🠈 Sambo's 🠊
Sambo's Restaurant was a chain of restaurants created by Sam Battistone, Sr., and Newell Bohnett that was founded in Santa Barbara in 1957. The name for the restaurant was created from the names of the owners.
There was children's book called The Story of Little Black Sambo which was published in 1899 as part of the The Dumpy Books for Children. The story was about the adventures of a dark skinned boy in India and a tiger.
Sambo became a popular character in mid-century anime and is still a popular character in Japanese anime.
Apparently Sambo's used the anime characters of a boy and a tiger in the restaurants motif.
The restaurant had grown to 1,117 restaurants in 1979. In the 1970s activists began to complain that the name was pejorative. There were protests and lawsuits. The company tried different names like "The Jolly Tiger" and "No Place Like Sam's."
The company filed chapter 11 in 1981 and closed the chain keeping only the original restaurant in Santa Barbara.
The corporate history section shows what happened to the restaurants.
- 1957: First restaurant opened in 1957.
- 1979: The chain reached a peak of 1,117 restaurants.
- 1980: The GDV division of City Investing acquired 34% of the Sambos stock which it valued at $28.7 million.
- 1981: Sambos declared bankruptcy. There were lawsuits between SRI and City Investing (Case Law Brief.)
- 1984: Vicorp acquired 175 restaurants for $57 million which they attempted to convert into "Baker's Square" and Village Inn Restaurants ... with mixed results.
- General Development GDV Corporate Earnings (pdf) (Drawn 5/8/2019)
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