm guessing that the "Allie's" conversion scheme was some time in the 1980's, when Marriott bought out Howard Johnson. From what I have read, it seems like Marriott was fully behind the "Big Boy Concept" from 1966, when the first bought it from Bob Wian, until the early 80's. The 80's is when Marriott seemed to screw up everything, eventually leading to the demise or near-deaths of Farrell's, Gino's, Roy Rogers (many of which were former Gino's) HoJo's and Big Boy. I have occasionally heard mention of Allie's and perhaps a second concept from the same time period, but I am not sure if it's late 70's or early-mid 80's. I know that in the east, they were behind Big Boy even in the 80's, when they bought what was left of HoJo's, they were going to turn all of them into Big Boy's or sell them off. I wonder which geniuses at Marriott made these decisions. They had some really fine restaurant chains under their stewardship, and they managed to seriously wound or kill most of them by 1990.

BTW, anyone have any pictures of Allie's, Phineas, or any of the other obscure Marriott "experiments" they tried in the 70's and 80's?

runchadrun wrote:
ieguy441 wrote:Growing up in Oceanside, CA, we had what was called "Allie's" that later became Coco's. Was Allie's apart of Bob's Big Boy? I remember they had a great buffet for breakfast and lunch. Sure missed it when Coco's tookover.
Allie's was a Marriott-owned chain. When Marriott bought Big Boy they announced plans to convert all of the BBs to Allie's but changed their mind. Marriott sold off the two chains to REG, the parent of Coco's and Carrows, who then converted all of the Allie's and Big Boys to those formats.

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Re: Bob's Big Boy former L.A. locations

Post by runchadrun » 01 Jan 2009 09:43

The Allie's-to-Big Boy conversion plans were announced in 1988. I thought that was when Marriott bought the chain, but I guess I was wrong. This is a brief mention in the LA Times from 3/28/1988:
The new name for the Big Boy units being remodeled in San Diego will be "Allie's Family Restaurant," or simply "Allie's." The name is in honor of Alice S. Marriott, mother of Marriott President and Chairman J. W. Marriott Jr. and his brother, Vice Chairman Richard E. Marriott.

If the experiment is successful, Marriott has said it may drop the chubby Big Boy and convert all 214 of its Bob's Big Boy diners. If the experiment is not successful, the Marriott boys may have some explaining to do.
Another article says the first to be converted was on Sports Arena Blvd which opened June 25. The other 15 SD restaurants were expected to be converted by the end of 1988. That would explain why you saw them an Allie's in Oceanside.

And a funny footnote from 12/26/1988:
Marriott seems to have trouble keeping track of its Bob's Big Boy coffee shops. A month ago, the company's spokesman declared that all the Big Boys in San Diego had been converted into Allie's Family Restaurants. But the spokesman has since discovered that two Big Boys remain in San Diego along with three others in nearby communities. The hamburger havens with the chubby boy statues remain, the spokesman said, because, "We just haven't gotten around to doing any (remodeling) plans. . . . We actually had more stores there than I knew we had."
In December 1989 Marriott announced plans to sell off its restaurant chains, including Bob's Big Boy, Allie's, Jolly Roger, Wag's, Bickford's and Howard Johnson's.

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Re: Bob's Big Boy former L.A. locations

Post by jamcool » 02 Jan 2009 02:29

Phoenix had probably one of the only Native American-themed Bob's Big Boys - at the Northeast corner of Central and Thomas (Central Ave was the "cruiser" corridor in the 50s and 60s). It was a low slung stone building with turquoise-colored panels covered with Navajo motifs.

Out here Bob's dropped Big Boy and became JB's, with fewer locations nowadays.

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