Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BOB'S BIG BOY RETURNS TO LAKE AVENUE, PASADENA - WAS 77 NORTH LAKE AVENUE, NEW LOCATION 899 EAST DEL MAR AT SOUTH LAKE AVENUE

THIS IS THE BOB'S BIG BOY ON COLORADO BLVD. IN EAGLE ROCK IN THE 1950'S AND A SIMILAR DESIGN TO THE ONE IN PASADENA LOCATED AT 1616 EAST COLORADO WHERE THE PCC SHATFORD LIBRARY NOW STANDS, THE SW CORNER OF BONNIE AND COLORADO


BOB'S BIG BOY AT 77 NORTH LAKE AVENUE, IN EXISTENCE FROM LATE 196? TO 198?, NOW COCO'S RESTAURANT



THIS IS BOB'S BIG BOY RESTAURANT IN RANCH STYLE WHICH WAS OWNED MY MARRIOT AFTER THE CHAIN WAS SOLD BY THE CREATOR BOB WIAN IN 1967, AND MARRIOT CONVERTED MANY LOCATIONS LATER TO COCO'S, WHICH THIS LOCATION IS TODAY

Bob's Big Boy restaurant is coming back to Pasadena as of November 2009! This is hard to believe after so long an absence, but considering there were four locations in Pasadena and Eagle Rock, not operating necessarily all at the same time, maybe it's not suprising that Bob is coming back.
The same owner of the famous Toluca Lake landmark location just happens to own the Baja Fresh on Del Mar just east of South Lake Avenue. Baja Fresh is now closed and there is a banner hanging outside with the Big Boy saying he's coming back! For those of us old enough to have known Bob's during its heyday, this is a welcome situation, especially for Lake Avenue.
Bob's had a number of locations in Pasadena. The first was located at 1616 East Colorado Blvd., built in 1953 and designed by architect S. David Underwood. This was located on the SW corner of Bonnie and Colorado, however the property has been taken over by Pasadena City College, after being eventually surrounded by the campus, and the restaurant was about where the Shatford Library now stands. This Bob's location had become a Greek restaurant after Bob's had moved into their new abode at 77 North Lake Avenue in the late 1960's, and the 1953 Googie style building was demolished without further adieu prior to the building of the new library in the 1990's, much to the regret of the space age architectural aficionados who also love the Saga Motor Hotel across the street which still stands.
A concurrent location in the 1950's through the 1980's? was located at 3130 East Colorado, across the street from Fedco now Target on the SW corner of Northrup and Colorado. This location was demolished in 1982. Also, in the 1950's probably through the 1970's? the Bob's location at 1803 Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock, the historic photo at the top of this entry, was in operation, with a miniature golf course located on the property just west of its parking lot. The things we used to have!
Well, I hope there are a few others of you out there with fond memories of Bob's Big Boy, also in Pasadena, and hope you are excited to maybe even have Car Nights on the weekends behind the new location in the parking lot on South Lake Avenue. We can hope for some more good memories on our own "Avenue to the Sky!" It's great when it's not all past tense, as memories go!








13 comments:

  1. My first visit to a Bob's was the one in Toluca Lake, probably 20 years ago (which seems recent to me!). I'm just glad to know that businesses are coming in to South Lake, as opposed to leaving without being replaced.

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  2. I just told my dad about it and he is thrilled to have BBB back in Pasadena. We both have great memories of visits for lunch or dinner on weekends having both grown up in the neighborhood (near PCC). He grew up with Bob's in the 50s and STILL has his '38 Chevy he used to drive over there. If Car Nights do happen, I'm sure he'll be there!

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  3. I recall that the Bob's on Lake Ave. (Where Coco's now stands) had their Bob "kidnapped" by Caltech students. I remember they did get him back, and reinstalled him - this time with a very heavy chain around him.

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  4. Steve,hopefully the new location will have a Bob's statue. It's owned by the same person as the Toluca Lake Bob's, so maybe there's hope. They are working on the site right now, with a big dumpster out front.

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  5. The location near PCC was right at the SE corner of Sierra Bonita Ave and Colorado Blvd directly across from the Saga motel, although Sierra Bonita no longer exists between Colorado and Del Mar; that section of Sierra Bonita used to run right by the E building (where the entrance to the library is now) and then curved to the east, passing in front of the U buiding before joining with Bonnie Ave. When I was in high school in the 80's I used to live 3 houses down from the Saga motel, and I used to get off the bus everyday right in front of the restaurant. I remember the restaurant changed names/owners quite a few times.

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  6. The building that housed Bob's in Eagle Rock is still there at 1801 Colorado Blvd, now a Thai Restaurant (Panang I believe).

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  7. I want to agree with Sjan and say that I remember eating in the 1979 at the PCC Bob's. The one near Fedco now Target must have one first in the 1960's, because the one surrounded by PCC was there in 1977-the end of that decade perhaps. I do remember it changing hands, but it was there till nearly 1980.
    I am confident with the owner since we go to the Tuluca Lake location (Hey Lake Ave...Tuluca Lake...Any other Lake locations...Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead???) often and it is owesome!
    I look forward to this location and will be there with the family.

    Bob Sihler

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  8. I used to go to the Eagle Rock bobs in 1966 or 67 when I was quite young. It was a small location for a Bobs and there was always a wait for a table. That mini golf course next door was gorgeous. Eagle Rock lost all of it's charm when they tore that down and built that HIDEOUS mini mall that stands there now. Tommy's Burgers used to be a Derweinerscnitzel.

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  9. Yes, da90027, it is a shame what has happened to some of our old haunts. I hope they do something nice with the exterior of the new South Lake Avenue Bob's.

    And Bob, they are working away down at the South Lake location but it doesn't look like it's going to open until sometime in January.

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  10. Sjan, you are exactly right about the PCC Bob's location being on the SE corner of Sierra Bonita and Colorado; I was trying to place it in current context since South Sierra Bonita doesn't exist anymore from Colorado to Del Mar as PCC vacated it. Did you know PCC owns all the houses on the eastside of Bonnie, or almost all, and they are in the process of remodeling them in their building contractor cirriculum, so that they can demolish them without any trouble from the Pasadena Historic Preservation Commission (they are no longer historic, altered) and they can vacate Bonnie without trouble? PCC is unfortunately evil in this respect and has not acted honorably like CalTech with CalTech either adaptively reusing the historic homes on their property or paying to move them to other parts of the city. Councilman Victor Gordo lives in a moved CalTech home which sits now on North Raymond just north of the 210 Freeway.

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  11. Happy to hear it. I thought we were going to lose Bob's until they started to pop up again a few years ago. My friends and I used to "cruise Bob's" back in the mid 60's on Colorado Blvd. The drive-in Bob's in the east part of Pasadena was certainly one of the most popular in Southern California. I still go to the one In Toluca Lake and order the same thing I did back then while in high school. Tastes just as good too. Love that car show night Fridays.

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  12. Hello All,
    From my understanding, the owner of Bob's on South Lake has said the grand opening will be Monday, January 25, 2010. Hurrah!

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  13. Thai,
    I stole a couple of paragraphs from the above blog and placed them on my Facebook page in a discussion of Bob's in East Pasadena. I included your name as author and the URL to this blog. If you object to my action, please let me know and I will remove the posting. bpeterssp53@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/bpeters53

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