Frisch's Big Boy
Big Boy is a restaurant chain started in 1936 by Bob Wian in Glendale, California as Bob's Big Boy. The company is the franchiser for more than 455 Big Boy Restaurants in the United States and Canada.
The chain is best-known for its trademark chubby boy in red-and white-checked pants with suspenders holding a double-decker cheeseburger. The inspiration for Big Boy's name, as well as the model for its mascot, was Richard Woodruff (1932-1986), of Glendale, California. When he was six years old, he walked into the diner Bob's Pantry as Bob Wian was attempting to name his new hamburger. Wian said, "Hello, Big Boy" to Woodruff, and the name stuck. Warner Bros. animation artist Ben Washam sketched Richards' caricature, which became the character seen on the company logo. This character would eventually also be featured in The Adventures of Big Boy comic book, produced as a promotional giveaway for children visiting the restaurant. Since 1997, the comic book has been produced by Craig Yoe's Yoe Studio.
The Big Boy sandwich is somewhat similar to the later Big Mac: two thin beef patties are placed on a three layer sesame seed bun, with lettuce, a single slice of cheese, and a red relish added (thousand island on the Big Mac).
In addition to the Bob's Big Boy name, the "Big Boy" concept, menu, and mascot were originally franchised to a wide number of regional franchise holders. Of these, only Frisch's still maintains franchise rights to the "Big Boy" name
Frisch's Big Boy is a regional restaurant chain from the Big Boy franchise. Today there are over 90 restaurants in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Frisch's is one of the longest surviving Big Boy franchises.
In 1905, Samuel Frisch opened the Frisch Cafe in Cincinnati, Ohio. He continued to operate the cafe until his death in 1922. Three of Samuel's sons, David, Reuben and Irving, continued operating their father's cafe after his death. It was not until 1939 that expansion occurred with the opening of the Mainliner on Wooster Pike in Fairfax. Cincinnati's first year-round drive-in, it was named after a passenger airplane flying overhead into nearby Lunken Airport.
In 1932, Dave Frisch visited one of Bob Wian's Big Boy restaurants in California. Dave was impressed with the double-decker sandwich, although he decided to change the primary condiment from Thousand Island dressing to a homemade tartar sauce. This made Frisch's stand out from the rest of the Big Boy restaurants. Frisch's tartar sauce became the signature sauce in other meals, as well. In 1948, the first Frisch's Big Boy restaurant, "Big Boy One," opened on Central Parkway in downtown Cincinnati. Although the look has changed, Frisch's still operates in that location today.