Fire shutters Bob's Big Boy


POSTED: Tuesday, April 14, 2009

For the past 4 1/2 years, Frank Masatani has started his day with breakfast at the popular Bob's Big Boy restaurant in Mapunapuna.

;[Preview]    Local Eatery Blackened By Kitchen Fire

The fire apparently started in the kitchen and required 36 firefighters about 30 minutes to put under control.



“;Not only do I have breakfast here,”; said the 76-year-old retired shipping supervisor, “;but I may also have lunch. The waitresses are friendly. Several of them know my likes and dislikes.”;

But an early-morning fire yesterday forced Masatani to change his routine — at least for several months.

The fire caused $1.5 million in damage to the 33-year-old restaurant at 2828 Paa St.

The cause of the fire, which also damaged the restaurant's exhaust ducts, is still being investigated.

The restaurant closes at midnight every day except Friday and Saturday, when it stays open an hour later.

Jesus Corpuz, restaurant general manager for the past 12 years, said despite the current economic downturn — which has forced the closure of several island restaurants — “;business has been pretty good.”;

“;We have a lot regular customers from the businesses and the communities and military posts in the area.”;

He said the restaurant has about 60 full-time workers.

The franchise holder is attorney Joseph Hu, who through a spokesman said he “;intends to reopen soon”; but was unable to predict how long the renovations would take.

Fire officials said the blaze started in the kitchen and was reported at 2:49 a.m. There also was water and smoke damage to the dining area.

Masatani, who lives in Salt Lake, said his neighbors told him of the fire this morning, “;but I had to come down and see it myself,”; he said as he surveyed the charred kitchen.

The property is leased from Kaiser Permanente, which operates an adjacent clinic.

Masatani does not know where he will go to get his daily dose of oatmeal, papaya, toast and coffee.

“;It looks like I am going to lose weight.”;

The restaurant opened on June 9, 1975, as part of a chain established in 1936 by Bob Wian in Glendale, Calif.

It became locally owned in 1991 and celebrated its 33rd anniversary in September.