Bill Johnson's Big Apple in North Phoenix Has Closed; Memorabilia to Be Sold at Auction

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www.auctionaz.com
The furniture, equipment, and memorabilia from the northwest Phoenix location will be sold at auction at the end of this week.
The northwest Phoenix location of Bill Johnson's Big Apple closed its doors for good about three weeks ago -- but you can still own a piece of it.

The restaurant was once one of five Big Apple locations in the Valley, though now only the original restaurant on Van Buren Street and a second location in Mesa remain. The Big Apple restaurants have been a Valley staple since the 1950s, when cowboy/radio personality/stuntman/actor Bill Johnson founded the first Bill Johnson's Big Apple with his wife Gene. Johnson used to broadcast his KTAR radio show from the Van Buren location, often hosting celebrities such as Roy Rogers and Johnny Cash.

See also: Bill Johnson's Big Apple Hopes to Endure Contentious Times

You might say the closure was a long time coming. The family has faced financial troubles for years, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011. Big Apple CEO Sherry Cameron -- Bill and Gene's granddaughter -- has been trying to save the family business from liquidation, which other family members have said publicly they'd prefer.

Just about everything -- including the furniture, equipment, and memorabilia -- from Bill Johnson's North will go up for auction on Friday, May 16. The auction will close on Wednesday, May 21.

Items will include autographed photos and movie posters from John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Gene Autry, among others; Native American historical memorabilia; bar mirrors; full kitchen equipment; and restaurant furniture.

Here are a few photos of what to expect in the auction:

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For additional photos visit the AuctionAZ website.

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Location Info

Bill Johnson's Big Apple - CLOSED

16810 N. 19th Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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43 comments
kennethfzinke
kennethfzinke

I would have been going out to a nice dinner at Bill Johnson's Big Apple Restaurant at 19th Avenue & Bell Road since I was born in 1991 and I wanted was a big steak.

Bill Jarc
Bill Jarc

Wouldn't let me in with a sidearm, fuck em......

Ben Groseclose
Ben Groseclose

Giant hamburger after church on Sundays. (35th/Indian School)

Nick Johnson
Nick Johnson

Sad. Fucking. Day. I spent many a birthday here as a child... I weep...

Kevin Buck
Kevin Buck

Explosive diarrhea is my one and only memory of this shithole. Good riddance!

Sindi Stack
Sindi Stack

Don't think I can own it. It was the fish sandwiches with the fish hanging out of the bun.

Connie Clark
Connie Clark

My family went there when we first moved to AZ in the late 50's. I remember the sawdust on the floor.

Dawna Wukitsch
Dawna Wukitsch

Went last year when my husband talked about the apple pie. It was so groady. Not like how it use to be! I am surprised it held up this long. Won't miss it.

Ericka Lynn
Ericka Lynn

Lol geezus it just reminded me of your brother

Gonzalez Daniellia
Gonzalez Daniellia

Erica Lynn Sanchez, why did u tag me? They had good food.. years ago.

Mike Destron
Mike Destron

Before it went to shit it was great. I loved having steak and all you can eat popcorn shrimp on my birthday. I never ate there again after the menu changed.

Jim Grant
Jim Grant

Oh! I thought it was the one on Van Buren! I don't care about the one in N PHX, lol!

Leah Greer
Leah Greer

The endless supply of the "all you can eat" beef ribs, then taking home the bones to our dogs:)

Jen Pellette
Jen Pellette

Lol I drive by it every day too and think wow it's still there??

Jenni Connell Powell
Jenni Connell Powell

Sad!! Many, many good times and lots of memories of my childhood happened there. :(

Amber Lunsford Botamer
Amber Lunsford Botamer

Used to love the sawdust all over the floor!!! Oh...and as a kid I ordered sasparilla! ;0)

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

Going in and seeing all the rat traps set up with rats in a couple of them. Turned around and walked out.

Pat Perman
Pat Perman

I was a server there for a long time..

Dustin Day
Dustin Day

Last time I went there was with fond childhood memories and a friend who had the same, once we were there we got terrible service, the food was mediocre at best and their "famous pies" marketed out front they were out of. Very disappointing...as a kid loved it!

Luster Kaboom
Luster Kaboom

What a super bummer! I love Bill Johnson's!!!

Kenny Benally
Kenny Benally

My favorite memory is that I've never been there, hahaha

Sparkle Fish
Sparkle Fish

Dinners with my grandpa. Second greatest man I've ever known. Those were the days! ♥♥♥ Katharine Thayer Kane

Fred Isaac
Fred Isaac

Driving By on my way to work each day.... Idk I got nothing

Lucia Perry
Lucia Perry

My mom and I took the Treasurer of Tunisia to Big Apple in the '60s for lunch, and all he wanted was a hot fudge sundae. Last time we went to the original one in Phx, was before the Zoolight program, about 2005? Time flies. There used to be a window that someone broadcast a radio show from.

Tom Mucken
Tom Mucken

After riding bulls @ Doyle's going there for the party melts and breakfast after a night at Mr Luckys

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