Lots of people got the answer to a question that has been bubbling for several weeks now. Is the Big Boy Restaurant on Red Arrow Highway in Stevensville closed for good? The answer is, unless somebody steps up to buy it from the corporate offices and keep it as a Big Boy, the restaurant may well be closed for good, ending a 42 year run at that location.
Former owner David Hunt, who sold the restaurant to Big Boy Corporate on August 15th last year, says he owned it for 20 years, but has begun to “unwind my 52-year Big Boy career and ease into retirement.” He still continues to operate three other Big Boy restaurants in St. Johns, Mason and Essexville — all in Michigan. He tells me, “They are closer to my home in the Lansing area, and I have re-opened all of them for full service at 50-percent capacity (as restricted by gubernatorial order) with the resulting revenue drops not making it easy.”
Hunt’s former business partner, Brian Smith, still operates the Big Boy restaurants in South Haven and Wayland, and Hunt believes that some of the Stevensville employees will be working with Smith in South Haven.
When I queried him about the closure in Stevensville, Hunt said, “I was disappointed to hear that due to the pandemic, Big Boy has decided not to re-open the Stevensville location. I was sent a picture today of a For Sale or Lease sign in front of the restaurant.” He adds, “I’m sure Big Boy would love to have anybody interested in keeping the Big Boy alive in Stevensville to contact them.”
The Big Boy franchise opened in Stevensville 42 years ago in 1978, and was a fixture there for those 42 years. Hunt says, “When I think of all the wonderful customers who supported us over the years, and the number of jobs we created, it puts a smile on my face, while I’m saddened to think that Big Boy won’t be there to greet our loyal guests and welcome them into Michigan.”
Big Boy is now owned by Big Boy Restaurant Group, LLC and is headquartered in Southfield, MI. The Big Boy Food Group, which manufactures all of the restaurant’s signature dressings, sauces, soups, and ice cream is still located in Warren, Michigan.
David says he will always love Southwest Michigan, concluding, “It truly is a special place, and I will continue to support all the many friends and business owners in the area.”
The sign placed in the lawn today says that anyone interested in purchasing or leasing the building can call Thomas Huesser at 856-341-3592. That’s the area code for Camden, New Jersey and surrounding area.