Bob's Big Boy in Diamond Bar launched a petition effort three months ago to try and get the restaurant at Colima and Brea Canyon roads some sort of historical status.
General Manager Lucy Bartlett said that the restaurant owner and the company that owns the Diamond Creek shopping center have been at legal odds for several years.
"The property owner here is trying to get us out," she said. "At the end of six years, they are absolutely not going to renew our lease."
Bartlett said the main issue is that the center's owners, Garden Grove-based Lakeview Village, Corp., want to raise the rent but can't because the restaurant has six more years on a set lease.
Denise Coury, with Lakeview Village, disputes that the lawsuit is about rent.
"Our legal efforts have nothing to do with the rent," she said..."We abide by the lease agreement."
The issue is that the building is in need of repairs including the removal of mold and termites, electrical and plumbing fixes, and Americans with Disability Act upgrades, Coury said.
"The building was built in 1979 and nothing has been done to it," she said. "We can't get them to cooperate in any way, shape, or form. They won't let us go in and make the repairs."
Bartlett said she and the owner feel "bullied" by Lakeview Village and that the petition is an effort to keep Bob's Big Boy where it is. The Diamond Bar location is one of two of the original Bob's Big Boys left in California, she said. The other is in Burbank.
More modern versions of the eatery have opened in other cities, but they don't have the look and feel of the original, she said.
At 35 years old, the Diamond Bar location is about 15 years too young for national historical landmark status, however it could qualify as a historical point of interest, she said.
So far, the restaurant has collected 15,000 signatures and hopes to get 20,000 to present to the Diamond Bar City Council.
"Thousands of people worked for Bob's and they went to Bob's," she said. "They met and married at Bob's. It's kind of a tradition."