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A blast from our past – Bob’s Big Boy

September 5, 2013

For those that haven’t heard of it, Bob’s Big Boy “ a restaurant chain that Bob Wian founded in Southern California in 1936, originally named Bob’s Pantry. It is now part of Big Boy Restaurants International, the current primary trademark owner and franchisor of the Big Boy system.” – Wikipedia

We used to have a franchised version of these in Massachusetts and Connecticut, known as Abdow’s. They have been gone for years, and we have missed them. My wife and I used to enjoy them when we were growing up. So on our recent trip to California, we were delighted to find that the oldest remaining Big Boy was in Burbank, just down the road from our tour of the Warner Brothers Studio. It was a great flashback for us and we really enjoyed it. It is a nice piece of Americana.

“This Bob’s restaurant was built in 1949 by local residents Scott MacDonald and Ward Albert, and is the oldest remaining BOB’S BIG BOY in America. It was designed by renowned architect Wayne McAllister, incorporating the 1940’s transitional design of streamline modern style while anticiapting (sic) the free-form 50’s coffee shop architecture. The towering BOB’s sign is an integral part of the building design and its most prominent feature. The restaurant was honored in 1993, receiving the designation as a “STATE POINT OF HISTORICAL INTEREST” by the state of California. The current owner (the MacDonald Family) acquired control of the restaurant in 1993 and began to restore it to its past glory.” –

This was a really quick snap I took after eating. I added the nostalgic look using Topaz ReStyle and LR.


From → Photography

  1. Julie permalink

    I’m nostalgic about Bob’s Big Boy too, having grown up in Southern California. In fact, I miss the old 60s-era coffee shops. Lots of good memories there. Did the waitresses in this one wear the old style uniforms and call you “honey”? 😉


  2. I like the nostalgic look.


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