Charleston Edition: Shoney's

By Candace Nelson - 10:00 AM

Shoneys - CharlestonI've been to Shoney's a few times - in Princeton and in Morgantown.

Shoneys - CharlestonBut I've been wanting to try the Charleston location because it's the city where Shoney's was born.

Shoneys - Charleston

In 1947, Alex Schoenbaum opened the Parkette Drive-In next to his father’s bowling alley in Charleston, West Virginia. After meeting with Big Boy founder Bob Wian in 1951, Schoenbaum became a Big Boy franchisee on February 7, 1952, now calling his several locations the Parkette Big Boy Shoppes. In May 1954, a public "Name the Parkette Big Boy Contest" was announced, and in June 1954 Schoenbaum's five Parkette Drive-Ins were rebranded as Shoney's.

Shoneys - Charleston

Shoney's (the Parkette) was originally the Big Boy franchisee for West Virginia; however, Schoenbaum rapidly grew the chain through subfranchising, expanding his Big Boy territory through the southeastern United States, excluding Florida only because the rights already belonged to fellow Big Boy franchisee Frisch's.
Shoneys - Charleston

Schoenbaum's earliest subfranchisees operated under their own names. In 1955, Leonard Goldstein became a subfranchisee in Roanoke, Virginia. Originally operating as Shoney's, he eventually changed to Lendy's Big Boy after another Shoney's subfranchisee called Yoda's Big Boy opened across town. In 1956 a subfranchise was sold to the Boury brothers in northern West Virginia, who operated as Elby's. Elby's, Lendy's, and Yoda's units were originally listed with Shoney's units on the back of the Shoney's menu. Also in 1956, Schoenbaum sold a subfranchise to Abe Becker in Rochester, New York, for Becker's Big Boy. Two Philadelphia area subfranchises, Tunes and Arnold's, were opened during this period as well. In 1959 Shap's Big Boy was subfranchised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, later assuming the Shoney's name. After this, all subfranchises went by the name Shoney's.

Shoneys - Charleston
Doubling in size every four years, Shoney's became the largest Big Boy franchisee, operating over one third of the Big Boy restaurants nationwide. As Shoney's dominated Big Boy, a 1959 franchisee named Raymond Danner would dominate Shoney's, acquiring the company in 1971 (WIKIPEDIA).
Shoneys - Charleston
The great thing about Shoney's is that it's close to my work, and they have a buffet. So, it's an easy lunch trip. I met my friend Dawn and we happened to be visiting on a "comfort food" buffet day.

Shoneys - CharlestonSo there was meatloaf, lasagna, fried chicken, fish, etc.

Shoneys - CharlestonI piled a plate full of some of my favorites - including mac & cheese, pulled pork and garlic bread - and was stuffed to the gills for my lunch. Have you been?

Shoneys - Charleston

Shoney's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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