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Iowa History Daily: December 12 - Birth of B-Bops

Iowa History Daily: On December 12, 1988, the first ad for the original “B-Bops” on East Euclid in Des Moines appeared in a Des Moines newspaper. Voted best burger in Des Moines for more than two straight decades, B-Bops represents one of Iowa’s most iconic fast food restaurants.

During the 1970s, B-Bops founder Bob Johnson started working at a “Mr. Quick” in Illinois before opening a franchise of his own in Newton. After expanding to open additional “Mr. Quick” locations in Fairfield and Muscatine, Johnson changed the names of the stores to “Sizzlin’ Sam’s.” Looking for another opportunity, Johnson fixated on the trend of double drive-thru restaurants.

When an ideal location for a double drive-thru hit the market at 1500 East Euclid during 1988, Johnson acted fast. Six months of renovations and brainstorming followed, and by the end of the year an ad looking for employees at the newest burger join in Central Iowa hist newsstands. Soon after, cars started lining up for a taste of one of the state’s best burgers.

The success of the first store eventually led to expansion throughout Iowa’s capital city. With ten Des Moines metro locations today, as well as two in Ames, B-Bops remains one of Iowa’s favorite places to stop for a quick bite to eat. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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