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Bob's Big Boy


texasdago

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Anyone remember where the Bob's Big Boys used to be around town? I remember one on the corner of Westheimer and Weslayean, pretty much where Central Market now stands. I vaguely remember it being a cool Googie style building with lava rock or some kind of flagstone detailing on the walls.

Anyone know of any others? How about some pictures?

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If I remember correctly, (which is highly suspect), that big boy was owned by the Pappas'. The dot diner in front of Gulfgate I think is the same structure, minus the fat little statue. It is also a Pappas owned place. (with great yeast rolls that will destroy any Adkins diet, but I digress...)

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In the Cincinnati area Frisch's Big Boy is still a very large and popular chain.

All of the Big Boy's are regional francises, so many have a name other than "Bob."

Where I grew up there were no Big Boys at all, so my first exposure was a "Bob's Big Boy" reference in a movie.

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I used to pass the restaurant on Westheimer on the way to work in the late 90's. It was a Dot Coffee Shop too, just like the one by GulfGate, although I've heard from a couple of other people that it used to be a Big Boy in earlier years. It's too bad it had to go.

I recently stopped to take pictures of the one still in operation by Gulfgate - it's a GREAT example (outside anyway) of Googie coffee shops, even has the period landscaping intact. It has a lot of the architectural cues of the Armet & Davis coffee shops in the book Googie Redux, which is a great read on the progression of the California Coffee Shop Modern style.

If you want to see some really classic commercial Mod, take a trip out I-10 to San Antonio. As you get close to SA (milemarker 600?) there are these roadside rest stop tables built with googie-esqe flying arrow roofs piercing through brick support columns, with picnic tables & benches set on an angle and built-in brick planter boxes at the edge. :D

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I was going to paste a link to "Googie", which was the definitive guide to coffee shop modern, and I saw the new Googie Redux you mentioned. That's great there's a sequel book! :D

My other favorite remaining example of googie in Houston is a car wash that is off 45 south of 610. Near Monroe maybe, on the east side. It has tall pylons sticking up through the roof. It's not period original, but th 59 Diner on the Katy Fwy. is also nice.

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I used to go to that Kip's Big Boy as a child. I've also eaten at EZ's a few times. That sucks that they're going to tear it down.

I wonder what happened to the Big Boy statue that used to be there. I think the building may have been hit by fire at one point.

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I know there used to also be a Kip's Big Boy but can't recall if any were located in Houston or Texas...

The Houston Big Boys were all Kip's. The only one I remember well enough to know where it was is the one that was on Westheimer at Welayan. We ate there several times when I was a kid. There were others around but i don't remember where they were.

There's an antique shop on Westheimer east of Shepherd that used to have a couple of those Big Boy statues in its inventory. They may still be there -- they are frequently displayed on the front porch of the shop on weekends when the store is open and weather is nice.

I've seen a couple of Bob's Big Boys up here in Pennsylvania and Delaware over the last week, so they do still exist in some parts of the country.

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The Houston Big Boys were all Kip's. The only one I remember well enough to know where it was is the one that was on Westheimer at Welayan. We ate there several times when I was a kid. There were others around but i don't remember where they were.

There's an antique shop on Westheimer east of Shepherd that used to have a couple of those Big Boy statues in its inventory. They may still be there -- they are frequently displayed on the front porch of the shop on weekends when the store is open and weather is nice.

I've seen a couple of Bob's Big Boys up here in Pennsylvania and Delaware over the last week, so they do still exist in some parts of the country.

Does anyone know any of the history of the Dot Coffee Shop chain?

It seems they must have taken these Big Boy restaurants over quite a while back, before the period look became stale, because the 'Dot' lettering looks very at home on those buildings. Or maybe they just didn't want to spend the money remodel.

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I used to go to that Kip's Big Boy as a child. I've also eaten at EZ's a few times. That sucks that they're going to tear it down.

I wonder what happened to the Big Boy statue that used to be there. I think the building may have been hit by fire at one point.

I saw that statue at an antique shop on lower Westheimer. I believe it was for sale.

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Does anyone know any of the history of the Dot Coffee Shop chain?

It seems they must have taken these Big Boy restaurants over quite a while back, before the period look became stale, because the 'Dot' lettering looks very at home on those buildings.  Or maybe they just didn't want to spend the money remodel.

The Dot at Gulfagate was always a Dot. Great food by the way. There was a Big Boy in Pasadena, it's long gone with the others around here.

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I guess this was a replica?

Anyone remember JoJo's. They were very similar to Denny's. In fact the two locations I can think of have turned into Denny's.

I also seem to remember a Kip's Big Boy at Westhiemer between Hillcroft and Stoney Brook (now a Mexican restuarant). Can anyone verify this.

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Anyone remember JoJo's.  They were very similar to Denny's.    In fact the two locations I can think of have turned into Denny's. 

I also seem to remember a Kip's Big Boy at Westhiemer between Hillcroft and Stoney Brook (now a Mexican restuarant).  Can anyone verify this.

jo jos! my grandfather and i had breakfast there almost every sunday (the location off of 290) i mostly remember the large bubble window in front, wood paneled aquariums and the ponytailed waitress politely flirting with my grandfather by name as he read the post.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

It seems strange, but my 1969 city directory does not list any of the Kip's in SW Houston. The following addresses are close however:

Bellaire location was near Duncan Doughnuts at 5406 Bellaire Blvd.

Westheimer East location was West of Weslayan at about 3815 Westheimer Rd.

Westheimer West location is in front of the former Weingarten Grocery store at 7601 Westheimer Rd. (The covered front walkway of that center was originally glazed and air conditioned.) The Kip's building has been converted into a Mexican Food Restaurant.

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I remember the Kip's Big Boy on Bellaire. It was around in the 60s and 70s for sure. The Big Boy outside that restaurant was probably 6 feet tall, give or take. And they used to give the kids Big Boy comic books for free to read while you waited for your food. I loved that place as a kid.

There was a JoJo's on S. Braeswood just west of Hillcroft which went out of business a few years ago.

And, remember Jim's? The one on N. Braeswood & Chimney Rock turned into Champ's before it died and remained empty for a while. It then became Victor's Deli which didn't last long and now it's a Mexican Restaurant.

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It seems strange, but my 1969 city directory does not list any of the Kip's in SW Houston.  The following addresses are close however:

Bellaire location was near Duncan Doughnuts at 5406 Bellaire Blvd.

Westheimer East location was West of Weslayan at about 3815 Westheimer Rd.

Westheimer West location is in front of the former Weingarten Grocery store at 7601 Westheimer Rd.  (The covered front walkway of that center was originally glazed and air conditioned.) The Kip's building has been converted into a Mexican Food Restaurant.

Thanks for the great info, guys! I can update my site now.. I live in Dallas, and don't get to Houston very often, so you guys have been a big help..

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kipssign.jpg

Kip's locations from an undated book of their matches:

Houston:

5111 Griggs Road

5320 Bellaire Blvd. (Bellaire, TX)

Dallas:

5704 Lemmon

2600 S. Zangs Blvd.

5706 E. Mockingbird Lane

6833 W. Northwest Highway

6215 Gaston

425 E. Main (Grand Prairie, TX)

Fort Worth

6450 Camp Bowie Blvd.

1523 S. University Blvd.

Oklahoma City

122 West Main

32nd & North May Ave.

59th & So. Western

S.E. 15th & Air Depot (Coming Soon)

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  • 1 month later...
Who remembers Sambos?

Ken_Prag_12_sambos_1919_Webster.jpg

I vaguely remember Sambos. My cousin has a better memory of it than I do. I discovered an old Sambos building on the southwest corner of 290 and Mangum. I lived in the area a few years ago and would pass by it from time to time and the building appeared to me like it might have been a restuarant once. I thought maybe a Denny's but it was the shape of the sign that threw that theory off. I later discovered after seeing a picture of an old Sambos on the internet that thats what it was.

It was used as a GTE Mobilenet Store eventually Verizon Wireless. The sign is also still there. It has since closed.

The picture above is the same design as the one off 290

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There was also a Sambo's in Clear Lake, on Nasa Rd. 1, back in the 70's to early 80's. The restaurant had to change their "mascot" back in the late 70's. It was a little walking "black" chef. NAACP comes in, and next thing you know, we got a cartoon Tiger all over the billboard. ^_^^_^

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  • 1 year later...

There was a great Kips on the corner of MLK and Griggs...right across from Palm Center on one corner and Montgomery Wards on the other.

There was a SAMBO'S near 1-45 N and Airline...next to what used to be GEMCO (now a FIESTA). The building that was SAMBOS is now an EZ PAWN SHOP.

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  • 3 years later...

I remember the Kip's Big Boy on Bellaire. It was around in the 60s and 70s for sure. The Big Boy outside that restaurant was probably 6 feet tall, give or take. And they used to give the kids Big Boy comic books for free to read while you waited for your food. I loved that place as a kid.

There was a JoJo's on S. Braeswood just west of Hillcroft which went out of business a few years ago.

And, remember Jim's? The one on N. Braeswood & Chimney Rock turned into Champ's before it died and remained empty for a while. It then became Victor's Deli which didn't last long and now it's a Mexican Restaurant.

Howdy! You sound like you grew up or lived in my end of Houston. Braeswood Square was practically in my back yard. I remember Jim's then Champ's and now that's El Ranchero. I also remember the Kips Big Boy in Bellaire.

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I've always known the Dot's Coffee Shop as being original, was not a Kip's before hand, as mentioned by others, in above posts. I grew up with both of them. The bldgs look very similar.

There was also a Sambo's located on Broadway, close to the Harold Farb apartments and Hobby Airport.

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  • 3 weeks later...

there was a Sambos on Memorial down near Kirkwood and it was not a black kid it was an Indian kid (tech support not casino), but since it was dark it was taken to be a black kid by the baiters at be

the Kips Big Boy on Westheimer is the home of one of my "best" wild drunken high school stories

it was the evening of either Jan 1 1987 or possibly 86....I am almost sure it was new years day of 87 (I know it was the evening of new years day just not the year)

anyway me and several friends went there drunk as hell and hungry.....I was so drunk I was not going to eat.....we had just been there the night before new years eve after all my friends got trashed and I refrained and was the driver for them......the place was TRASHED new years eve and the bathrooms were all puked in which was furthered by two of my friends

so here we are back the next night and one of my friends was driving this time and I was DOWN AND OUT......we end up running into an old friend of mine from elementary and middle school that I had lost touch with since I had moved......we got a booth right next to the buffet and my two friends plus my other friend (that everyone already knew) that we had run into all ordered and I gave a grunt to the waiter and my friend told him I would not be eating

it was a 4 top booth and was sitting on one of the ends.....the friend we had bumped into was kind of a funny guy and I don't remember how the conversation got going (because I was wasted with my head down on the table) and my friend all the sudden is talking about all this gross stuff that could be on the buffet table like friend cows eyes ect...

I am getting SICK......so I am sitting there with my head down and listening to him and everyone laughing and I am thinking "I need to tell him to shut up or I am going to puke"......and I am also thinking "If I pick my head up and open my mouth I am going to puke"

so finally I had enough and looked up and started to feel like I was going to puke......all my friends knew I was a puker so they are suddenly looking at me.....and I grab the silverware that is wrapped in a napkin and try and bite on it to keep my mouth closed while puke is spewing out between my lips and the silverware........my friends are like "oh damn" and the two across from me jump up and the guy I had blocked in jumps up on the booth seat and steps on the table and jumps past me right as I take the silverware out of my mouth and puke all over the table

I felt a LOT better than that and went to the bathroom with a restaurant full of people staring at me and my friends dieing laughing and I puked some more and them my friend drove me home to wash up and change shirts and go out a bit more

the also gave 10 bucks to the busboy that was looking at me all crazy eyed as I walked past him walking towards my table

I love you Kips Big Boy and always will!

you had a great chicken fried steak sandwich and chicken friend chicken sandwich

I had the chicken friend chicken the night before on new years eve it was damn good wish I had one right now

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  • 3 years later...

Anyone remember where the Bob's Big Boys used to be around town? I remember one on the corner of Westheimer and Weslayean, pretty much where Central Market now stands. I vaguely remember it being a cool Googie style building with lava rock or some kind of flagstone detailing on the walls.

Anyone know of any others? How about some pictures?

 

I remember it. My parents owned or rented the Mobile gas station next to it, right on the corner of that intersection. This was around '77, '78 time period and they had a limousine company, Southwest Limousine Company. We had many meals in that Kips.

SP

 

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  • 9 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I think that that Sambo's was actually located just north of the South Loop on Wayside.

 

It changed it's name to something else after a controversy concerning the "Sambo's" name, probably in the early '80's(?).

 

It was on the same block as the Auchan (another defunct establishment).

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