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Say… 40 to 50 years or so, back to a time when an occasional visit to Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurant was a treat for the entire family or possibly the place to go to grab a bite to eat on a date with your sweetheart.
My aunt and uncle have re-created that uber retro style in their retro room with all manner of 50’s-60’s era furniture and items, including an authentic booth from a closed Frisch’s restaurant and a reproduction of a Frisch’s counter top that they built themselves.
Outfitting a room with retro furniture is one way of re-creating wonderful memories.
It’s definitely worth the time and effort!
Frisch’s Big Boy
For those of you that are not familiar with Frisch’s Big Boy Restaurants, they’ve been around for a very long time and are located in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio.
Their headquarters is in Cincinnati.
We used to go to the Frisch’s in Heath, Ohio (now closed) when I was a kid.
There’s probably a picture somewhere in my parents’ house of me standing next to the iconic Big Boy statue outside of the restaurant.
If not, I wish there was one.
DIY Retro Diner Booth
Uncle Bob gave me the scoop on how they reproduced the retro diner booth look and feel:
The shape of the booth table was replicated from the original booth table that came with the booth from Frisch’s. It was easier to build than restore the original booth table.The designs of the countertop and coffee table are our designs meant to capture the retro looks of the furniture and counters used in the 50’s and 60’s.
The construction of all of these was based on standard counter top materials including Formica. The Formica used was Coral Boomerang and Aqua Boomerang designs that were used extensively in those retro periods. The polished aluminum T molding was purchased from Bars and Booths and is made from the original molds used in the 40’s and 50’s in diners and furniture. The molding is installed with a slot cutter on the edges of the counters, etc. and was probably the most difficult part of the project because the molding comes in 12′ strips and has to be hand formed into the slots for each project and radius.
The booth was purchased at an auction closing of the Frisch’s restaurant in Heath (OH) for $20. We restored the wood trim ourselves and added the padded backs to increase the upholstered look. A local upholsterer re-covered the seats and backs with Naugahyde to match the Formica colors (teal and coral) used in the countertops and tables. We might have around $300 in the booths and 30 to 40 hours of our time.
I am very impressed that they’ve gone to such great lengths in order to match the original countertops, tables and trim of the original Frisch’s booths and/or diners of that period.
The idea here was to replicate the look and feel of diners from the 50’s & 60’s and not necessarily booths used in Frisch’s restaurants.
Authentic materials and/or reproductions of the original materials is key to making that connection to the past.
It was a blast from the past that I had long forgotten about but my memory was refreshed when I took a look at what they had done.
More Like This
Bars and Booths – a retro furniture supplier
More of Uncle Bob’s Retro Room – see links to other fine examples of 50’s-60’s era retro style
I started as a home-stalker… visiting brand new homes under construction in the neighborhoods near my house. That inspired me to write about home building and home renovation projects — chronicling homes during different phases of construction from a consumer's point-of-view. Basically, the tips you'll find in my articles are a collection of checklists for what I think should (and should not) go into building or remodeling a quality home.