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Downey, California: Bob's Big Boy Broiler - '50s Drive-In

1950s-60s drive-in demolished in 2007 and rebuilt, including the original 65 foot neon "Broiler" sign.

Bob's Big Boy Broiler

7447 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA
Bob's Big Boy Broiler, 50s Drive-in Restaurant & Carhop
Su-Th 7 am-12 am, F-Sa 7 am - 2 am. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Visitor Tips and News About Bob's Big Boy Broiler - '50s Drive-In

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2007- illegal building demolition.

Bob's Big Boy (Formerly Johnie's Broiler)

Johnie's Broiler was a restaurant and local favorite that appeared in several Hollywood movies. The restaurant closed on New Year's Eve 2001, and for a time became a used car dealership. On January 7, 2007, part of the restaurant was illegally demolished.

In April 2008 the restaurant was purchased by Jim Louder, owner of a Bob's Big Boy in Torrance, who turned it into another Bob's Big Boy. It continues to operate as a restaurant and could be seen in the TV series Mad Men. The only part of Johnie's Broiler that remains is a boy holding a burger that was once part of the logo on the roof of the restaurant. That burger boy now stands in the parking lot.

[Christopher Valencia, 12/28/2019]

Bob's Big Boy Broiler.

Bob's Big Boy Broiler

Make sure you take the time to read the historical brass plaque out in front, which gives a history of the Broiler's past, its demise, and then its grassroots restoration into one of the only Bob's restaurants left with a carport for car-hops. Also, go inside and see the vintage decor and fixtures.

[Deb Miller Marschke, 09/17/2017]

Bob's Big Boy Broiler.

Bob's Big Boy Broiler - '50s Drive-In

I have been visiting this historic drive-in for quite a few years, and was a part of its comeback after it was illegally demolished in 2007. I guess you could say this is a "History With a Side of Fries" attraction.

Built in 1958 as Harvey's Broiler, the Broiler was one of the largest '50s drive-ins ever built, with parking for over 350 cars! With a lighted boomerang canopy, "The Broiler" was a famous hub of the '50s and '60 Southern California cruising scene and was The Place where famous customizing kings like Larry Watson and George Barris showed off their latest automotive creations.

After its near-complete demolition, overwhelming support led to its being rebuilt by Jim Louder, who now proudly operates it as Bob's Big Boy Broiler. Many original 50s Googie style features were retained in the reconstruction, including the original 65 foot neon "Broiler" sign and the 60s Fat Boy character who once stood atop the main sign. A spectacular sight visible for half a mile! Just around the corner from historic Speedee.

[Adriene Biondo, 07/30/2010]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Angel-Approved: Hispanic American Veterans MemorialAngel-Approved: Hispanic American Veterans Memorial, Bell Gardens, CA - 1 mi.
Close to You: The Carpenters Apartment ComplexesClose to You: The Carpenters Apartment Complexes, Downey, CA - 1 mi.
World's Oldest Operating McDonald'sWorld's Oldest Operating McDonald's, Downey, CA - 2 mi.
In the region:
Funko Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA - 15 mi.

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