September 2nd, 2004

Stumbling across Given: 1.The Waterfall 2.The Illuminating Gas at an Impressionable Age


September 2nd, 2004

CNN – Sambo’s revival running into hot water – January 28, 1998

SANTA BARBARA, California (CNN) — Once upon a time there was a man named Sam Battistone. Sam had a friend named Newell Bohnett, whom everyone called Bo.

In 1957, the two men decided to open a restaurant. They figured they’d serve sizzling hotcakes, offer coffee for 10 cents a cup and give their customers service with a smile.

They called the restaurant Sambo’s.

Fast-forward 41 years. Sam Battistone’s grandson, Chad Stevens, has plans to rebuild the restaurant chain — which once numbered 1,200 units coast-to-coast — to its former glory.

There’s just one problem: the name.

Sambo’s was an amalgam of Sam and Bo, and as part of their marketing strategy the founders used a logo based on a children’s story called Little Black Sambo.

The book was written in 1899 by Helen Bannerman, a Scottish woman, and takes place in India. It is about a little boy who goes into the jungle and loses his clothing to bullying tigers. But the tigers chase each other around a tree and eventually melt into butter, which Sambo puts on his pancakes and eats.

The marketing strategy was obvious: Sam and Bo open Sambo’s, and pancakes were one of the restaurant’s specialties.

Found via an obscure message board somebody directed me to in order to set the Denny’s = Sambo’s myth to rest. It is a myth. I was wrong. Thanks.

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