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Bob's Big Boy #6
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Bob's Big Boy #6

All photographs taken by Kenneth A. Larson. All rights reserved. © 2003 - 2017.


America's oldest surviving original Bob's Big Boy restaurant still serves fans along Riverside Boulevard in the Toluca Lake area of Burbank, California. Designed by Architect Wayne McAllister* in the Streamline Moderne style, this concrete crescent was built in 1949 by local residents Scott MacDonald and Ward Albert. An addition, which doubled the size of the original building, was made in 1978 by the architectural firm of Armet, Davis & Newlove. This is the third Bob's ever built and is considered an excellent example of the transition from 1940s Moderne architectural style toward 1950s freeform "coffee shop modern" which was so popular in Los Angeles at the time.

This Bob's was popular for the international-style monolith sign and pudgy mascot beside the neon-trimmed Bob's Big Boy restaurant. In 1993, Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake has designated as a California State Point of Historical Interest. The current owner (the MacDonald Family) acquired control of the restaurant in 1993 and began to restore it. An exterior patio was added; the tower sign was rehabilitated; the dining room was remodeled; "Car Hop" service was re-introduced on Saturday and Sunday nights, and on Friday nights a classic car show fills the parking lot.

*Architect Wayne McAllister was one of the most important of the architects who created and popularized the Googie style. In addition to Bob's Big Boy, he designed the first Simon's drive-in in Los Angeles in 1935, originating a new type of circular design with a central pylon. As his work evolved characteristically of mid-century modernism, his restaurant designs became widespread in the Los Angeles area, designing of more Simons, as well as Robert's, Herbert's, McDonnell's, and Van de Kamp's. McAllister's died March 22 in Arcadia, California at age 92.

Location:
4211 W. Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505
818 843-9334

Other similar pages in this web site: Johnie's Coffee Shop Restaurant, Showboat (closed), Tail of the Pup (closed).
Sign
Photo date: 8-28-04
Sign
Photo date: 8-28-04
The towering BOB's sign is an integral part of the building design.
Car Hop Sign
Car Hop sign. Photo date: 8-28-04
Car Hop
Car Hop shelter. Photo date: 8-28-04
Bob's Big Boy
From across Riverside Drive. Photo date: 8-28-04
Bob's Big Boy
Photo date: 8-28-04
Bob's Big Boy
Plaque. Photo date: 7-19-03.
Bob's Big Boy
Mascot. Photo date: 7-19-03.
Interior
Interior. Photo date: 7-19-03.

Photo date: 1-16-05.

Photo date: 1-16-05.


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This page last updated: Saturday, 06-Jul-2013 19:50:46 EDT

Note:This is not the official site for any of the places shown in Places Earth. Places Earth is not responsible for accuracy of the information. Hours of operations, prices, exhibits, and sometimes locations are subject to change without notice.

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