History Lesson: Sidewalk Cafe Part I: Happy Charlie's

Sidewalk Cafe, 27101 Euclid Ave., Euclid, Ohio 44132
We were driving past the other day, and Guy remarked that he wondered if the Sidewalk Cafe was built as a McDonald's [because of the roof shape]. I didn't think this was the case, but it does have an interesting history and one I was completely unaware of.


Very recently the colors went from the orange, tan and brown scheme to the black and yellow. On a personal note, I preferred the former colors.

Let's begin at the beginning.

09-13-1964, a restaurant called Happy Charlie is proposed, and posts a want ad for staff. 

By 10-04-1964, they are directing applicants to the location of the actual restaurant, 27101 Euclid Avenue.
Here we see a slight change of things, Mr. Haslam is the man to see in May, by August, it's Mr. Freeman. Mr. Haslam will pop back up eventually, though.
Fast forward to October, 1965, and the higher ups have big ideas for Happy Charlie restaurants, including 24 new locations, according to Gregory S. Thomas, GM of the chain, and former general superintendent of Manner's Big Boy. 
Big Charlie hamburgers... Mmmm.

Here's the part you kids of the 60's may remember:
The company's trademark is a 4 1/2 foot replica of a grinning Polynesian who invites youngsters to rub his fat stomach to make their wishes come true.

Holy shit. A wish granting Buddha. But wait, all 24 ill-fated locations will be modeled after the restaurant at 35901 Euclid Ave. in Willoughby... But today, that's Mr. Chicken... and oh my... they're identical! I've lived in this area for 3+ decades and would have never spotted this.
Source: Google Maps [is a real bro]
12-04-1965 finds Happy Charlie's looking to hire some members of the fairer sex
Laaaadies....
13 months after the expansion teaser comes the last want ad I can find for Happy Charlie, November 13, 1966.
 On August 25, 1967, it is mentioned King Kirby and Dick Kemp of WIXY will be at the Euclid Happy Charlie location. Sometime between then and December of that same year, Happy Charlie, along with it's dream of duodecupling in size, disappear.

If you Google "Happy Charlie" restaurant, you don't find much... I did come across something pretty neat though. They're 3", one brown one white, Buddha charms made of plastic. On they back they read:
I'm Happy Charlie rub my tummy and make a wish


RIP Happy Charlie, 1964 - 1967/8. Anyone have any memories of Happy Charlie's restaurant?

See Part II: 1968 - 1971 Roy Rogers
See Part III: 1971 - 1973 Love's Restaurants 
See Part IV: 1973 - 1982 Famous Recipe Chicken 
See Part V: 1982 - 1989 Mr. Chicken