Well, what do you know. Sometimes I plug the name into google, and get 2374 hits that have nothing to do with my search. I typed “bickford’s restaurants” - hit return – and got bickfordsrestraurants.com. Still around! Looks like the Perkins of the NE, with famous pancakes and equally famous syrup. From the website:

"Bickford's history dates back to the 1920's, when Samuel Bickford opened his first Bickford's cafeteria. Throughout the next 40 years, Sam, and eventually his son, Harold, worked to expand their cafeteria chain throughout the Northeast and into California. However, it was not until 1959 that Harold introduced a new concept to New England, the first Pancake House-the first such specialty restaurant in New England which opened in Peabody, Mass., in October 1959."

Perkins opened their first pancake house in 1958, so Mr. B wasn’t the first to come up with the concept.