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.