Tag Archives: Bobby Q’s restaurant

Remembering Robert (“Bobby Q’s”) Le Rose

His name was Robert Le Rose. But generations of Westporters knew him as Bob or — even more familiarly — “Bobby Q.”

The owner of the popular downtown restaurant — the go-to place for ribs, casual conversation, fun, and a rooftop deck featuring bands and beer — died peacefully on Sunday, surrounded by his loved ones. He was 56 years old,

Bob Le Rose

In 2012 Bob — who also founded Westport’s Blues, Views & BBQ Festival — was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer. Given 2 years to live, he beat that prognosis by nearly a decade.

Bob was born in Greenwich in 1965. From the baseball fields at Greenwich High School, to his DJ group Incognito, to Westport and Norwalk and his beloved Bobby Q’s, the University of Richmond, and everywhere in between, Bob left his mark.

He started his career at Del Monte Foods as a sales associate. He then worked for Gallo Wines, Poland Spring, Nestle Waters and Velocity.

Bob and his wife Kelley opened Bobby Q’s in 2004 in Westport, combining Bob’s passion for community and authentic Kansas City BBQ. The Blues, Views & BBQ Festival grew out of Bob’s love for music.

Countless projects in between reflected his desire to bring people together. That never changed, even during the toughest years of his life.

Bob is survived by his high school sweetheart Kelley; daughters Alex and Meghan; brothers James and Christopher, and loving nieces and nephews.

A celebration of his life is set for this Saturday (August 28, 1 to 4 p.m., Coxe & Graziano Funeral Home, 134 Hamilton Avenue, Greenwich). To leave an online tribute, click here.

Pic Of The Day #94

Bobby Q’s is now a construction pit. (Photo/Jaime Bairaktaris)

Bobby Q’s Smokes Its Last Meat

Another legendary Westport restaurant — Bobby Q’s — is closing, after 11 years on Main Street. Its final day is March 31. A press release quotes owner Bob LeRose on the long-rumored news:

We’ve had an amazing run as a member of the Westport community for the past eleven years, establishing friendships and seeing kids grow up over the years. We look forward to celebrating with our friends and family over the next three months, remembering all of the good times that were had – birthday parties, family dinners, celebrations and more – and those that are still TO BE had at Bobby Q’s, before we fire up our smoker in Westport one last time at the end of March. While I’m sad that this chapter of my restaurant career is coming to an end, I’ll have some exciting news coming soon on my next chapter.

Over the next 3 months, the restaurant will offer several promotions.

During January — to celebrate National Pie Day, Bobby Q’s will give each table 1 complimentary slice of pie. Other events will be announced on Twitter (@bobbyqs) and Facebook (Bobby Q’s Bodacious BBQ & Grill).

Bobby Qs Westport CT

LeRose is proud to have had a strong relationship with the Westport Fire and Police Departments. He thanks those members for their service by providing 50% off their dine-in or take-out bill throughout January.

Concerts will continue Saturdays at 10 p.m., through March.

And then Bobby Q’s will join Splash and the Red Barn as noted Westport eateries to close. And — like its predecessor, Onion Alley — it too will become one more entrant in the Westport restaurant memory lane game.

Smokin’ The Westport Blues

As a new member of the Westport Downtown Merchants Association 8 years ago, Bob LeRose wanted to make an impact on the area.

LeRose — the “Bobby” of Bobby Q’s restaurant — zeroed in on his 2 passions: barbecue and music.

The result — organized in conjunction with the DMA, 2nd selectman Shelly Kassen, the Westport Library and Levitt Pavilion — was the 1st-ever Blues, Views & BBQ Festival.

The name might be a bit clunky — what’s up with “views”? — but it quickly became a fixture of the downtown late-summer scene. Its attraction spread far beyond Westport — kind of like Festival Italiano — but like that Saugatuck celebration of yore, it’s still ours.

Westport's Emergency Medical Services staff participated in last yeear's hotly contested barbecue competition.

Westport’s Emergency Medical Services staff participated in last year’s hotly contested barbecue competition.

The 8th annual Blues, Views & BBQ Festival is set for Labor Day weekend (September 5 and 6) at the Levitt Pavilion and library and Imperial Avenue parking lots.

Once again, there’s kick-ass music (including Westport’s own Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Mark Naftalin); cooking demonstrations by top local chefs (including Da Pietro’s, Vespa and of course Bobby Q’s); rib- and pie-eating contests; bull riding; a drum circle; kids’ activities (from bounce houses to face painting), and the very popular Kansas City Barbeque Society competition.

The Levitt Pavilion is the perfect spot to hear great, get-up-and-move blues. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

The Levitt Pavilion is the perfect spot to hear great, get-up-and-move blues. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

A specialty food court is filled with wood-fired, grilled and roasted meats, and handcrafted beer.

New this year: a “People’s Choice Wing Contest.” Whole Foods is donating the goods.

I’ve heard a few snarky comments about the price (tickets range from $30 for Sunday bought in advance, to $85 for a two-day pass bought onsite). Children under 12 are free with a paying adult.

But the event sells out. And plenty of out-of-towners seem thrilled to be there.

This couple was VERY happy to be at the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

This couple was VERY happy to be at the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

More importantly, it’s a way for the DMA to continue their great job of keeping downtown attractive and lively; promoting commerce, culture and community, and bringing something unique and fun to the area.

The DMA uses its funds to improve downtown. They also support other organizations like the Westport Woman’s Club, Rotary, Levitt, Library and First Night.

The Blues, Views & BBQ Festival does not fall out of the sky. It costs money to produce. There are bands and police to hire, port-a-potties and fencing to pay for, signs and programs to produce, tents to erect, and clean-up to be done.

Oh, yeah: rental for the Levitt too. (Plus sound guys, lighting guys, and ribs for the bands.)

Vegans are welcome at the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival. But meat-lovers will have an especially great time.

Vegans are welcome at the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival. But meat-lovers will have an especially great time.

It’s all worth it. As Bobby LeRose says, “Thousands of people support this event each year. We get support from everyone. We see smiles all around. People are so happy with the music, food, activities and sense of community.

“You just don’t see this caliber of talent on one stage for the price we charge this close to home, in our beautiful and intimate Levitt Pavilion.”

Westport was recently named one of Connecticut’s 10 Most Boring Towns. Any of the thousands of happy folks who ever heard 2 days of fantastic music, scarfed down ribs, ridden a bull or done anything else fun at the Blues, Views & BBQ Festival would beg to differ.

(The 8th annual Blues, Views & BBQ Festival is set for Saturday, September 5 [11 a.m.-10 p.m.] and Sunday, September 6 [11 a.m.-9 p.m.] For ticket options, daily schedule, and entry forms for the eating and BBQ competitions, click on www.bluesviewsbbq.com.) 


Eco-ing A Vital Message

Today’s 2nd annual Eco-Fest flooded the Levitt Pavilion with 1,500 hungry folks.

Kids, Staples students, parents and grandparents — all were hungry for environmental information, free food, and good music.

They got it — and more.

I’m not sure which I enjoyed most:  seeing so many committed young people earnestly manning booths; the pulled pork from Bobby Q’s, or the “Pump It Up, Baby!” video by Walter Kosner, Mikey Holmes and Helen Martin Block (shown at the library) that must be the funniest look ever at septic systems.

I know what I didn’t like:  Taking an online test, and learning that if every human being on earth followed my daily habits, we’d need 2.9 planets to live on.

“That’s okay,” the student at the laptop said.  “Mine came out to 6.  But I’m trying to cut down.”

Thanks to Eco-Fest, we all have a little more knowledge about how to do it.

Darien High students Ryan Dirvin and Rahul Datta, with mentor Westporter Leo Cirino, show off the hydrogen fuel cell car they designed. "You can drink the exhaust," they claim.

Jonathan Steinberg hosts a toilet toss. Hit the target, win a prize -- and think about waste products.

Free pulled pork from Bobby Q's, pizza from Skinny Pines, cupcakes from the Staples culinary department, Newman's Own drinks -- and of course, compostable cups.

Violinist Jeff Cheng and guitarist/vocalist Max Stampa-Brown -- 2 of the many musical acts at EcoFest 2.