Big Boy reopens after 2018 fire

After+the+fire%2C+Big+Boy+made+major+updates+to+the+inside+and+outside+of+the+building.+%E2%80%9CIt%27s+almost+symbolic+in+a+sense+-+reopening+in+the+midst+of+the+pandemic+is+like+being+reborn+by+fire%2C+which+is+how+I+think+it+will+feel+when+we+finally+get+to+return+to+our+North+home%2C%E2%80%9D+social+studies+teacher+Mr.+McCarroll+said.

Photo credit: Robert McGovern

After the fire, Big Boy made major updates to the inside and outside of the building. “It’s almost symbolic in a sense – reopening in the midst of the pandemic is like being reborn by fire, which is how I think it will feel when we finally get to return to our North home,” social studies teacher Mr. McCarroll said.

By Colin Duffy and Grace Rossman

For years, students have gathered at the restaurant, Big Boy, to share a meal and make memories. After a fire forced Big Boy to close its doors in 2018, it underwent renovations. Recently, it reopened for indoor dining and carryout, but on Nov. 18, its dining room closed again as a result of a state directive relating to the spread of Covid-19. Senior Leah Kozlow, a hostess at Big Boy, gives her opinion on the reopening of Big Boy and how it compares to the restaurant prior to the fire and renovation.

“It’s still the Big Boy from the past,” Kozlow said via email. “I would say the biggest change has been some of the items on the menu. The owners have tried to preserve the original atmosphere.” 

Senior Matthew Mourad, a frequent diner at Big Boy, also weighed in on the reopening.

The layout is very different,” Mourad said. “There’s no more fish tank, which is disappointing, but I can live with it. The food is still good and the shakes are still the best.”

After a fire in 2018, Big Boy has finally opened its doors back up. Sophomore Leah Kozlow is a hostess at the restaurant. “The mood is always upbeat and friendly, the workers and owners all get along super nice and we all consider each other family,” Kozlow said. (Photo credit: Colin Duffy)

Big Boy plays a part in school traditions, like the stealing of the Big Boy statue on toga day. Social studies and technology teacher, Sean McCarroll, looks back on a prominent memory of the statue stealing when he was in high school.

“When I was a senior at North, our class grabbed not one, but three Big Boy statues,” McCarroll said via email. “One of them was even placed on top of the awning that overhangs the main student entrance to B building!” 

Although Big Boy is under new ownership now, students can count on being able to continue the tradition of stealing the statue. 

“They most definitely will be willing to cooperate,” Kozlow said. “The owners appreciate the tradition and love to be a part of the GPN culture.” Kozlow said. 

Overall, McCaroll recognizes that Big Boy is part of a long going tradition at the school and is a place that students can go to enjoy and make memories with their friends. The reopening will have many impacts on the school community, he said.

“It’s almost symbolic in a sense – reopening in the midst of the pandemic is like being reborn by fire, which is how I think it will feel when we finally get to return to our North home,” McCaroll said.