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Bob's Southern Bistro to Close

Just got word that Bob's Southern Bistro is closing down and will be replaced by an upscale restaurant and lounge. More info is on my blog, as well as in the Globe and Herald today...

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  1. Doesn't really surpise me. I never thought the food there was particularly good. My buddy from South Carolina went so far as to call the fried chicken "inedible."

    It did have a fairly long run, in restaurant terms anyway.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Bostonbob3

      The last time I went, the food was pretty forgettable and the entertainment was surprisingly poor.

      Still, it's kind of sad to see a part of Boston history disappearing forever...

      1. re: hiddenboston

        You know I'm a big proponent of supporting classic Boston restaurants (see "Tavern, Tim's."). But only when the food is really good. Otherwise, I have no problem with changing things up.

        1. re: hiddenboston

          I feel bad about this. I went once in the old days, 3 or 4 times in the new. Always had decent luck, catfish and the fried chicken was good (altho I never thought the chicken was best ever). I wonder if opening the Beehive sped this along.

          1. re: Joanie

            According to the Globe article, it was indeed the success of the Beehive that brought Bob's down.

            I agree with the others above that the food was not great, but it's still a sad moment in city restaurant history.

        2. re: Bostonbob3

          So where can one get southern cokking in boston proper now? I like redbones, but it isn't GREAT, the ribs are delicious though...

          1. re: foodie07

            Poppa B's has great soul food.
            1100 Blue Hill Ave., Dorchester

            1. re: foodie07

              Mrs. Jones in Lower Mills (Dorchester) has really good soul food and Southern-style dishes, though it's more of a takeout place.

              1. re: foodie07

                If you dare to cross the river, you can get yummy southern eats at Magnolia's (Inman Square) - no liquor license tho, only wine & beer (Abita from NOLA!).

                1. re: mollymac

                  Magnolia has decent "new gourmet" Southern / New Orleans style food, but soul food it ain't. If you've ever been to any of the temples of Southern fine dining such as Crook's Corner or the Magnolia Grill, you'll be (like me) very disappointed with Magnolia.

            2. I've had the pleasure of meeting Darryl Settles a few times at the Beehive. In his words, running two places (even with partners at the Beehive) is a real stretch on time. He also is a new dad (he has a baby), which has to be tough.

              I found Bob's to be a fun place because of the vibe (other than Bob's, I can't think of another place in the city that is a melting pot where you find young & old; black, white, latino; high income and low income; etc.), the music and the reasonable prices. While the food was not stellar, the staples (fried chicken, catfish,cornbread) did the trick for me.

              All in all, Bob's will be missed, if only for the void it leaves behind.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Bob MacAdoo

                I think you captured my sentiments perfectly, Bob Mac. Another nail in the coffin of the Old South End.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Chalk it up to another venue for live jazz shutting their doors. That in and of itself is reason to mourn............given the concentration of jazz music schools here, it is almost unbelievable that these establishments continue to fold.

                  1. re: Science Chick

                    The sad fact is that while there are many musicians/musical students in this town (some say the largest concentration in the U.S, startling when you consider the NOLA scene), but not nearly as many aficionados. A pity.

                  2. re: MC Slim JB

                    You know, you guys are right. I was all, "but it's all about the food." But then I re-read my blog article about Tim's closing and realized that was the least of what angered me. I called it, "the unlikely mix of blue collar and diamond necklace" that makes Boston so great.

                    Okay, so the food at Bob's wasn't great. But the mix of people there WAS.

                  3. re: Bob MacAdoo

                    Where are other melting pot places in the Boston area, with good chow? Sort of feel like Eastie is more likely than mainland Boston these days...

                    On that topic: Stopped in to the Brazilian bakery at McGrath and Pearl in E. Somerville - Sweet Brazil - the very nice lady behind the counter with worry lines after I said hello...

                    "Oh, I don't speak English...I get nervous when Americans come in..."
                    I said with a wink, "Don't worry, I am nervous too."

                    Got a yummy bun filled with dulce de leche and a vanilla custard tart.

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      Eastie, Dorchester, JP, Roxbury, Mission Hill...they all have places that mix people up in a great kind of way.

                      Heck, even Pete's Pub (sorry "Durty Nellie's") still has that aspect about it. Construction workers, Haymarket folks, college kids, lawyers, and uh, me.

                  4. Persoanlly, I thought the place started to go downhill when they "upscaled" it from Bob the Chef's.

                    Still, it's sad that he couldn't find anyone to take it over and run it as a southern place.

                    1. Article in the globe reported that it is going to become a "lounge, catering to students and young professionals"
                      great! just what we need, another lounge. Even if the food was not the best, it was still somewhere you could go for something a little different.
                      I give the new owner less than a year.

                      gutterman

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: gutterman

                        On the other hand, also from the Globe article, the new owners claim they will be serving "the best burger in Boston." Probably just hype, but it will be interesting to check out the claim...

                        1. re: gutterman

                          Bob's is one of the few places to survive on that side of Mass Ave. I wouldn't hold out much hope for a lounge over there... I don't know what it is about Mass Ave, but it's very hard to get a business going on that portion of the city.

                          I'll miss Bob's. They have some solid mac n cheese, and who doesn't like chicken and waffles on a weekend morning? I used to get takeout there from time to time, and along with the food you'd always get an interesting experience... meet someone you normally wouldn't have met, just while waiting in line.

                          Sad to see it go, but all good things must come to an end.

                        2. This is sad. I went plenty when it was Bob the Chef's. I took my Alabama born dad there for Father's Day once and the guy who managed the place (can't recall his name) ended up being an Alabama native, too. They sat and talked about the greens their moms used to pick that they've never been able to identify, but they grew up eating.

                          I went back for my birthday months later with friends--he remembered me, had the band play Happy Birthday, and comped my dinner. I thought that was pretty cool. And I loved the peach cobbler and mac & cheese.