72155 Baker Boulevard,
The World's Tallest Thermometer was originally built near one of two Bun Boy Restaurants, the other one being down Interstate 15 in Barstow. Will Herron, the eventual creator of the thermometer, entered into a partnership with J.O. Failing in 1956, becoming part owner of Bun Boy. I believe J.O. Failing began the business in 1926.
In Baker, there was the Bun Boy Restaurant, which the thermometer was eventually built to the left of. Behind the restaurant and running from the thermometer to the Country Lotto Store was the Bun Boy Motel. Lastly, there was a Bun Boy business office located just across the street from the restaurant. Sadly, all are closed now.
Will Herron sold off Bun Boy, along with other enterprises, back in 2000 to Steve Carter, before passing away several years later, on July 11th, 2007. However, sometime in 2005, it seemed that Carter sold off much of the business to Matt Pike. After purchasing the restaurant and the next door thermometer, plus other parts of the Baker empire, Matt Pike was responsible for changing the restaurant into a Bob's Big Boy, and sadly over the next several years, eventually sold or shut down most of the properties, including the thermometer, by 2012. Herron's family found out about the thermometer closure, and arranged to repurchase the 134 foot thermometer, refurbish it, and reopen it.
The Bob's Big Boy franchise only lasted in the Bun Boy location from 2005 until May 2013 when it closed due to the owner having franchise issues. The location may have temporarily reverted back to a Bun Boy, as you could see fresh Bun Boy signage placed over the former Bob's Big Boy signage. After being vacant for many years, the building is now something called Markeplace 15. The Motel also closed years ago, as did the business office across the street, which still sports a Bun Boy sign, as well as advertising for the Mad Greek Diner.
Signage around town, however, still advertises for Bun Boy, including a tall sign down near Arne's Royal Hawaiian Motel, which can be seen from Interstate 15, and was originally meant to direct traffic off the highway. The Barstow Bun Boy restaurant additionally closed in 2012 and the building was torn down in 2014.
All that remains now of Bun Boy is a slowly deteriorating motel, a vacant business office, and two former signs directing travels off of Interstate 15 into Baker. To the left of the doors into Temp 134, the thermometer's gift shop, is a nice Bun Boy sign and dedication.
BUN BOY RESTAURANT
Home of the
"BEST" FRESH STRAWBERRY PIE & BUTTER THIN PANCAKES!
First opened in Baker, CA in 1956
Founder Willis Herron and partner J.O. Failing
Original Building 1956 - 1990, one of three restaurants in Baker.
Restaurant was destroyed by fire in 1990
Rebuilt and reopened in 1991
Sold in 2000
The Herrons owned and operated several restaurants in Baker, Barstow, and Victorville, they were always known as great employers and community leaders.
World's Tallest Thermometer
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First Created: 2021-08-25
Last Edited: 2021-08-25