Big Boy isn’t going anywhere, but will be better than ever. That’s the message from current owner Chad Wachter on a local Facebook’s group’s page that exploded in engagement Sunday. In it, Wachter summarized several big improvements to the iconic restaurant.
“So, to set the record straight, the Big Boy isn’t moving! It’s staying exactly where it’s at. We’ve been making lots of improvements to the property over the past year. We are going to redo the parking lot. Also, there will be an easier way to exit the property (after you get your order) without having to drive through the parking lot.” – Chad Wachter
Big Boy has already debuted a new menu board that’s easier to read. The drive-through exit will also witness a change. According to the post, Big Boy purchased the neighboring railroad property, tore out the tracks, and will create an additional exit following the old track’s route.
Wachter states they’ve upgraded their pizza burger machines, too, but vows no changes to the menu or food. Other upgrades were targeted at their point-of-sale system, inventory management system, ice cream machine, security cameras, and air conditioner.
“Big Boy has been in business for 64 years. It will be around for another 64 years. This is one piece of Bismarck history that isn’t going away. I bought it for the purpose of preserving it because I love it as much as all of you do!” – Chad Wachter
Harley McDowell established the Bismarck Big Boy it 1954. It is Bismarck’s oldest continuously operating restaurant. It also formerly held a franchise with KFC – only the fourth KFC franchise in the nation. McDowell later established other locations, including a second in Bismarck, along with restaurants in Medora, Fargo, Dickinson, and Minot. The original Bismarck location is the sole survivor.
The Rothenbergers acquired the local Big Boy and KFC franchises in 1978, maintaining ownership for decades.