Bob Lewis stands behind the counter in his soon-to-open Bobís Smoke Stack Ribs restaurant in the old 2nd Street Pizza building. Lewis plans to open after the first of the year for dinner only and then expand to serving lunch later in the spring. Photo by Gretta Becay
By Gretta Becay
Early next year, Bob Lewis plans to open his Bob's Smoke Stack Ribs business in the old Second Street Pizza building behind the Prom Shop.
Lewis has been in the restaurant business since 1998 in southeast Minnesota. He has had restaurants in Elgin and Rochester and many people are familiar with his food truck, which he takes to Kasson, Oronoco and Rochester festivals.
Lewis said he hopes to open after the first of the year and in the beginning, he will be open only in the evenings. Later, he will also be open for lunch, he said. His son, J.R. will be helping him as well as his wife, Ruth, and J.R.'s wife Chrissie. Theresa Allen is another assistant who will help keep the restaurant running smoothly.
In 2010, Bob and J.R. won the "Best Barbeque in the State" contest as reported in the Minnesota Monthly magazine.
Lewis said he likes to stay busy and right now he cooks for the Salvation Army. During Thanksgiving week, he said, he prepared 18 turkeys and all the fixings for the annual Thanksgiving dinner. Diners also got to share the 50 pies that helped top off the feast.
For the restaurant, Lewis will get his locally sourced hogs from a butcher shop in Eyota.
Besides ribs, also on the menu he plans to have catfish, beef brisket, shredded pork, grilled chicken and such accompaniments as fried okra.
He plans to have a 'soul food buffet' once a month where he serves corn bread, peach cobbler, collard greens, black-eyed peas and other Southern delights along with his smoked meats.
A public hearing about Lewis's plans is tentatively scheduled by the city to iron out the last paperwork before he can open.