Pearl Street Big Boy A Grand Rapids Landmark for Decades
We almost lost a great local landmark spot in Grand Rapids, but it's still alive! It's the Pearl Street Big Boy!
It opened in 1964 and has been one of the great gathering spots downtown for over 50-years.
However, Kum & Go, LLC has been seeking a special land use permit from the Grand Rapids Planning Commission for the potential project to demolish the restaurant and build a 3,968-square-foot, 24-hour convenience store that will sell beer and wine. However, the developer has since pulled the application, so for the time being the Pearl Street Big Boy lives!
CLASSIC BIG BOY
Come on, how could we give up Big Boy's Strawberry Pie, the Big Boy, Slim Jim and so much more for heavens sakes..
PEARL STREET BIG BOY 1964
Back in the day, the '60s and early '70s, it was the last stop for "The circuit". Cars drove the circuit from Dog N Suds, down Michigan hill, to Big Boy. It was the hot spot on weekend nights...some of the fastest cars in the city would cruise in there. On Saturday nights there were lines of cars for blocks in every direction.
PEARL STREET BIG BOY 1974
It really was the "Happy Days" of Grand Rapids! (Where's the Fonz when you need him?)
Ahh, the good old innocent days when you could pull into the parking lot for car hop service. Just order your food and a cheerful car hop would bring it out to you to eat in the car. How sweet it was!
PEARL STREET BIG BOY 1988
Things have changed so much around the Big Boy that many folks are wondering if it's still open. Well, it is and still serving that great Big Boy food. The downtown campus of Grand Valley State University across Pearl street is there now, and a Burger King where the Texaco gas station used to be.
PEARL STREET BIG BOY TODAY
It's Nice to know, though, that somethings don't change, they just evolve and get better with the times.
LOOK: Food history from the year you were born
Gallery Credit: Joni Sweet