Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Classic Old-School Food Place #4

For no particular reason, I thought of the defunct restaurant chain Sambo's the other day, so just for shits and hoots, I decided to pay tribute to them.  Founded in 1957 by Sam Battistone and Newell Bohnett, the chain took its name from the combination of its founders names, NOT from any sort of racial connotation, as was/is popularly believed.  That didn't prevent protests and lawsuits in the late '70s from those who go out of their way to find racism at every turn, and Sambo's filed for bankruptcy in 1981.

I remember precious little about the quality of the food at Sambo's because there weren't all that many of them in Kansas City, and I only ate there once when I was about ten at a friend's birthday party.  I don't think it sucked, though...

For the longest time, I mistakenly assumed that Sambo's was affiliated with Denny's because their logos and signage were so similar, they were "always open", plus the layout and gaudy decor of their restaurants were practically identical.  It seems there's still one Sambo's still in operation—the original location in Santa Barbara, CA.  Wish I'd known that before I went on my trip out there--I would've checked it out.

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