Kip’s Big Boy

The history of the Big Boy Chain is a long and complicated one, the basics of it though are this. Bob Wian developed the original concept calling his restaurant Bob’s Big Boy. He then licensed the Big Boy branding to other chains, with the only real requirement being that they served the Big Boy Hamburger. Which included a sesame seed bun, two beef patties separated by another piece of bread, served with a special sauce. Sound familiar? It’s the inspiration for the Big Mac among many other similar burgers.

The 3839 Westheimer location, was converted to a Dot Coffee Shop after Kip’s closed. This photo was taken after Dot had closed in 2000. The “steaks, shake, & pancakes” signage would be adopted by other Dot Coffee Shop locations, and is still used as of 2018.

With the use of licensing as opposed to franchising, large variety could be had between restaurants. Generally the only connecting factor was the burger and the name. Texas was part of the Kip’s Big Boy Franchise. Comparing older menus between the Bob’s and Kip’s chains it seems that Kip’s for the most part aligned themselves with Bob’s while adding extra items. The Texas locations began popping up in the early 1960s, and by the middle of the decade the expansion moved to Houston. The first Houston location to open was at 5111 Griggs Road. The original restaurant was also the first to close, not making it into the 1980s. The building was demolished sometime prior to the early 2000s, and a small commercial center was built, which was eventually demolished for a library.

This advertisement from 1966 helped to show which that the Griggs and Bellaire locations came first. Source: The Bellaire & Southwestern Texan

The Bellaire location was the second to open, in 1966. This location would eventually be demolished to build a bank. The Westheimer location was the third to be built, it was also one of the last to close as Kip’s. In the 1990s it was converted into a Dot Coffee Shop location, and was eventually demolished for Central Market. The second Westheimer location was eventually converted into a Mexican restaurant which was demolished around 2016 for a new strip center. Finally, this leaves us with the Gulf Freeway and Spencer Highway locations, both of which are still open and operating as restaurants.

List of Locations

5111 Griggs Rd Houston, TX 77021Demolished
5320 Bellaire Blvd Bellaire, TX 77401Still open in 1985 Demolished
7705 Westheimer Rd Houston, TX 77063Converted into Doneraki Mexican Restaurant, Demolished 2016 for new center.
3839 Westheimer Rd Houston, TX 77027Converted into Dot Coffee Shop, Demolished 2001 for Central Market
8520 Gulf Fwy Houston, TX 77017Converted into Mannie's Seafood Restaurant
3807 Spencer Hwy Pasadena, TX 77504Converted into Frank's Grill
5 comments on “Kip’s Big Boy
  1. Christina says:

    I remember my dad and I would eat at the one near hobby where he had his little 2 seater cessna tied down. Happy times!

  2. Aaron J. says:

    Somewhere in the tangled Big Boy mess is Shoney’s, which we had a few of Houston in the 1990s. A lot of the Shoney’s in central Texas became Jim’s (which I lost the article that described it…) and the Jim’s in Houston became Champs…

  3. Rosemary says:

    I remember the Kips Big Noy in Grand Prairie, Texas in the late 60’s. We lived in Irving. I think there wa one in Irving too but think it turned to Shoneys.

  4. James I says:

    Where are you located in the Houston area

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