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Jul 24, 2003 12:11 AM

Remember Hobeau's?

  • l

When we lived in NY, our favorite neighborhood restaurant was Hobeau's, which sadly has closed. Has anyone found another restaurant with similar menu, price, and ambiance?

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  1. Grew up on the UWS, lived at 332 East 54st from 1975 to 1977. Hobeau's was my favorite nabe place. Went back there after they moved to 2nd ave, now gone. Weren't they part of a group of restaurants on the East Side owned by something called the Fish Factory??

    9 Replies
    1. re: johnpressman

      I never knew who owned Hobeau's, only that we ate there when we barely had food for groceries - such good food. When I typed Hobeau's into Google, it listed a restaurant in Homer, NY, but I don't know if there's a connection. We're coming to NY for a visit, and I'd love to find a spot with similar excellent fish and prices.

      1. re: Linda

        It was part of a chain. There was another one (I think the Cockeyed Clam) on the upper east side. Here are some new places to try

        Dolphins 35 Cooper square ($20 early bird)
        Fish at Bleecker & Jones
        Maine Lobster 2nd betw 84-85

        1. re: Mclaurie

          Thanks for the suggestions!

          1. re: Mclaurie

            Hobeau's was affiliated with the Cockeyed Clam and, I thought, another restaurant on the East Side. I heard the chain was owned by a fishing boat company. How is Coldwater's in the same nabe?

            1. re: johnpressman

              I think One Fish Two Fish was affiliated with them as well. It is still there -- on Madison Ave. in the 90's (1399 Madison).

              1. re: Greg S.

                hobeau's was on 52 st and first ave. It was owned by richie knodel and john andre, later bob bernididi. They also had cockeyed clams on 94 st and third ave and Nodeldinid on 93 and madison. I was a bartender at Hobeau's (Bill the bartender) in the early 1970s. it had a great neighborhood atmosphere, with many unique "screwball' characters, along with airine stewardesses, athletes, artists, writers, etc. The food (mostly seafood) was good and cheap. Looking back, I had more fun in Hobeau's wacky environment than any other place in my life. I have moved on (retired in a little town in North Carolina)-- but Hobeaus, well.....

                1. re: bill

                  My sister was a bookkeeper for the chain in the late 70s. Best food, great atmosphere, most fun! Miss those weekly trips to the city. Worst problem was which location to choose and menu item to select! {:~}

              2. re: johnpressman

                My imperfect memory tells me that the places changed hands, maybe a couple of times, and that the ones that remained open were, indeed, owned by a fishing boat company. The fishing boat company was, I'm pretty sure, part of the vast holdings of the Rev. Moon's Unification Church. That being said, I miss all of them under their original owners, as they were friendly, had good food and were very affordable to those of us just getting on our feet.

          2. re: johnpressman
            bill o'connor

            I was a bartender at Hobeau's on 53st and first ave. in the early 1970s. What info would you like to know? The restaurant was owned by Richie Knodel and John Andre (later Bob Bernidini became Richie's partner -- they also owned Cockeyed clams on 93st and Second ave and Noodledinis on 94th and Madison.

            I remember, quite fondly, my days (nights) at Hobeau's. What are some of your recolections, people, etc.

          3. Grew up on the UWS, lived at 332 East 54st from 1975 to 1977. Hobeau's was my favorite nabe place. Went back there after they moved to 2nd ave, now gone. Weren't they part of a group of restaurants on the East Side owned by something called the Fish Factory??

            1. I also remember Squid Roe on Second Avenue and 75th street. Owned by the same people I believe. Brings back some nice memories.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bob

                Minor correction: Squid Roe was at 77th and 2nd (I lived upstairs).

              2. I worked initially as a bartender and then as a manager for the chain from 1982-1985 which consited of: Hobeau's, Squid Roe, Butterfish Hole, Cockeyed Clams and Nodeldini's. They also had a wholesale/retail fish outlet called the Fish Factory. The company was called "BASK Industries" and was owned by Bobby Bernidini, Joey Adinairo, Paul Schilasi (sp) and Richie Knodel. The name Nodeldini was a combination of then names Knoel and Bernardini.

                20 Replies
                1. re: joefrie

                  Hey, I worked as a bartender, mostly at Clams, but also at Butterfish in the 80’s. I had some great times there working my way through college (slowly).

                  1. re: wkmul1

                    Bill O'Connor --anybody remember me bartender/manager Hobeaus, Nodeldini's etc !970-1975

                    1. re: bocon99

                      Billy, this thread has a life of it's own. I'm Frank, used to work with you at Hobeaus and was the first bartender at Nodeldinis. Also bb at Flushing Y. Retired now and moved back to Manhattan. How did you wind up in North Carolina?

                      1. re: tenth

                        Do you guys remember Peter Zagolo? Bartender on and off for many years mostly at Nodeldinis. Sometimes at Squid Roe

                        1. re: joefrie

                          Joe -- I knew Peter and his twin brother quite well back in the 70s. great, wacky sense of humor!

                          1. re: joefrie

                            Joe, if Peter is a big guy with dark hair, then I do remember him.

                            1. re: tenth

                              Yes he was . he was Russian Claimed to be Georgian Royalty

                          2. re: tenth

                            Frank -- I remember like it was yesterday. BB at the Y with little Joe (I wonder where he is?) Hobeaus, etc. Driving to Windham with my sister Anne (and my kids!!!! starting in the late 70s I designed, built and owned 5 restaurants in NYC -- pursued my legal career with large NY law firm until retirement -- Dorothy and I loving North Carolina -- I'm an artist ( email = -- tell me your "story." Bill

                            1. re: bocon99

                              Bill, definitely remember the trip when I locked the car keys in the trunk. Will shoot you an e-mail tomorrow. Frank

                      2. re: joefrie

                        This is Gabriel, the mexican-french guy that worked with you from '83 to '85 bouncing from Squid Roe to Cockeyed Clam to Hobeau' living in Houston,Tx

                        1. re: gabe59

                          Had my first date with now my wife of 32 years. Hobeau's was one of our favorites! The fried shrimp stuffed with crab meat was right up there! Oh, thoses were the days.

                          1. re: slapshot14

                            I remember the bluefish at Hobeau's..entire dinner for soemthing like $3.95.

                            I've lived in the area for many decades now, and am trying to re-create in my mind the restaurants along the west side of of First Avenue north and south of Hobeau's. I remember Wylie's for ribs, a few blocks south. And a place called Joe's, which gave you crayons to write on the tablecloths (??)

                            A block or two north, also on west side of First, Italian restaurant called "La Stanza" or something similar, around the corner from the GH Club. (The neighborhood had a gay nighlife scene back then..)

                            On 54th and First, next to the long-departed Avon Liquors, Elizabeth White's, near where Jimbo's is today.

                            Across the avenue, on the east side, Mayfair and Billy's were two popular local watering holes.

                            1. re: erica

                              Yeah they had bluefish or scrod for $3.95 AND it came with a half carafe of house wine, bloody mary or screwdriver. God that place was fun.

                              There was an Italian restaurant across the street where Frank Sinatra often went. Charlie Bianco's or something like that.

                              1. re: Bobbb

                                You might mean Chu Chu Bianco, also known as Rocky Lee, which was on Second Avenue and where the Asian bartender took bets and where Frank, indeed, was spotted. They had good pizza and other dishes. I went often, although was not any way in part of the "in" crowd.

                                Not far away was Goldberg's Pizza on Second...

                                1. re: erica

                                  Hi Erica! Yes.That's the one alright. The memory gets a little fuzzy. It was right across the street and the employees would come over to Hobeau's after work. I remember one of the waitresses was in a bad mood and walked up to Frank, after he and his group seated themselves, and told him, he could not sit there because the section was closed. I guess they looked at her like she was crazy. That was her last day at that job. haha. Yeah I liked the food. Usually just stopped in for a drink before going to work at Hobeau's. Thank you!

                                  And I do remember a bartender who took bets, but I thought he was Greek or something like that. Probably another or my fuzzy mind again. lol

                          2. re: gabe59

                            OK I got excited and tried to reply to different conversations. Didn't seem to work and I can't delete the posts. Haha. Must be residual side effects from Bask Industries.

                            1. re: gabe59

                              Gabriel - were you a host or a waiter?

                            2. re: joefrie

                              Hey I'm pretty sure I remember you. I was a bartender mostly at Hobeaus. '85 - '86. What a fun and shady place to be.

                              1. re: joefrie

                                Would like to hear about your memories of the establishments. One of the fondest group of memories for me. Upstate for horseback riding, NYC for dining, Northeast NJ for football. Good life.

                                1. re: joefrie

                                  Joe do you remember a short, petite, yet feisty, bookkeeper from Jersey, named Cheryl?

                                2. I, Bob, worked as a bartender at Hobeaus in 1985-86. They had really good fresh cheap seafood, 2 pound and a quarter lobsters for $9.95 with all the sides you could eat. I usually worked with another bartender named Allan who I saw on Geraldo a few years ago. I loved that place, great customers and employees. LOTS of fun

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Bobbb

                                    I always had a great time there! !!