Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 2: Bobby O's

I entered Bobby O's 10 minutes late to meet my friends J__ and his wife K__ at 7.  They had picked a table next to the digital jukebox, whose volume was at ear bleeding level.   The song of choice was 'Who Let the Dog's Out,' funny because I run a dog daycare.  This would have been fine if not for the very drunk couple (one of which would be passed out on the bar 20 minutes later) dancing mere inches away from K_ whose eyes were angry twitching dinner plates.  Before we moved, I had a nice chat with a proclaimed alcoholic who looked like he had all the bars of Lakewood in his pores. He started talking to us because he found he had been to all the bars on my shirt, including some under their previous owners.  He was currently working a convenient painting job for a bar in Avon.

We decided a seat at the bar was the way to go.  The taps had your basic domestics and Guinness.  I went with a Bud and a cheese burger because it was half a pound, 1/2 priced burger Wednesday.  They had an interesting mix of beers and whatnot in their cooler.  Options ranged from Yingling's Black and Tan, new to Ohio this year, to Ice House, this beer pumps in 4% alcohol in exchange for taste.  If you don't want alcohol you can have a Fresca as well!

The burger and fries were better than expected. By request, they even came with a cup of their wing sauce.  Judging from their sauce the wings aren't bad either.  Their service was quite good. I was even asked how my food was twice.  I was also, impressed by the $2.50 price tag on my 1/2 burger, fries and beer combo.

I'll admit, this is my second trip to Bobby O's.  The first time I visitted, the first song on the jukebox was Gilligan's Island spurring half the bar to a sing along.  I had their hot dog which was ok. I was told by an old guy sitting next to us who was also eating a dog, that they have a great meat loaf (their Sunday special).  While talking to some long time patrons, I learned the bar has changed a little in the last couple years.  The place is cleaner, the tvs are flatter, and there's less fighting than there used to be.

Bobby O's is your quintessential townie bar.  It has a mixture of young local folk along with those who've been coming for years.  The staff treats everyone well, from the local blogger to the guy that passed out on their bar.  Depending on the night it could be laid back or blaring with rowdiness.  The flat screen tvs were playing sports and Discovery Channel.  The atmosphere is a mixture of old (restored tin ceilings), new (tv and sound systems) and making due (random kitchen refrigerator at the back of the bar).  Above the bar, there are a line of flags covering most of the military branches and Molson Candian.  If you smoke, you can't do it inside but they do have the rare cigarette machine.

They have a bunch of older dart boards and you don't have to bring your own darts.  J__ and I had a massively mediocre game. I lost by a bulls-eye.  I've found darts looses something once the risk of being hit by one of your own darts is gone.  Luckily, I had quick feet this game.

I left Bobby O's both times without being stabbed in one of its now less frequent fights or by my own hand at darts and a smile on my face.  I've had a good time, food, service and conversation during both visits.  Bobby O's isn't for everyone but if you want a bar where anyone can fit in and you'll have a story and some of your cash to take home after. Then this bar's for you.

Awesome: Darts, Customer Service, Good Cheap Food

16013 Detroit Ave. Lakewood, OH 44107


*Pictures are courtesy of


  1. Fun idea for a blog. I'll nostalgically check in every so often as you make your way up and down Detroit and Madison Avenues, etc. I lived in Lakewood in the 60's and moved to Westlake in early 70's. Probably most of the bars I used to visit have changed names and owners several times since I left the Cleveland area in 1978. Back then we only graded them on whether they checked ID's or not (thankfully, most didn't). I'll share the link with family back home. I'm sure several of my nephews are regulars at Lakewood's "finest" establishments.

  2. My experiences with Bobby O's goes back to December 24th, 1983, when I had my first (and last) drink at the Cranford Tavern. It changed hands and names on January 1st, becoming Jessie's. The name belonged to the new owners dog. Several years before there had been a homicide resulting from a disputed pool game, and the place has had the "punch palace" moniker ever since. Having been a customer of all bars Lakewood for many years, I can truly say Bobby's doesn't deserve the title. I even was a part owner of the place when it was the USB (Ultimate Sports Bar, which it was neither) and didn't feel the need to carry a firearm or first aid kit. Bobby has been a fine care taker of the joint and it has never looked better. So fear not and worry more about getting a D.U.I. than getting beat up at Bobby O's.

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