The Home of the Original Double-Decker Burger
Much like the freckled, red-haired girl from Wendy’s and the Golden Arches of McDonald’s, Big Boy, the chubby little boy in overalls carrying a hamburger on a plate, is something of an icon. In fact, more than 70 percent of Americans know who you’re talking about by just saying “Big Boy.” This may be because it’s been around since the 1930s. It could also be because BB Burgers founder Bob Wian created the double cheeseburger.
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Big Boy History
Bob Wian sold his coveted DeSoto Roadster in 1936 to open his first hamburger stand in Glendale, California. He named it Bob’s Pantry.
Within six months, he sliced a bun into three sections and added two hamburger patties, thus creating the first double-decker cheeseburger ever. If this creation sounds familiar, it’s probably because this is what inspired Mcdonald’s to create the iconic Big Mac.
Bob’s newest creation was a huge hit, as customers just couldn’t get enough. Among these fans was Richard Woodruff, a chubby six-year-old who loved the burger. In fact, it was this child who inspired Bob to name it the Big Boy burger, as this was Richard’s nickname. The BB craze that followed prompted Bob to change the name of his stand from Bob’s Pantry to Bob’s Big Boy. He then introduced the infamous mascot.
The earliest versions of the Big Boy statue were giant, with some as tall as 16 feet but later versions would be as short as 4 feet. Most of the early depictions featured the boy holding the hamburger in his raised right arm. However, later versions would sometimes ditch the burger and show him holding his suspenders with both hands. Today, there’s an entire graveyard of Big Boy Burger statues that have been there since the chain filed for bankruptcy.
Even The Beatles Tried Big Boy Burgers
Big Boy was a staple when The Beatles were touring America to promote their album Help! Legend has it that they were interested in what it was like to eat at an authentic American diner, so they stopped at the BB location in Burbank, California. Following their visit, the booth where they sat was appropriately deemed “The Beatles Booth” and is nearly as famous as the chain itself. Big Boy restaurants once said that many Beatles fans came from around the world just to sit in the booth.
Throughout the years, Big Boy’s has had many owners. It was sold to the current owners in 2018, and though many locations have shuttered, Big Boy Restaurant Group announced in 2020 that they had entered into a partnership with Terrible Herbst to expand to Nevada. Other recent locations that have been opened include one in Wisconsin and Ohio.
Today, it’s a casual place to grab some famed burgers and Shakes. So, if you see one of the 66 American locations or two in Thailand, remember to stop and enjoy a Big Boy Burger!
To see the current Big Boy menu, click on the juicy burger below: