Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Big Boy Monument?


I was driving on Kanawha Boulevard the other day and I was surprised to see this being constructed on a vacant lot. It's a vacant lot where a bowling alley was recently demolished. Before the bowling alley, there was a Shoney's restaurant. The very first Shoney's Big Boy drive-in. Is this a monument to that restaurant? A monument to Alex Schoenbaum? I'm just guessing.

17 comments:

Anna said...

That totally reminds me of Austin Powers. :)

kenju said...

I spent many an hour sitting in my car at that restaurant!! You didn't mention it was a drive-in.

Jo Castillo said...

No Big Boys near us. I used to love their Swiss Boy sandwich. Oh my. The restaurant in Albuquerque, NM, had one of those big statues.

Rick Lee said...

Shoney's quit the Big Boy franchise years ago. I haven't seen one is a long time. I didn't bother to Google it, so I don't know if the Big Boy franchise still exists or not.

Anna said...

I think my comment just showed my age...

:)

Rick Lee said...

Yeah, I guess it does. You whippersnapper. I was trying to figure out HOW it reminds you of Austin Powers. Please tell.

Anna said...

Well, I can't remember if it is in the first or second one but Dr.Evil travels in a Big Boy space ship.

Crazy, I know...but it definitely stayed with me! And BTW, there is a Big Boy restaurant in Louisville KY where my family lives.

:) In case you are looking to go to one!

Anna said...

I know what you are doing now...

You are getting on NETFLIX so you can rent the movies and see for yourself!

Jerry Pennington said...

I got the Austin Powers reference.

Also, it is alive and well ... or at least alive, but I'm not sure how well it is. There's one in Maysville, Ky., we stop at sometimes on our way to Cincinnati.

Rick Lee said...

There used to be Elby's Big Boy in Wheeling but I guess those are gone now too.

Rick Lee said...

BTW... I thought sure that when I posted this, somebody would chime in and tell the real story about the thing. This morning I asked a friend who is on city council if he knew anything about it but he was not aware of it either. If anybody out there really knows anything, let's hear it.

Carl said...

I called my friend Eric Semrau of Structural Systems, whose company is advertised on the column. The story is that Betty Shoenbaum wanted a monument built on this site where the original Shoney's stood. Judd Hamm, a local engineer, did the drawings and Shamblin Construction constructed "Phase 1" as you see it now. It will actually be a little building displaying original artifacts from Shoney's, but for now it stands half complete. So Structural Systems' temporary ad (it will later be covered up with some sort of sheathing material) is rather permanent at this point.

Rick Lee said...

Thanks for the info Carl!

Jo Castillo said...

Anna, thanks. We will be in Bardstown in May or June and will have to go to Louisville and try out the old place. :)

schogirl said...

Seeing that my father had built the Shoney's restaurant empire on this site, I wanted to commemorate the place of it's birth. My grandfather, Emily Schoenbaum owned a bowling alley and this site and our family had recently sold the land to hospice. Before the sale I carved out this site and built this miniature rendition of the second restaurant for all the people of Charleston to remember those do-wop times. The dedication will be held October 4, 2009 at 4 p.m. Would love for you all to join us in rememberance and to share your stories. Emily Schoenbaum

schogirl said...

Oops, my grandfather was EMIL, not Emily

Rick Lee said...

Thanks for the info Emily!