Tiny Naylors, Los Angeles, 1963
Cartoonist George McManus, famous for creating the comic strip Bringing Up Father, designed this wonderful 1963 menu cover for the Californian restaurant chain Tiny Naylors.
Tiny – the nickname came from the restaurateur being six foot four and weighing 325 pounds – opened restaurants called Biff’s ( his son’s name) in Oakland and Los Angeles in the late 40s and early 50s. The Tiny Naylor chain started in 1957 at Wilshire and Virgil in Los Angeles and grew to six drive-ins, coffee shops, a dining room and a cocktail lounge – all open 24 hours a day.
This cartoon version of Tiny on the menu cover bears some resemblance to McManus’s famous character Jiggs, a working-class Irish immigrant to the US who wins a million dollars in the sweepstakes and reluctantly joins the ranks of the nouveau riche.
He wants to continue going out on the town with his old gang of boisterous, hard-drinking pals but his upwardly mobile wife Maggs has other ideas – and brandishes her rolling pin to keep her wayward husband in line.
The syndicated cartoon series ran for a remarkable 87 years from 1913 to 2000 and was syndicated around the world. After McManus died in 1941, other cartoonists continued the stories.
Many of Tiny’s restaurants were built in Googie-style, the type of futuristic architecture that originated in Southern California and was influenced by car culture, jets, the Space Age and the Atomic Age.
Tiny died in 1959 but we believe his restaurants - both Biff’s and Tiny Naylor’s – continued operating until the 1980s.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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