Big John Grocery is a small chain of grocery stores that have a larger than life Big John statue out front (nicknamed the Big John Grocery Clerk). From what I can tell only a few superstores currently left out there (although I am not sure how many there ever were) and many of the statues that still exist are now at completely different grocery stores or separate locations all together.
This Big John Grocery Clerk in Metropolis, Illinois (and all of the rest) stand between 28 and 30 feet tall, making the one in Metropolis actually quite a bit taller than the Superman statue that the town is known for. These statues are often mistaken for muffler men, but they are actually quite different.
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Originally, the Big John Grocery statues wore checked shirts and blue jeans. They were cast by General Sign Co. (1939-2010) in the 1960s.
Up until 2014 this Big John wore blue jeans, a red shirt, a white apron, and giant black shoes and carried a giant grocery bag in each arm heaping with items from his shopping trip.
Unfortunately, in August 2014, this big man lost his right arm. But he was repaired and restored in May 2015 with a slight makeover: he now wears tan pants and his right arm is free from groceries, leaving it extended to wave at passing cars.
Regardless, I could really use someone like him around next time I need to shop for groceries!
Photos of the Big John Grocery Clerk in 2007:
I first saw the Big John statue on July 14, 2007, on an Illinois road trip that took me to Metropolis, Illinois.
Photos of the Big John Grocery Clerk in 2009:
I saw the Illinois roadside attraction again onMay 2, 2009, when I took a road trip to Metropolis to watch an ice cream eating contest.
If you love this Illinois roadside attraction and want to see more like it, you can find another Big John Grocery Clerk roadside attraction (and a few of his buddies) at Glenn Goode’s Big People in Gainesville, Texas.
Big John Grocery Clerk statue at the Big John Grocery
Location: Big John Grocery, 1200 E 5th St, Metropolis, IL 62960
Cost: Free to see
Hours: Always Visible