Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Anybody Remember This?

Folks my age and older in the tri state area of West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky should remember the familiar roof line, and the whirling satellite, as well as the advertising jingle:

"Everybody's goin' to a BBF, and taking their appetite.

Everybody's goin' to a BBF at the whirling satellite.

You can eat 'em there, or take 'em home,

And entertaining can be fun.

Let BBF be your party chef.

Serve a banquet on a bun!"

Yes, it's the BBF! It was the 1960's and McDonalds was going great guns with their fast food hamburgers and fries. Burger Chef's were beginning to spring up all over the place as well. But my personal favorite was the BBF. The initials stood for Burger Boy Food-O-Rama, but we kids at Beverly Hills Junior High jokingly said it stood for "Badly Burnt Food". In reality the food wasn't burnt at all. In fact, it was a pretty good burger, (a little larger than the ones McDonalds sells today) and the best part was, it only set you back fifteen cents. That's right, $.15!

I saw and sampled my first BBF when Dad was leading a Revival meeting in Columbus, OH. It was in 1964. Our family was staying the week with Allie and Lula Edwards, who were members of the Welch Avenue Church, where Dad was preaching. One day Lula said that instead of cooking, she wanted us to get burgers and fries. Allie, Dad, and I piled into the car and headed up High Street to the sign with the "Whirling Satellite". We paid just under $5.00 for a couple of large paper sacks that held 15 hamburgers and 15 orders of french fries. We took them back to the Edwards' home and consumed them like a swarm of locusts. I was hooked.

Later that fall, a new building began to be constructed in Huntington at the intersection of US 60 and Washington Boulevard, near my Junior High School. Everyone wondered what it was. As the building took shape and the scalloped roof line appeared, my heart jumped with joy. "They're building a BBF!" I proudly told my friends. On opening, it soon became a favorite hangout for kids in that end of town. Later, during my senior year in high school, and my freshman year in college at Marshall, I would work there. First as a grill man (I eventually could have 48 patties frying on the huge grill at one time) and later as an Assistant Manager.

Our BBF was far superior to McDonalds. It had an eat in "dining room" when at that time, McDonalds just had a window where you ordered your food and a couple of benches down the side of the building where you could sit down to eat, if you so desired. Our BBF had little jukeboxes at each table, where a quarter would get you three popular songs played over the PA system. All the food was served up in paper sacks. No trays back then. At that time the fries were fresh - not frozen. We had a big machine that we fed whole potatoes into and it shredded them into strips that went in the deep fryer, skins and all. Man, were they good! The regular burger was the standard, but many folks loved the "Giant", which first appeared as basically a double cheeseburger, but later evolved into a triple decker.

Soon the BBF began serving Roast Beef Sandwiches, and not long after that, fried chicken was added to the menu. As is often the case, BBF, in an effort to compete with everybody, began to lose it's focus, and forgot to "dance with the one that brung them". By 1970 the company was sold to Borden's (the milk people) and the name was changed to Borden Burger. Soon, the 70 or so stores began to shut down, and now, the BBF is just a fading memory.

At one time there were three BBF's in Huntington. The one on US 60, one on 4th Avenue, downtown, across from the Greyhound Bus Station, and one about three blocks from the church I now serve in Westmoreland (in the big curve at the site of the present Westmoreland Estates apartments). There was also a BBF in Ashland on Winchester Avenue at the foot of the Ben Williamson Bridge.

If you'd like to know more about the BBF, check out this link.


Greg Hamby said...

What a great memory!! Any time that my Mom and Dad were going out, they would give me a couple of dollars so that I could walk down to the bottom of the hill from Arlington Park to get my 2 cheeseburgers, french fries and a chocolate milk shake. I can still see the cups with the blue stripe down the side with the white line drawings of burgers and chicken legs. And anytime that we went on vacation, I always knew that we were home when I saw the whirling satellite and that crazy A frame "information center" across the street. Then came Borden Hog and their give away Loony Tunes collectable glasses. I still have a cabinet full of 'em.
Good times!

william said...

I used to love Borden Burgers. They had one right next to the college I attended in Warren, Michigan. They had incredible shakes too!

Anonymous said...

i worked for Borden Burger from 72 to 75.My home store was on Western Ave Chillicothe,Ohio.It was hard work but i enjoyed it greatly.If there is anyone who knows were to get the Looney Toon Glasses they sold in 1973+74.


Anonymous said...

I'll never forget it. I bit into a chicken leg in the Ironton Ohio Borden Burger in the early 70'S and it was half raw with blood dripping from it. I was about 7 and probably wouldn't remember the place if not for that.

charlesv said...

I happened to google Borden Burger because I've had their jungle stuck in my head for all these years. Some day, I'll probably have altzheimers and not know my wife, but I'll remember the jingle. I never had a Bordern Burger, but I had a neighbor that worked as a manager for them.

The Borden Burger jingle:
the Borden name is like a guarantee
America, that's quality
Let's hear it of the Borden company
They've added something to the faily tree
Borden makes good hamburgers too,
the Borden Burger's good and here to stay,
[and I forget the rest from here]

C.J. Adkins said...

That is cool. But does anybody remember the original jingle when Borden Burger was BBF?

"Everybody's goin' to the BBF
And taking their appetite.
Everybody's goin' to the BBF
At the Whirling Satellite.
You can eat 'em there or take 'em home
And entertaing can be fun.
Let BBF be your party chef,
Serve a banquet on a bun!"

Greg Hamby said...

Banquet on a bun. LOL!!!!

Anonymous said...

My friends and I would stop at the BBF after boyscout meetings at the 1st Church of Nazarene Troop 515.

They used to sponsor Flippo the Clown a lot for awhile if memory serves.

Thanks for the memories

C.J. Adkins said...

I was an assistant manager at the one on Washington Blvd and Rt 60 in Huntington. Was working there as a Freshman at Marshall, the year I met my future wife...

Anonymous said...

We moved Columbus in 1971 and recall the Sputnik like sign not long after Bordens bought the chain. Not long after bumper stickers with the phrase "Elsie died for your Borden Burger" began showing up. Never thought much of their food Wendys, aso from Columbus or Cowtown as some called it, was better. I grew up in Cleveland and craved little burgers from Royal Castle. The first fast food place in Cleveland was Carrolls, which I believe is still in the UK

Anonymous said...

Some friends were having a discussion and I seem to remember the Western avenue store in Chillicothe, OH being a BBF before converting to a Borden Burger? Am I remembering correctly?

Pat Mahaffey said...

First store in Columbus Ohio. I lived in Reynoldsburg and went to the one there

Anonymous said...

What fun memories, Circleville, Ohio had a Borden Burger, before thay had a McDonalds. The building is still in use. Its Goodwins Restaurant now located at214 Lancaster Pike.

Sherrell Queen said...

Jerry, this is going to take you back, If memory serves me right, it was September,1969 you worked on the counter next to John Tackett, Dayton Wiles was the ASST. manager, I worked in the back of the store. I came in one morning with leaves in my hair You gave me this strange look and I said I'm waiting for my 1st check so I can get a place to live. you're Dad paid for a place for me to stay. I tried to give the money back He said pay it forward.
that was good advise, I've told the story many times to my church friends, If you are planning to visit Colorado You have a place to stay. Take care, Sherrell.

C.J. Adkins said...

Sharrell, I hadn't thought of that incident in years, but you brought it back to my memory. I Thank God for His love and grace. My Dad is best known in our area for his preaching ministry, but there have been many times over the years he has shown God's love, quietly, in helping individuals or families who were in need. I would love to connect with you. Are you on Facebook?

Anonymous said...

Uncle Jack. and Uncle George memories form years ago
growing up in Columbus,OH, nothing better

mspolicy5 said...

Jack Hann and George Tyler, memories..............

Anonymous said...

Wow my husband and I where just talking about this I remember it like it was yesterday loved them so much better then McDonalds I don't understand how they even took over
Because BBF was the Best!

rjc said...

bbf was the king of fast food in my childhood.better than mcdonalds and a much nicer place to eat.cheeseburgers,fries and chocolate shake!the fries were absolutely the best ever!shame we dont still have at least one left to visit

Joseph Terrell said...

I remember them building the BBF near Beverly Hills Jr Hi. We lived on Gallaher Street at the time. It must have been very near the end of our residence there for we moved to Guyan Estates in the Summer of '64. But I recall mom sending us to BBF to get food once. We went on our bicycles. In fact, it may have been as we were packing to move.

BTW, I had a cousin yo might have known. He lived on Brereton Court - Rodney Ours. Would have started at Beverly Hills in 1963. My sister, Debbie Terrell also went there the same year.

BTW, if I recall correctly, I liked their burger better than the others.

Duane Butcher said...

I’m glad you posted the subject on BBF. I have been trying to remember the name of the fast food restaurant with the whirling satellite forever. I did find it was BBF and then couldn’t remember what the BBF stood for. In my search I found this page.
From 1965 to 1976 I worked for Jeffrey Manufacturing Company (Mining & bulk material handling equipment) in Columbus, Ohio. I was transferred to the Belton, South Carolina plant in 1976 where we are still are located.
There was a BBF located fairly close to Jeffrey and we would go there for lunch. It wasn’t too far from the first Wendy’s.
My wife and I grew up in a little town in southeastern Ohio (Wilkesville) and our only TV station was WSAZ. We knew more about WV than we did Ohio.
I became a born again Christian at the age of 45 (Southern Baptist) and I’m enjoying reading through your previous posts.
Duane Butcher

Otis Porter said...

I worked at the borden burgee in mansfield ohio in 1974-1975. Loved the food and I thought the fries were especially good to. I remember when they were tearing down the building. I asked the workers if I could have one of the blue bricks for a keepsake as it was my first real job. Good memories.

dingdongrb said...

Anyone have a link to the jingle/commercial? I've tried looking with no success.

As a kid growing up in the Hebron/Buckeye Lake area I always recall going to the BBF there on Rt 79 in Heath.