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Tiki Central Forums » » Beyond Tiki » » Sambo's restaurants...pictures
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Sambo's restaurants...pictures
Tiki Chris
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1543
From: London
Posted: 2004-03-04 2:43 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-03-04 01:35, TikiGardener wrote:
I swear I have a postcard of a Sambos that has a tiki sitting outside of it.

Oh now I have to see if my memory serves me right.

TG



oooh oooh ooooh let's see it!


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11089
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2004-03-06 11:50 am   Permalink

That could be from THE TROPICS Motels. The Palm Springs Tropics Coffeshop (now that Mexican Restaurant) was initially a SAMBO'S (when the Reef bar was THE CONGO ROOM, and the basement housed THE CELLAR).

I really love those resin storyboards with the characters in different situatons that lined some of the Sambos...
but then I love everything resin...


 
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TikiGardener
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1360
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2004-03-07 12:38 am   Permalink

I have to dig through various area to see if I have it. I'm begining to think it was an ebay auction that I saved the image from. Unfortunately I had to reinstall windows some months back and lost a bunch of images ( yes i know, back up yer info, it was an unexpected occurance and I got caught off guard ).

But I'll hunt for it. And in the meantime, if my memory is right, pay attention to the postcards sections of the flea markets!

TG


 
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Tonnikan Jinn
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Joined: Feb 28, 2004
Posts: 143
From: La Conchita
Posted: 2004-03-16 06:11 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-03-01 19:57, twowheelin'tiki wrote:
...the original sambos is serving food daily in santa barbra cal.[ This Message was edited by: twowheelin'tiki on 2004-03-01 20:07 ]



Yup, I drive by it about once a week, but I haven't been there for about 10 years. I had completely forgotten about it, but now I want to go soon.

BTW... from Santa Monica... I was born and raised there. Small world eh!

-T.J.


 
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naugatiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 829
From: Port Angeles, Wa
Posted: 2004-03-16 09:15 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-02-18 11:37, Tikiwahine wrote:
It's amazing all the memorabilia and restaurants associated with this story, apparently made up by a lady to keep her children occupied. Sadly it was changed to be more 'pc'(a turban added to the boy to make him look more Indian). Personally, I loved the original.







[ This Message was edited by: naugatiki on 2004-03-16 09:16 ]


 
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powerofthetiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 11, 2002
Posts: 131
From: Baltimore
Posted: 2004-03-17 06:40 am   Permalink

Here is some info on Sambo’s . This info is a little old so I do not know if the one in Santa Barbara, California is still there.

Sambo's is based upon a children's fairy tale from India about a poor starving boy, "Little Black Sambo." A group of African-Americans, who were more unfamiliar with the story , protested that Sambo's was unfair in its representation of black people with the pictures from the story hanging all over the stores. Sambo's fought tooth and nail to save the chain. Now, if he is a poor black boy from Africa, I can understand the ghee. There are lots of people from India all over the metropolitan areas of the continent of Africa and he could get some. But, tigers? Come on! There are no tigers in Africa, except in a ZOO. Does the little boy in the picture above look African? I don't think so. It didn't matter to the group, which filed the complaint. It was the perception. The chain went belly up about 1987 (even though they won the lawsuit; the legal costs were too much!) Today there is only one Sambo's, located at its original location on the beach in Santa Barbara, California. There are no pictures from the fairy tale on the walls anymore. Instead, there are pictures of the great chain that once was. And lots of people with ancestries from Africa AND INDIA eat there! Meanwhile, Denny's still packs 'em in.
_________________________________________________

powerofthetiki
http://www.marylanddctiki.com
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ZuluMagoo
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 26, 2002
Posts: 468
From: Denver, CO
Posted: 2004-06-13 1:45 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-03-06 11:50, bigbrotiki wrote:
That could be from THE TROPICS Motels. The Palm Springs Tropics Coffeshop (now that Mexican Restaurant) was initially a SAMBO'S (when the Reef bar was THE CONGO ROOM, and the basement housed THE CELLAR).






Found this postcard on eBay for Ken Kimes TROPICS Motel in Blythe, CA. It also had a Sambo's. The picture is from the auction (not mine) so in fairness, here is the link.

http://cgi.msn.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=924&item=2249918859&rd=1


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sparklegem
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2003
Posts: 209
From: The Living Conditioned Homes
Posted: 2004-06-14 3:26 pm   Permalink

There is still a Sambo's in Oregon! It is at the coast, in Lincoln City.

 
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Tangaroa
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Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1558
Posted: 2004-09-16 2:55 pm   Permalink

Ok - I'm a little premature here, as I don't have them in hand yet... But I just bought four original back-lit panels from the defunct Sambo's in Tulare, California. I'm really excited about these, as I remember looking up at them while scarfing down pancakes (we'd always go to the Anaheim location before a day at Disneyland) as a kid...
The have wooden frames, and the characters are made of crushed glass, with openings in the back to be lit from behind (see pic #2 at the begining of this post)...
Now, where am I gonna put them?





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From my limbs, let new life fall..."
http://www.christophermerritt.com








[ This Message was edited by: Tangaroa on 2004-09-17 08:25 ]


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Hehena Haole
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 06, 2004
Posts: 16
From: Jacksonville, Florida
Posted: 2004-09-16 3:12 pm   Permalink

Man, I really miss Sambo's after this thread.
That was much better times.


 
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Tikiwahine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3288
From: Victoria, BC
Posted: 2004-09-16 4:07 pm   Permalink

Those are really cool Tangaroa!

Could you make a large box for them to be mounted to? I guess it depends on size.

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Tangaroa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1558
Posted: 2004-09-16 4:37 pm   Permalink

Actually, I'd love to mount them on a downward angled surface near the ceiling, and light them from behind - just like in this photo:

It would be nice to get some similar lighting fixtures to complete the effect! Of course, with four of them - that kinda takes over a whole room....
But I can dream, can't I?
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Bamboo Dude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 05, 2004
Posts: 164
From: Orange Countiki, CA
Posted: 2004-09-17 12:50 am   Permalink

Man, does this thread bring back some memories. I actually managed a Sambos for less than a year...this was in 1982. I trained in the Anaheim location on Katella, and then was asked by the Regional Mgr. to move up to Port Hueneme to manage the Sambo's there. I also did a little time at the Santa Paula Sambos.

Many things led to the downfall of Sambos...the run in with African-Americans was not by any means the knock out punch. There was a period of time where Sambos allowed their manager's to 'franchise' the unit they managed...and there were all kinds of stories I'd heard about watering down the syrups and pancake batter to be more profitable. I think that this episode had a lot to do with the eventual bankruptcy.

For you trivia buffs: the founder of Sambo's was Mr. Samuel Battistone, and the name actually derived from his being nicknamed Sambo as a kid. At least that was the company line AFTER the racial card was dealt.


 
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Tangaroa
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Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1558
Posted: 2004-09-17 07:58 am   Permalink

Wow Bamboo Dude! Cool.... Tell me you have some interior photos of the locations you worked at! I'm having a tough time getting pictures of the actual restaurants...
What you said jibes with the lady selling this auction (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=7101331440&ssPageName=STRK:MEWN:IT)
Here's her take on Sambo's (she says she ran the Odessa, Texas location)



Q: You said to ask... So, what in your opinion was the reason for Sambos' demise, when most of the competition (e.g. Denny's) that wasn't doing as well as they were at the time, still surviving? I'd be curious what you think. My family was involved in Sambo's at one time and had a restaurant in Fresno CA. But both parents are gone now so I missed my chance at the "real" story...
Answered on Sep-14-04

  A: Sambos expanded too quickly. They used the manager's money to build the chain. One would work almost 24/7 running his/her restaurant, and receive the option to purchase a "group" for $5000 at different intervals. The returns on the group - which was a percent of a group of various Sambos Restaurants - were phenomenal - almost too good to be true. So every time an option arose to purchase a group one took it, hence, Sambos built another store, and so on, and so on, then too good to be true was. We only lost 40K when is folded - I'm sure others lost more but many who were privy to inside information got out before it went bankrupt. They were the ones on the bottom of the pyramid. Sambos (the name) came from Sam Battistone and Newell Bohnett (who was called Bo) therefore - "Sambos". It was an interesting 7 years with Sambos. We moved to 3 different states climbing the ladder, ending up at headquarters in Santa Barbara, California - one year later the Company went down. pairinabox

Interesting, eh?
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Bamboo Dude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 05, 2004
Posts: 164
From: Orange Countiki, CA
Posted: 2004-09-17 09:23 am   Permalink

Unfortunately, I never felt enough of a connection with that job to take and save pictures, so I can't help you out there, but I can give you a little more information about the 'waning' days of Sambos.

Can't remember if this was '82 or '83 when Sambo's brought in a new CEO. His name was Bob Lucky ('not Lucky enough' is what I used to say!). Bob was the son of the guy who founded Chart House Restaurants, a very high end steak/seafood house, the original being a little place on PCH in Newport Beach (restaurant row). Bob was a bigger than life kinda guy...a very large man, who liked to live large. One of his first acts was to secure a $15 M investment in Sambos from Godfather's Pizza which was rapidly growing at the time, and probably viewed their involvement as buying into the eventual demise of the chain, and being able to cherry pick the best locations...which is kinda what happened. Then Mr. Lucky organized 'pep rallys' in each of the 5 regions. I don't know, in total, how much was spent on these pep rallys, but at the one here I heard the figure was comfortably over $200,000 (today it'd be like spending half a mil or more)! The event, held at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, was well publicized in the LA Times, the Ram's Cheerleaders (at the time, the LA Rams were calling them "The Embraceable Ewes"...'embraceable' fer sure!) were there, and every manager was put up in the hotel for the night, so we could drink ourselves sick at the open bar, and crash there for the evening.

The idea of rallying the troups was a noble thought, but the unrestrained free spending for these events was inappropriate for a company circling the drain!

As the fortunes of Sambo's were grinding to a halt, a last ditch attempt was made to reinvent the chain into a quasi Marie Callendar's/ Coco's type restaurant named "Season's". The first opened up near the Corporate offices in Carpinteria (just south of Santa Barbara), but in the end, the chain went under, and Godfather's Pizza along with Coco's, go many of the primo locations. The Katella Sambo's went to Coco's, the second best location in Anaheim was a block away and close to the Disneyland Hotel...that went to Godfather's.



 
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