Big Boy Restaurants & Statues (page 3)

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Frisch's was founded in Cincinnati in 1923. Dave Frisch arranged a franchise with Bob Wian around 1949. Frisch's used tartar sauce rather than 1,000 Island dressing on their burgers. Frisch's bought the rights to the Big Boy name in late 2000 after the Elias Bros. bankruptcy. There are now 88 company-owned Frisch's and 26 franchise units, all using the Frisch's Big Boy name. They are located in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. For more about Frisch's, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3.

Frisch's Big Boy [gone]
Columbus, OH
2001: 2009:
The Columbus Frisch's location on Route 40 was built in the late 1950s or early 1960s. The sign was original but the building had a retro remodeling at some point. The statue appeared to be modern as well. In 2009, the restaurant closed and the building was demolished. The Walgreens which replaced the restaurant adapted the sign. The statue is gone. This photo shows a Frisch's in Columbus, IN which is most likely gone or remodeled.

Frisch's Big Boy
Wilmington, OH
Frisch's Big Boy
Moraine, OH
Frisch's Big Boy
Hamilton, OH
Frisch's Big Boy
Tampa, FL
Frisch's Big Boy [gone]
Lawrenceburg, IN
Mid City Plaza
Owensboro, KY
The Frisch's Big Boy in Wilmington features a similar sign to the one in Columbus, minus the neon. This photo is from 2009. By 2012, the sign pole had been painted red. In 2019, the top and middle panels were replaced. The readerboard remains. [map]

The Frisch's Big Boy sign in Moraine is another of the same style. Apparently, the top part of these signs revolved originally. This sign pole is also red now. [map]

The Frisch's Big Boy sign in Hamilton has neon and bulbs which are still lit at night. For more, see this website. [map]

This Frisch's Big Boy opened in 1963. However, this is not the original sign. Frisch's closed its Florida locations by the 1990s. The sign in Tampa was advertising for the Pine Grove Family Restaurant in 2007. It was adapted for the Forest Hills Diner by 2011 and the building was demolished by 2014. The sign was adapted in 2015 for OK Carz. [map]

The Frisch's Big Boy in Lawrenceburg is still there but this sign is gone. It was replaced when the building was remodeled. This sign was the same style as the one in New Richmond, OH which is also gone now.

This Mid City Plaza sign appears to be an adapted Frisch's Big Boy sign. [map]

Frisch's Big Boy
Anderson, IN
This Frisch's Big Boy opened in 1959. These photos are from 2009. The sign pole has been painted red since then. This location features the original building, sign and statue. This is the oldest Frisch's statue that I know of. Note the Big Boy's striped paints, curved eyebrows, and projecting slingshot. Later statues had the slingshots flush with the statue's body to prevent them from being broken off. The American Sign Museum in Cincinnati has another old statue with the striped pants. [map]

Frisch's Big Boy
Milford, OH
This Frisch's Big Boy features an old sign like the one in Anderson shown above. These photos are from 2009. In 2008, part of the sign was painted green. This Big Boy statue has the projecting slingshot but wears checkered pants. It might have been repainted. For more, see this website. [map]

Frisch's Big Boy
Fairfax, OH
This Frisch's Big Boy sign was built in 1956. The airplanes' propellers spin. Around 2008, the sign was repainted. It was previously green and the planes were white. This is a modern Big Boy statue.

The "Mainliner" name on the sign is a reference to a passenger plane that operated out of Cincinnati's Lunken airfield. Frisch's Mainliner Drive-in opened here in 1939 and was the first drive-in in Cincinnati. Cincinnati's first Big Boy sandwich was sold here in 1946. The current building is from 1988. Around 2019, the statue was next to the entrance. For more, see this website. [map]

Frisch's Big Boy
Grove City, OH
Frisch's Big Boy
Brooksville, FL
This relatively new Frisch's Big Boy in Grove City still features the Big Boy statue. Note that this statue has no eyebrows. [map]

The Frisch's Big Boy statue in Brooksville is installed on the roof of the Coney Island Drive-Inn. It was restored and installed there around 2012. It had been located at a pawn shop in town for about 25 years before that. [map]

More Frisch's Big Boys:
Covington, KY [map]
Louisville, KY [gone]
Bethel, OH [map]
Cincinnati, OH [gone]
Cincinnati, OH: 1, 2 [gone]
Hillsboro, OH [map]
Lancaster, OH [map]

former Shap's Big Boy
Chattanooga, TN
This Shap's Big Boy was designed by Frank Gibson and built in 1959. It was both a dine-in restaurant and drive-in with carhops. It became a Shoney's Big Boy around 1962 and the sign was adapted. The building has housed Summitt Pianos since 2019. For more, see this website. [map]

Azar's Big Boy
Fort Wayne, IN
former Parkette Drive-in
Charleston, WV
Big Boy went by the name of Azar's Big Boy in Northern Indiana and Colorado. I believe this is the only Azar's left. In 1954, the first Azar's opened in Fort Wayne but I don't know if this is the same place. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Parkette Drive-in opened here in 1947. In 1954, the owner, Alex Schoenbaum, renamed the restaurant Shoney's Big Boy and began operating other locations as part of the Big Boy chain. There are conflicting reports of just when Shoney's went independent. Some say 1976, others claim it happened in the early 1980s. In 2008, this Big Boy statue was installed on top of a 14-foot-tall pedestal as a tribute to Schoenbaum and the Shoney's chain. It was built in the style of the second Parkette Drive-in building which was round. That building was demolished in 1974. The monument functions as the Shoney's Museum with photos and information in the windows of the structure's base.

Big Boy International did not approve of this monument. The company felt that it created confusion about between the two chains and demanded that the statue be removed. In 2009 with the threat of lawsuits, it seemed inevitable that the statue would be removed. Sometime after 2010, the sign on the monument was changed from Shoney's Museum to Parkette. Perhaps that was enough to satisfy Big Boy International. The statue was still there in 2018. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3. [map]

former Azar's Big Boy
Denver, CO
This Azar's Big Boy was built in 1973. In 1999, the building began housing the Rosemary Cafe. It closed in 2022 and the building will soon house the Harvey Park Grille. [map]

former Azar's Big Boy
Denver, CO
This Azar's Big Boy was built in 1970. The building now houses the New York Deli News restaurant. [map]

More Big Boy Buildings:
former Harvey's Broiler (Downey, CA)
former Azar's Big Boy (Boulder, CO) [map]
Kip's Big Boy (Dallas, TX) [gone]
Big Boy (Tijuana, MEX) [map]

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