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Reborn diner celebrates with cruise

Reborn diner celebrates with cruise

The reborn Bobs Big Boy drivein diner in Downey, Calif. will be celebrated with a cruisein on Saturday, Sept. 26.

It was gone. Bulldozed into a scrap pile like far too much American history. Johnies Broiler was just an old fashioned drivein restaurant, wasnt it? It was more than that to the city of Downey, California. This was part of the towns soul, a beautiful jewel from an optimistic age, a landmark whose googie architecture had delighted area residents for generations. And it was gone.

But sometimes, miracles happen. Due largely to the efforts of dedicated individuals, the Modernism Committee of the Los Angeles Conservancy, and the City of Downey, an irreplacable local landmark has risen from the rubble of the wrecking ball. But this happy ending didnt take place without drama, the original building was Illegally demolished and its lessee arrested before the dust settled. Now, because people cared enough to save their history, Johnies has been reborn as a Big Boy restaurant with its original architecture restored to pristine mid2oth Century glory.

Jim and Karen Lauder of Palos Verdes rebuilt the former Johnies Broiler drivein and will operate it as a Bobs Big Boy. Recognizing the cultural importance of this classic American icon, the City of Downey is helping to subsidize the project.

The restaurant wont be open for a few weeks, but a is scheduled for Saturday, September 26 at the reborn temple to all that was holy about 1950s Americana.

The cruisein is sponsored by the Friends of Johnie Broiler and the Coalition to Rebuild the Broiler.

Anyone and everyone who pitched in to save this priceless piece of Americana deserves the biggest tip o the Classic Auto Examiners snapbrim driving cap ever.