Article by Brooke Bechen of the Dodgeville Chronicle
Those who have made Bob's Bitchin' BBQ their local restaurant hangout will soon need to memorize a new address as the popular restaurant will be moving from its location in Cobblestone Court across from the courthouse in Dodgeville to 167 N. Iowa Street, occupying the former True Value building on the corner of Iowa and Merrimac Streets.
The restaurant will be closing at its 233 N. Iowa Street location on January 31, with tentative plans to be reopened at the new location by mid March. With nearly double the space, the move has many in the area buzzing, including restaurant owner Bob Page.
"I'm excited about it," Page said. "We're kind of riding this wave right now and we've hit the perfect storm of businesses and this will just make it bigger."
Although other towns have tried to lure the restaurant away from Dodgeville, staying in Dodgeville was the only option for Page.
"We're thrilled with the way Dodgeville supports us," Page said. "We've done so well here it's crazy for us to uproot and go somewhere else."
Page has enlisted Design Structures of Middleton to complete the buildings renovation and make it blend in with Dodgeville's historic downtown. With federal and state tax credits, Page aims at bringing life back into the historic space that was built in 1905.
With an eye for design and a love for old buildings, Page's wife, Judy, will be decorating much of the restaurant. Booths and tables made of reclaimed wood from the current restaurant will be moved to the new location, but many decorations will be new.
"My wife describes the decorations as vintage warehouse," Page said, adding that she is also very excited about the move and remodel.
The design-build construction firm will also be adding several windows that had been boarded up back into the design of the restaurant and incorporating many of the building's original aspects back into the space.
But new decorations will not be the only new updates in the restaurant. Page is excited to announce that the new restaurant will feature a full bar with a big focus on craft beers.
"The craft beer craze is huge right now," Page said. "I'd say about 95 percent of the craft beers we'll have on tap will be from Wisconsin."
Mixed drinks and margaritas will also be served, as well as a limited bar menu for patrons.
A new dining area will feature seating for 90, including larger seating options for tables of 16 or more.
No major changes will be made to the popular menu, Page said, but the space where the food is made will be getting a makeover. The kitchen space will be doubled and a better layout will be incorporated for the cooks.
Currently employing 26, Page estimates the new location will add about 10 employees.
The new space will have an increased retail presence as well, with a third of the building dedicated to the bar and retail space for the sale of sauces, shirts and other items.
What Page is most looking forward to at the new location is the ability to set everything up just the way they want it, rather than working around the current space they have in Cobblestone Court.
Ultimately, staying in downtown Dodgeville could not make Bob and Judy happier.
"Our choice was to stay downtown," Page said. "We've brought a lot to downtown Dodgeville and everything that's happening is keeping and helping Dodgeville grow."