Chaz Hastings and Scott Carleton have inked a franchise deal that will bring Big Boy restaurants back to Wisconsin after a 26-year absence.
The two have been working with Detroit-based Big Boy Restaurants to open a Big Boy location at the Jerry’s Old Town restaurant, N116 W15841 Main St., in Germantown.
The partners also own Von Rothenburg Bier Stube and biergarten next door to Jerry's, as well as the Slinger beer garden. They have plans to open Tekila Mexican Restaurant, Ti Amo Pizza and Charcuterie and La Coppa Gelateria in a new development in Sussex on Labor Day weekend.
Jerry's closed about three weeks ago.
Marcus Corporation ran more than 60 Marc's Big Boy restaurants for decades, closing the last ones in the 1990s.
The Germantown restaurant is expected to be a flagship for more Southeastern Wisconsin locations planned across the next three years.
In addition to the restaurant, the first location will also sell merchandise of the iconic Big Boy mascot, and will house a museum of Big Boy collectibles, including a collection of "art deco Big Boy statues," photos and interactive displays. There will also be a collection of large Big Boys, up to 12 feet tall.
The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and will offer familiar Big Boy menu items.
Surely that will include the classic Big Boy burger, which has been saluted with burgers at restaurants in Milwaukee like Kil@watt, Aria and AJ Bombers. (Whether or not those will continue to be allowed once Big Boy is back is another question.)
Wisconsin Big Boy also plans to own and operate two Big Boy food trucks that will appear at local events and be available for private parties and events.
On June 17, at 3 p.m, there will be a celebration of Big Boy's 85th anniversary at the Germantown location, including 85-cent Big Boy double-decker burgers, live music, a car show and an appearance by the Big Boy himself. The event is free and open to the public.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.