Bob’s Big Boy, An American Icon

Unwrapping the Big Boy Burger

Picture this: the year is 1936. Bob Wian, after parting with his cherished DeSoto Roadster, takes a leap of faith and invests in a small hamburger stand in Glendale, California, christening it “Bob’s Pantry”. Can you smell the sizzling patties? Can you hear the hustle and bustle of this small joint? Fast forward six months, and Bob has just introduced the world to the very first double-decker hamburger – the Big Boy Burger. That, my friends, was the start of a gastronomic revolution.

The Birth of the Mascot

As the Big Boy Burger caught on, Bob decided to add a dollop of charm to his venture. Inspired by a six-year-old regular, Richard, known for his plump figure and love for the double-decker creation, Bob introduced the world to the Big Boy mascot. This adorable character, sketched by Benny Washam, a Warner Bros. artist, on a napkin, became the face of the franchise, its every evolution a testament to Bob’s success.

Big Boy Expands its Family

Post World War II, Dave Frisch, a businessman from Cincinnati, struck a deal with Bob to use the Big Boy name and sell the iconic burger. This brought Big Boy to a wider audience, with restaurants popping up across Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida. The Elias brothers from Hazel Park, Michigan, were the next to be granted franchise rights, spreading Big Boys further across the Midwest.This expanding family of franchises kept Bob’s vision alive, serving quality food at reasonable prices in a welcoming ambiance, staying true to Bob’s initial motto.

The Beatles and the Comic Book Series

The Beatles, during the height of Beatlemania in 1965, stopped by Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank, California. Their visit was the talk of the town, the corner booth they occupied, now a highly requested spot. Additionally, the wholesome stories of Big Boy, his friend Dolly, and his dog Nugget featured in a comic book series, written by none other than Stan Lee, were distributed to children visiting the restaurant, creating a delightful experience for families.

Bob’s Big Boy Today

Over the decades, the Big Boy franchise has seen its ups and downs, with the Marriott Corporation buying and selling the trademark, restructuring, and location changes. Yet, Bob’s Big Boy has weathered the storm. The Burbank location remains a beloved landmark, and its architectural style and history make it a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. It’s a place where you can step back in time and experience the charm of the 1930s, the taste of the iconic Big Boy Burger just as Bob had intended it to be.

As you take this trip down memory lane, we invite you to watch the video below, a visual treat that tells the story of Bob’s Big Boy. Because the past, encapsulated in the Big Boy Burger, is a delicious bite of history worth savouring. So, don’t forget to hit the ‘like’ button and share this nostalgia-filled journey with others.

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Bob\'s Big Boy, An American Icon