Step inside Bob’s Bar on the corner of Michigan St. in Grand Rapids and you’ll be immediately welcomed in by its down-to-earth atmosphere and homey presence. Not to be confused with seedy dive bars, Bob’s is a classic sports bar with clean, warm wood tables strewn throughout the space, complete with a myriad of string lights and a gleaming stained glass “Bob’s Bar” neon sign above the bar top with 14 beers on tap.
Bob’s Bar has been a local staple for 86 years, started in 1937 by Bob Lynch in a building that was a former grocery store. In the 100+ year old building, Bob’s welcomes in a diverse set of customers from morning until night. There are the regulars, of course– the staple of any hometown bar. But there’s also everyone from the third-shift nurses coming in for a post-shift drink at 7 a.m. to the younger crowd on late nights rocking out to the sounds of the jukebox.
Bob Quay, the current owner of Bob’s Bar (coincidentally also named Bob) agrees he has a diverse set of patrons and wouldn’t have it any other way. “I want people to feel safe and comfortable here; it’s a place to be yourself and have fun.” He also cites his friendly, long-time staff as a big part of the appeal that keeps people coming back.
A testament to Bob’s Bar’s fun atmosphere is their top-selling signature “Chambong” (aka a Champagne Bong), a special Bob Quay brought to Grand Rapids after seeing it at a bar on Mackinac Island. He had a hunch it just might work at his bar. Wedding parties, girls’ nights out, or just anyone looking for a good time can be served up a swig of champagne in a flute shooter for a fun way to toast the day or night.
Make sure to stay for more than just a drink at Bob’s Bar. With a food menu that includes a Pickle Pizza that’s touted as the best in town, as well as authentic Chicago dogs with Vienna beef, poppy seed buns and neon-green relish ordered in from Chicago, the staff knows a thing or two about food.
You can find a special almost every night. Tuesdays feature their burger and beer for $7 with Music Bingo. Wednesdays are all about two hot dogs, chips and a beer for $6, and all-day, all weekend you can grab $3 tacos.
No matter who you are, this is your local bar. Sports, games, happy hours, wedding after parties, third-shift happy hours or a fun night out, Bob’s Bar is a laidback staple here to welcome you in.