Pizza, Pancakes, Steaks and Bobby Orr

I’ve decided to stay with the food theme for one more week as it relates to Bobby Orr and the Bruins in general.

Athletes opening their own restaurant is common nowadays. The first I believe was boxer Jack Dempsey in the 1930’s. Promotional tie-ins or givaways goes back even further. With that said, it would only seem natural that with the popularity of Bobby Orr and the Bruins in the 1970’s that Orr, the Bruins and food establishments in the area would take advantage of the potential money to be made. Over the years I’ve managed to pick up a few advertising examples. I’ll start with a few restaurants/bars that Orr owned or had a stake in.

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The first is a chain of Bobby Orr pizza restaurants that were located in Canada. This is the front and back of one of the take home menus.  Here is the inside menu.

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I probably would have went for the large spaghetti with meat balls for $1.90. You also got free delivery for orders over $2.50 and 10% off all pickup orders. I say that’s a pretty sweet deal. There’s also a larger full menu that I hope to aquire someday.

Next up is a local restaurant/bar the Bobby had a stake in called appropriately “Bobby Orr’s Branding Iron”.

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This is a welcoming postcard that I believe you received when you came in. Here’s another example:

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This is the front of the postcard. Here’s the back:

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As you can see, you get western style steaks, man-size drinks and dancing to boot. Sounds like it was the place to be in the early to mid 70’s!

Now for some restaurant chain advertisements. First up is Papa Gino’s.

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In 1976, Papa Gino’s put out promotional cups for all of the Boston sports teams. The Bruins were represented by 6 or 7 players including Orr. The back of the cup gives some player information and urges you to listen to the Bruins on WBZ radio and go to Papa Gino’s when you’re hungry. Don’t forget that.

Last but not least is my favorite tie-in from the International House of Pancakes or IHOP. The Bruins food placemats.

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As you all know these are the mats that your food went on. These are 100% original and not copies, of which I have seen from time to time listed on Ebay. I’m not sure how many of these survived but my guess is probably not a whole lot considering the amount of food and syrup that would have been spilt on them.

The first mat shows head shots of Bruins players from 1970 when the won the Stanley Cup. The second shows select players from that year. The second is also unique because under each players picture and name, there is a line so that you could get it autographed. I have 9 of 10 signatures so far. The only one missing is Orr. Someday when he does another private signing I’ll get his also.

These a just a few of the things Orr has promoted. There have been many others such as Nabisco brand cookies, the now defunct Baybank and men’s cologne and bathroom products to name a few. 

For those interested, I think I’m going to switch things up a little in my next post and write about one of the comics in my collection. Thanks again for reading and see you next time!

13 Responses to “Pizza, Pancakes, Steaks and Bobby Orr”

  1. The Goog says:

    Wow, it’s funny to think that a company would think people would save their place mats to get autographs and it’s almost shocking to think that there are some out there! The chances that the place mat would still be in good shape after a meal let along after 30 years are slim and to think the piece of newsprint has remained in good shape to fulfill it’s alternative purpose is surprising! That’s a pretty cool collectible.

  2. Gary says:

    Great observations The Goog. Who would have guessed that IHOP would be on the cutting edge of autograph collecting. I’m also lucky that whomever owned these kept them in great shape albeit for a few stains and some trimming.

  3. Wendy says:

    I have the Bobby Orr jigsaw puzzle 500 interlocking pieces 16” x 20” sealed in the wrapper, and autographed. Any suggestions as to what that might be worth? I was thinking of putting it on e bay.

    Thank you
    Wendy

  4. Wendy says:

    Sorry I meant to add that it is the white jersey version, and I also have but not autographed, Phil Esposito, and Derek Sanderson

  5. Gary says:

    The white jersey puzzle is pretty common, even sealed. Depending on how nice the autograph is, I would say that it would be worth at least $50 – $100. Unfortunately, you can never tell what will and won’t sell on Ebay. I’ve seen the other 2 puzzles for sale between $10 – $30. Good luck with whatever you decide to do with them and thanks for reading.

  6. Mike says:

    Go figure. This afternoon, after the Bruins game, while enjoying a beverage at a Boston libation establishment, a friend’s friend said her mother has a placemat from Bobby Orr’s Branding Iron. Cool enough. But apparently, it is signed by nearly every member of the Bruins from (we guess) the 1970-71 season! And she’s thinking of selling it. I said I’d check the web – and here I am. I still don’t know what it’d be worth, but man, look at all this cool stuff! Thanks Gary, for sharing your obsession with us!

  7. Gary says:

    Thanks Mike! Glad that you found my site. I hope that you come back and check out more of my stuff. That placemat sounds awesome, especially if it’s signed by everyone. The condition of the mat is important, as is the signatures. Hopefully they haven’t faded too much over time. A sports memorabilia dealer could evaluate it for her and either make her an offer or she could sell it on Ebay. Those are her best options.

  8. Donald says:

    Cool stuff. I still have a bobby orr pizza box. I needed it to store some cards and it just got stuffed away in another box.

    I do recall that at the time I didn’t care for pizza one bit.

  9. Gary says:

    Thanks Donald! I have never seen the pizza box. Does it have Orr’s pic on it? My guess is that you have a pretty rare item.

  10. Donald says:

    Gary:
    It may have a drawn image, I’ll check over Christmas. The box is back in T.O. (I’ve been in Miami for a while)

    I’ll take pics…

  11. Gary says:

    Thanks Donald. I really would appreciate it!

  12. Duncan says:

    i am visiting toronto and looked up Bobby Orrs pizza because i lived here as a kid in the early 70’s and it was my first job; delivering flyers door to door. it was really cool to see the menu, def brought back some memories , thanks-Duncan

  13. Gary says:

    Awesome story Duncan! Thanks for the comment. I wish you still had some of those flyers.

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