Happy Chef

Today’s Zippy, on fiberglass statuary as roadside icons:


A continuing theme in Zippy: Bob’s Big Boy, Doggie Diner dog-heads, Happy Chef, Muffler Man (the central figure in this strip).

Previously on this blog: Bob’s Big Boy on 10/12/12; Doggie Diner on 12/27/13 (and some later postings); and Muffler Man on 3/12/14.

Happy Chef is new here. From Wikipedia:

Happy Chef is a casual dining restaurant chain in the Upper Midwest, based in Mankato, Minnesota. It is known for serving breakfast throughout the day and is similar to Denny’s, Perkins, and IHOP. The first Happy Chef Restaurant opened in 1963 in Mankato, Minnesota, and still operates today. At one time, the chain had 56 restaurants throughout the Midwestern United States. However, as consumer’s tastes changed throughout the mid to late 1990s to pub and grill-type restaurants, the remaining locations number just 3.

At one time, most of its locations had a big statue of a smiling man in a chef hat holding a spoon. Usually, these were at least eight times larger than life and would play recorded audio messages when a button was pushed. These became roadside icons. Today, only the original location in Mankato still has a Happy Chef statue.

The original Happy Chef Restaurant and corporate offices on U.S. Highway 169 in Mankato, Minnesota:


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