New Company Opens In Old Bob’s Big Boy Spot

Mike Armijo  

Photo courtesy: Mike Armijo

Photo courtesy: Mike Armijo

Diamond Bar A year ago this month, Bob’s Big Boy in Diamond Bar closed for business after a 35 year stint on the corner of Golden Springs and Brea Canyon Roads. Now a new era begins: Pho Ha Plus, Vietnamese Cuisine, will be filling that iconic spot, and has announced their opening for later this month.

Facing rising costs, expensive rehab and landlord disputes, restaurant owner James Tsaic, closed the place he’d owned since 1992.

“We tried all we could to keep our doors open,” Tsai said.”We came to a point where we needed to end this land fighting. But ultimately it became an unfair fight where the landowner won.” Tsai said he tried negotiating with the building’s landlord over the remaining years on the Bob’s Big Boy lease but to no avail.

The former diner-style eatery, featuring a long, curved counter with wooden bar stools and small booths scattered throughout the dining room, went through a number of chefs, general managers and culinary styles as the owner repeatedly worked to capture an audience in the ever-changing demographics of the city, located on a busy intersection on Golden Springs Road and the 60 and 57 freeway.

“There are three reasons that changed our minds in closing our doors,” Tsai said.”First, there was a spike in the rent. Then, the demographics had changed. Finally, the 57/60 freeway construction started and moved a lot of businesses in the area.”

“Diamond Bar has always been good to us. The city council has also supported us but there was nothing they could do because of the landowners,” Tsai added.

The restaurant attempted a historical landmark petition campaign back in 2012, but failed to reach the 20,000 required signatures, Tsai said. The building first opened in 1979, and is 15-years short of being considered for the national historical landmark status, he said.

Now only two Bob’s Big Boy locations remain in California – Norco and Burbank.

Though it was no secret that business wasn’t exactly booming. It was also in dire need of costly repairs, according to customers and employees.

No word on when Pho Ha Plus will be officially opened.