Sam Battistone and Newell F. Bohnet opened the first Sambo’s restaurant in 1957. The chain’s name was a source of controversy: According to the company, the name was simply a portmanteau of the founders’ last names, as opposed to being a reference to the use of Sambo as a derogatory term for African Americans. The fact that the decor of the restaurants displayed the racist caricature Li’l Black Sambo didn’t help their cause. At its height, the chain had about 1,000 locations, but dogged by the controversy, the company shut down in the ’80s. Most of the locations were sold to Denny’s, while the others were shut down.