Created by anonymous 2 weeks ago
[ 5.00 | 0.00 ] [#3782]


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Created by Mike_Crawford 1 week, 6 days ago
[ 4.00 | 0.00 ] [#15966]

There was a restaurant when I was a kid... I remember now, I was googling for "restaurant with racist logo" but just now I remembered.

By the time I came around, while that restaurant had greatly revised their mascot to be a young Indian - South Asian - prince... no that's not at all true.

Or something.

Sambo's Restaurant was named for an 1899 children's book called "Little Black Sambo" about an Indian boy who got chased around a tree by some tigers. But the tigers melted into butter, which the boy put on his pancakes.

It was quite cool now to google around for the Indian boy logo - I thought at first he was a prince, but no, just a regular kid, only to find this article written by a high school friend by the name of Tony Wade. To the best of my knowledge, Tony was the only student on our High School Newspaper staff who went on to be a professional journalist. He's a sportswriter and historical columnist for the Fairfield, California - where I attended Armijo High School - Daily Republic, which was the newspaper my family subscribed to.

Fairfield is a highly military city, with Travis Air Force Base being the largest Military Airlift Command Base on the west coast. The father of one of my best friends - Bart Bixler - was Major Chris Bixler, a C-5 and C-141 pilot. Travis was also home to some KC-135 aerial refueling tankers, but Major Bixler didn't pilot the 135s as they require highly specialized training.

Anyway, the Sambo's Restaurant chain originated in Santa Barbara, California, at its peak had over one thousand restaurant, but eventually went out of business other than their first Santa Barbara shop. While they were heavily criticized for their racist imagery, Tony points out that the real reason they tanked was due to "questionable business decisions", I expect something having to do with heavily Leveraged Buyouts.

My family often ate at Sambo's when we were traveling as their shops were commonly near highway offramps. I remember enjoying the food there in the late sixties. My family moved to Italy from 1970 to 1971 when Dad served as an Anti-Aircraft Missile Fire Control Officer aboard the USS Springfield, his "boat" - Dad never called them "ships" - being ported at a very small US Naval base in Gaeta Italy, on Gaeta Bay about an hour's drive from Naples.

When we returned to California, again a few times my family dined at Sambo's while traveling. Eventually they all disappeared. Their racist brand imagery but Tony writes "there was a backlash in the late 1970s".

Eventually, from my own personal point of view, all the Sambo's restaurants gradually disappeared as if they simply evaporated. They were a serious competitor to Denny's as well as locally-owned Mom and Pop diners.

While I enjoyed the food there, and that so many people lost their jobs when their employer's chain went out of business, good cooks, waitresses and restaurant managers are always in demand at competing restaurants.

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Created by MSNBC 1 week, 6 days ago
[ 0.00 | 0.00 ] [#15970]

There were chains of restaurants that failed.

I remember one had fried chicken and the mascot was in black face sort of a friar roast type of thing.

There was once a Stuckey's that was like Sambo's and they too failed.

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