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Bobby Q’s Owner Reflects On 37 Years Of Business

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Bobby Q’s Owner Reflects On 37 Years Of Business

After 37 years of serving the Cookeville community, Bobby Q’s will close its doors this Saturday.

Owner Mike Migliore said it’s one of the hardest decisions he has ever made.

“We’ve really enjoyed it,” Migliore said. “Had a passion for the restaurant and putting out good food to my friends and all the new people that I’ve met. It’s just gotten to the point that my health is such that I have to retire, and it’s very difficult to me because it was almost like raising a kid. Start out from almost nothing and bring it to where we are now.”

Migliore said for the longest time, he avoided thinking about the option of closing. Migliore said his wife Jane worked hard to keep the restaurant going, but a family decision had to be made.

People know the Broad Street location today, but Migliore said the restaurant was located on North Washington for 28 years. Migliore said his goal when he purchased the restaurant in 1985 was to serve a city that did not have many restaurants at the time.

“It was a struggle, but we made and we did really well.” Migliore said. “One of my goals in owning Bobby Q’s was to give people the kind of food they couldn’t get, because for the longest time here in Cookeville we were about the only place that you could go and know you were going to get the same kind of food every time. Then they passed liquor by the drink and we had 45 restaurants to come in. That took a while to get over that.”

Migliore said over those 37 years, he feels like he has built a family of workers and customers.

“I had a gentleman fly from Houston the other day just to eat,” Migliore said. “That’s saying quite a bit about you. People from Gallatin drove up and ate with me. We’ve had people from North Carolina that come over. People that have gone to Tech and ate with us for years, they want to come back and enjoy the food again. That’s very gratifying for me.”

“I had one of my servers who used to work for me came back in. She told me that I want to tell you how much I appreciate the way you taught me and the attention to detail that you taught me because it’s helped me so much in my own work,” Migliore said. “That really means a lot to me.”

Some may ask if Migliore would sell the restaurant to continue its legacy. Migliore said he has met with several prospective buyers, but he needs to find the right one to continue Bobby Q’s the right way.

“We’ve built up a reputation for good food and good service, and if you don’t maintain that, business is not going to stay with you,” Migliore said. “That’s the legacy I want to leave is that somebody can carry on and enjoy it like I did.”


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