The restaurant confirmed with a tweet Monday morning that its new name, IHOb, is all about the burgers. But only select locations, including its Hollywood restaurant, are getting special signage. The chain’s other nearly 1,800 locations will still go by IHOP.
As part of the new marketing campaign, customers will see new burgers on the menu, including a Big Brunch burger with bacon, a fried egg and browned potato on top.
But before the IHOP we know and love is (temporarily) no more, here’s an ode to the original moniker and its history.
About 60 years ago on July 7, 1958, Jerry Lapin, Al Lapin and Albert Kallis founded the first-ever International House of Pancakes restaurant in Burbank, California. The acronym wouldn’t become popular for another 15 years.
But what was so “international” about the chain? Some say it’s because the restaurant served items considered “exotic” to Americans at the time, such as french toast and Swedish crepes.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the brothers Lapins also hired a Le Cordon Bleu chef for the original “unusual” pancakes such as Tahitian orange pineapple and Kauai coconut.
The restaurant also expanded globally. Today, the chain has more than 70 locations in Bahrain, Canada, Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Guatemala, Kuwait, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In 1973, thanks to a winning marketing campaign, the chain name was shortened to IHOP, quickly popularized by the public and favored by the company.
Contrary to what some parishioners may believe, IHOP has no affiliation with the Evangelical church, the International House of Prayer, which originated much later.
According to CNN, the restaurant chain ultimately sued the church in 2010 for illegally using its acronym and settled out of court.