ACHTUNG: The following is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.
I have received some negative feedback from and challenges to my announcement that the Wayland Big Boy Restaurant soon will be closing to make way for a Culver’s eatery.
One commenter even suggested that I “stepped in it” twice with that story and another about a Covid-19 breakout at St. Therese Church. Allow me to defend myself.
In the case of Big Boy, was tipped off by one of my most credible sources, who also indicated hearing about the change from someone close to the situation.
Furthermore, I have done some amateur personal sleuthing by paying attention to activity at the local restaurant as much as possible, which has yielded the information that the place is open for breakfast and lunch, but that’s it. The building is bereft of cars in the parking and it’s dark and closed during prime time dinner hours.
Now I hear tell from naysayers that the manager is only available during those hours and is stretched thin by working two jobs. In case anyone has forgotten, the Big Boy manager passed away last summer.
This is a recipe for trouble for the Big Boy in Wayland. I don’t see how it can survive with such limited hours. It doesn’t fit into a niche market, like the Auction House Café, which is open only for breakfast and lunch except on Auction Tuesdays.
I was further struck Saturday when I stopped for gasoline just before entering the Mackinac Bridge. I was next door to a Big Boy there, which I couldn’t help but notice it was closed in the middle of the day on Saturday with no signs of any activity.
So my theory is that the Big Boy franchise is in trouble. I have thought for some time now that the chain has seen its best days and now is fading into history, just like Bill Knapp’s, Burger Chef, Howard Johnson’s, Mr. Burger and many others than have fallen from the landscape. Big Boy seems to be a restaurant steeped in traditions from days gone by, making it a prime target for replacement by a more hip eatery — like Culver’s.
As far as “stepping in it” on St. Therese, I personally know more than a few members and people who attend that church. They were able to give me 13 names of people in the congregation who had contracted Covid, including the pastor and members of the choir.
I’d call that an outbreak.