Big Boy Restaurant Franchise Names

Invader

Silver Member
#1
Named Big Boy Franchisees are listed below with territories, time span, founders and additional notes, as known:
Abdow's (Western Massachusetts, Connecticut, 1959–1994, founded by George and Ron Abdow and sister Phyllis LaVallee)[14] Abdow's opened as a Hi-Boy franchisee in 1959 and changed the corporate name to Abdow's Big Boy in 1965.[15] Other reports say Abdow's was a Big Boy franchise beginning 1959. Abdow's left Big Boy in 1994 over menu conflicts with Elias Brothers.[16] Now defunct, many converted to Elixi Corp's Bickfords Family Restaurants or remain vacant.
Azar's (Northern Indiana, Colorado, 1954+,[17] founded by George and Alex Azar) One Azar's Big Boy remains in operation in Ft. Wayne, IN. Alex Azar became an original member of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
Becker's (Buffalo & Rochester, NY area before TJ's, 1956-?, founded by Abe Becker) Shoney's opened a restaurant in Rochester in the mid 50s which may have became Becker's Big Boy.[18] Trying to expand too quickly created a financial crisis and the end of the franchise.[19]
Bob's (California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Indiana and Pennsylvania turnpike and airport locations operated in several states by the Marriott Corp., 1936+, founded by Robert C. "Bob" Wian) The original Big Boy chain, which in Wian's time was confined to Southern California, Arizona and Nevada. Because Marriott developed and acquired Big Boy restaurants elsewhere, principally the northeastern U.S., "Bob's" developed a more diverse territory and identity. Presently, "Bob's" is again used only in Southern California, and no others under the domain of Big Boy Restaurants International are permitted to use franchise names for public identity. Wian became the original chairman of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
Bud's (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, 1966-?)
Eat'n Park (metro Pittsburgh, 1949–1975, founded by Larry Hatch & William Peters) Hatch and Peters were supervisors at Isaly's in Pittsburgh.[20] On Isaly's business in Cincinnati, Hatch saw the success of the Frisch's Big Boy Drive-In prompting contact with founder Bob Wian, who needed national exposure to gain national trademark protection.[21] Eat'n Park soon became the second Big Boy franchisee. When the 25 year franchise agreement expired Eat'n Park dropped Big Boy, attributed to the loss of drive-in popularity.[22]
Elby's (Northern West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, 1956–1984, 1988–2000, founded by George, Ellis and Michael Boury) Named after ELlis BourY. Originally acquired the Big Boy rights to northern West Virginia through Shoney's.[18] In 1966 Elby's expanded Big Boy into bordering Ohio counties, licensed through Frisch's, and into Pennsylvania. A long running trademark battle with Frisch's over Ohio operations caused Elby's to drop Big Boy affiliation in Ohio in 1971, and for all Elby's units in 1984 when Shoney's—franchisor for Elby's West Virginia stores—broke affiliation.[23] Opened units in Maryland and Virginia after leaving Big Boy. Elby's was sold to Elias Brothers in 1988 becoming Big Boy again. Although officially stripped of the Elby's name, identity was so strong that the Elby's name continued in print advertisements.[11][24] The last remaining Elby's closed in 2000 in response to the Elias Brothers financial crisis.
Elias Brothers (Michigan, Northeastern Ohio, Ontario, Canada, 1952–2000, founded by Fred, John and Louis Elias) In 1938 the brothers opened Fred's Chili Bowl in Detroit and later the Dixie Drive-In in Hazel Park, which would become the first Elias Brothers Big Boy. Considered the "first official franchisee" because they were the first to formally apply to Bob Wian.[25] Worked with Wian, Schoenbaum and Manfred Bernhard to create the iconic 1956 Big Boy character design and launch the comic book. Owned the Big Boy parent from 1987 through 2000. Many units continue operations but none use Elias Brothers name. Fred Elias became an original member of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
Franklin's (Eastern Pennsylvania, 1966-1985, founded by Marvin and Joseph Franklin) Subfranchised by and originally operated as Elby's. After dropping Big Boy affiliation, Franklin's adopted a Benjamin Franklin theme renaming the signature hamburger "Big Boy" as "Big Ben". Sold the 12 unit chain to Hershey's Foods & Friendly's Restaurants in 1985.
Frejlach's (Illinois, 1954-196?, founded by Irvin Frejlach) Added Big Boy to their established chain of ice cream shops.[26] Unlike other franchisees, the stores didn't directly use the Big Boy name; they remained Frejlach's Ice Cream Shoppes not Frejlach's Big Boy.[27] Irvin's brother Lucian "Lou" Frejlach became an original member of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
Frisch's (Ohio, Kentucky, S. Indiana, Tennessee; Florida until the early 1990s, 1948+, founded (as Big Boy) by David Frisch) The Cincinnati restaurant chain and first franchisee, began serving Big Boy hamburgers in 1946, but opened their first Big Boy Drive-In restaurant in 1948; Frisch's now operates 93 Big Boys & franchises 25 Big Boys to others. Frisch's subfranchised to Azar's and Manners, which used the Frisch's styled Big Boy, to Milton and David Bennett in 1955, who operate as Frisch's in northwest Ohio and also licensed Elby's to operate two Big Boy units in the upper Ohio Valley until 1971.[28][23]
JB's (Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Washington, California, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, New Jersey, 1961-1988, founded by Jack M. Broberg.) In 1984 JB's attempted to break from Big Boy but settled in exchange for additional territory, including central & northern California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona where it operated as Bob's Big Boy.[29] Citing the sale of Big Boy to Elias Brothers, in 1988 JB's allowed its Big Boy franchise to expire, removing 107 units from the Big Boy system. Currently 22 JB's Restaurants operate in six states.
JB's (Canada - Ontario, Alberta and Quebec, 1969-1979, founded by John Bitove, Sr.) Bitove, a well known Canadian businessman, was the franchisee for Canada generally, along with Roy Rogers Restaurants, both Marriott owned brands. JB's of Canada grew to 32 Big Boy restaurants before selling to Elias Brothers.[30]
Kebo's (Seattle & Tacoma, Washington area before Leo's, JB's and Bob's, ?-1974, founded by W. Keith Grant.) "Kebo" came from the owners, Keith, Ed and BOb. Two units were sold to JB's in 1974.
Ken's (Maryland - suburban Washington DC, 1963-?, founded by Bill Bemis) named in honor of Bill Bemis' father Ken Bemis, who founded the White Log Coffee Shop chain. "Ken's" became "Bob's" in the late 1960s.
Kip's (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, 1958–1991, founded Fred Bell, Thomas W. Holman & James Reed) Bell owned & operated Kip's of Texas, while Holman and Reed owned & operated Kip's of Oklahoma & Kansas.[31] Acquired by Frisch's in 1972. Kip's territory was transferred to Liggett/Big Boy Restaurants International in 2001. Bell became an original member of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
Lendy's (Western Virginia, 1959–1964, founded by Leonard Goldstein) Owned by Goldstein but operated as Shoney's 1955-1959. Territory conflict with Yoda's and concurrent franchise with Kentucky Fried Chicken prompted Lendy's to leave Big Boy.[32][33]
Leo's (Spokane, Washington, Montana, 1966-1971, founded by Leo A. Hansen, Jr.[34]) Acquired by and renamed JB's in 1971.
Manners (Northeastern Ohio (Cleveland TV market), 1954–1979, founded by Robert L. and Ramona Manners) franchisee through Frisch's, used the Frisch styled mascot design. Like Frisch's, Manners was already established having opened Manners Drive-In in 1939, 15 years before becoming a Big Boy franchisee.[35] Paid Frisch's $10 per month for each location. In 1968 Manners Big Boy was sold to Consolidated Foods (now known as Sara Lee Corporation). Marriott purchased the 39 units in 1974 and five years later dropped the name "Manners".[36]
Marc's (Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, 1958–1995, founded by Ben Marcus and Gene Kilberg) were owned by the Marcus Corporation. Some were sold, others were converted to Marc's Cafe & Coffee Mill and later Annie's American Cafe. Most now operate as Perkins.
McDowell's (North Dakota, 1954-1960 independently as "Big Boy Drive-Inn", 1960+ as franchise, founded by Harley McDowell) A trademark infringement suit against McDowell was filed by Wian in 1959 ultimately resulting in a franchise agreement.[10] Operates exclusively as a drive through. McDowell's name was dropped and the remaining store is now called the Bismarck Big Boy.
Mr. B's (New Hampshire, 1963-1969,[37] founded by Manfred Bernhard)[38][39]
Shoney's (Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Philadelphia, PA, 1952–1985, founded by Alex Schoenbaum), Originally called the Parkette, in 1952 it became Parkette Big Boy Shoppes. In 1954, a public contest for a new name resulted in Parkette becoming Shoney's, which was also a reference to founder Alex "Shoney" Schoenbaum. Shoney's was a charter Big Boy franchisee and by 1984 became the largest franchisee operating 392 Shoney's Big Boy units.[40] Shoney's also subfranchised to Becker's, Elby's, Yoda's and Lendy's.[18] Shoney's dropped its relationship with Big Boy in 1984 in order to expand into neighboring states where other franchisees owned the trademark.[41] Schoenbaum became an original member of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
Ted's (Rhode Island, Eastern Massachusetts) Massachusetts was divided between Ted's Big Boy in the east and Abdow's Big Boy in the west, corresponding to the division of Rhode Island and Connecticut between the two franchises.
TJ's (Rochester & Syracuse, NY, founded by Anthony T. Kolinski, John Gazda & John Giamartino, 1972-?)[42] The four stores were purchased by Big Boy (Elias Brothers). The two Rochester stores were closed in 1992, and one Syracuse store was sold to a local investor.
Tops (Illinois, 1956-1993)
Tote's (St. Louis area before Shoney's, founded by Edward R. Todtenbier)
Vip's (New Mexico, Texas, 1962–1972. Founded by Daniel T. Hogan & James O'Conner[43]) Vip's refers to two distinct restaurant chains. The Big Boy franchisee relevant here, Vip's Big Boy of New Mexico was acquired by JB's Big Boy in 1972.[44] The other, Vip's Restaurants of Salem, Oregon was not a Big Boy franchisee but sold units to JB's Big Boy, which operated them as Bob's Big Boy.[29] The non Big Boy Salem based chain had 53 locations at its peak, all sold and rebranded, including 35 to Denny's in 1982 and 16 to JB's in 1984.[45]
Yoda's (Western Virginia, founded by Jack Young & Bill Schroeder) Young was Leonard Goldstein's (Lendy's) brother-in-law. Merged with Lendy's.[33]
There were various franchisees and subfranchisees who operated under another franchisee's name or simply as Big Boy.


A Big Boy Restaurant in Chōfu, Tokyo, Japan.
Big Boy of Florida[46] (Exclusive rights to the Central Florida territory) Now defunct.
Mady's Big Boy of Windsor, Ontario was not a franchisee, though sometimes identified as one and using a similar looking mascot.[47] In 1965 Bob Wian sued Mady for trademark infringement but failed because (his) Big Boy was judged not widely known in Canada. The case is considered important in Canadian and international trademark law. In 1973 Elias Brothers bought Mady's and established an Elias Big Boy on Mady's original site.[48] John Bitove, Sr. owned the rights to Big Boy for the remainder of Canada, which he sold to Elias Brothers in 1979.[30]
 
#12
I grew up with Frisch's in Cincinnati, and had Bob's in Cadillac, MI this summer. The disappointment was that Bob's uses Thousand Island for their Big Boy sauce where Frisch's uses Tartar sauce, which is much better IMHO. Now I have a craving.
 

scraven68

Silver Member
#13
I grew up with Frisch's in Cincinnati, and had Bob's in Cadillac, MI this summer. The disappointment was that Bob's uses Thousand Island for their Big Boy sauce where Frisch's uses Tartar sauce, which is much better IMHO. Now I have a craving.
YES!! You took the words right outta my mouth. The tartar sauce was the STAR of Frisch's.

Krogers down here carried it briefly, but don't anymore. Guess Texans weren't impressed or not enough of us transplants warranted them carrying it down here.

My in laws send us 4 jars every now and then down from back home.

I love that stuff on EVERYTHING! LOL.

I think you can still order it online and have it shipped. But it is probably around $4 a jar plus the shipping, But IMHO it is worth it.

Your post reminded me to hit them up to send us some more down!

http://www.frischs.com/about_tartar.html
 

Green225

Platinum Member
#14
Growing up, we used to frequent the Kip's at Northwest Highway and Hillcrest. Once a month after Sunday mass, my father would take the whole family there for a late breakfast/early lunch - usually a burger for me, my brother, and sister and pancakes for my Mom and Dad. It was one of those family traditions that slowly faded away as we all grew older and moved away from home.

Kip's eventually became EZ Burger sometime in the '80s. EZ Burger has since gone out of business and that building was demolished in 2005. Not really sure what's on that corner now.



 
#16
Growing up, we used to frequent the Kip's at Northwest Highway and Hillcrest. Once a month after Sunday mass, my father would take the whole family there for a late breakfast/early lunch - usually a burger for me, my brother, and sister and pancakes for my Mom and Dad. It was one of those family traditions that slowly faded away as we all grew older and moved away from home.

Kip's eventually became EZ Burger sometime in the '80s. EZ Burger has since gone out of business and that building was demolished in 2005. Not really sure what's on that corner now.



We used to go to that one too when we visited Dallas in the 60s and when I was at SMU in the 70s. Loved the sauce on their burgers. Didn't they also have some kind of special seasoning powder -- kind of like seasoning salt?
 
#18
I grew up about a mile from the original Bob's Pantry/Big Boy in Glendale, CA. Was a bummer when they demolished it for a strip mall. The one in Toluca Lake (Burbank) was a regular stop in my teens and early 20's. Fantastic classic diner atmosphere. I miss Bob's.