A restaurant chain is thriving in the city of Marquette after calling several points in the city home.
There have been three different Marquette area Big Boy restaurant locations over the years. The Marquette Mall and the Westwood Mall each had one, and the current Big Boy restaurant occupies the same site on U.S. 41 where an earlier Big Boy location used to stand. The earlier restaurant burned down in 2002, and the current Big Boy opened in December 2006.
“When we re-opened it was a corporate owned store, we weren’t locally owned,” General Manager and Co-Owner of the Marquette Big Boy Steve Whelan said. “About seven months into it they sold it to a local guy, Gary Enright, and then three years later, which is about four years ago, Gary was going to sell it and I said, ‘Why would you do that?’.”
Whelan bought a 50% share of the Marquette restaurant at that point. He says he would like to revive the brand in some cities that used to have Big Boy restaurants but no longer do.
“I want to put another one somewhere in the U.P,” he said. “I have a five year plan, I think. I’ve been looking a little in the Escanaba area, maybe Houghton, maybe Iron Mountain.”
“I have people that come from Escanaba, Houghton, Iron Mountain that they used to have a Big Boy there and they miss it, so I think it would be great for one of those communities to get one back.”
Whelan says breakfast is the most popular meal of the day at the restaurant, and says the breakfast bar seems to be their biggest seller.