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Posted on Tue, Aug 11, 2009 : 12:08 p.m.

Zeeb Road Big Boy closes but will reopen under new operator

By Dan Meisler

The Big Boy restaurant on Zeeb Road near I-94 in Scio Township has closed, but the property manager and Big Boy officials said it would reopen soon under corporate management.

Property manager Phil Conlin and Jennifer Bourgoin, vice president and general council Big Boy Franchise Management LLC, said the Big Boy corporation would take over operations of the restaurant. The previous operator and franchisee, Sam Berry, who also ran a Big Boy on Lohr Road in Pittsfield Township that recently closed, is embroiled in court battles with the restaurant company.

In court filings, Big Boy claims Berry owes more than $70,000 on the Zeeb restaurant.

The restaurant was built in 2007, and Conlin said Berry had been a good operator for much of that time.

"It was a high-volume store. They ran it well, the were good operators," he said, adding that he was "shocked" that unpaid rent had piled up to the point that eviction was necessary.

"It's an ugly situation," Conlin said.

In an interview last week, Bourgoin said Berry's franchise agreements were terminated for "nonpayment for royalty and advertising fees." She also said eviction proceedings had begun.

Conlin said an eviction notice was made official on Monday.

Berry recently opened a third restaurant, a Ram's Horn, in Ypsilanti Township.


Otto Mobeal

Fri, Aug 14, 2009 : 1:27 p.m.

The Zeeb road store seemed very buzy, how could this happen? Ex-hockey bookkeeper?


Wed, Aug 12, 2009 : 11:03 p.m.

Filing suit against the franchisee is the only way to attempt to claim any wages that may be due. If a court determines that unpaid wages are owed, and the assets are available to cover such payment, you might get whatever is rightfully owed to you.


Wed, Aug 12, 2009 : 12:54 p.m.

The restaurant closed while owing the employees money. Does anyone know what steps they might take to obtain their money?


Wed, Aug 12, 2009 : 10:09 a.m.

I'm so sad to see the Big Boy on Lohr go! We didn't go there so much for the food as for the welcoming, family atmosphere. The owner's wife, Nancy, always treated us like part of the family. Nancy, her husband, and all the staff will be greatly missed!

Ryan Munson

Tue, Aug 11, 2009 : 10:02 p.m.

Oh no...not my car loving to get to the restaurant to be served high calorie, high fructose corn syrup Big Boy! This is a sit down McDonald's. Hence, it's next to one!

Ronald Ahrens

Tue, Aug 11, 2009 : 8:46 p.m.

At tonight's Scio Township Board of Trustees' meeting, the township manager said the restaurant owes $7500 in unpaid sewer and water use fees, which will have to be covered by taxpayers.


Tue, Aug 11, 2009 : 5:17 p.m.

God no...not my Big Boy