My Last Meal at Bobby Q’s: A narrative experience



As the wind whipped against my back and I walked towards the Bobby Q’s alley for the last time, a sense of nostalgia for the place settled in my veins. There’s something very poignant about the barbeque joint, and it begins before you even open the heavy red doors.

Upon entrance to the alley at 42 Main Street, twinkling hanging lights illuminate the dimly lit corridor. Eccentric bluegrass and soul music fills your ears, an upbeat jive amidst an otherwise quiet downtown. Everything about the place screams character. A vibrant mural of a fiddle graces a white brick wall. Next to it, a sign reading “A Smokin’ Good Time” welcomes its visitors.

This is the feeling I’ve always loved most about Bobby Q’s, and it is what I will miss about its downtown location.

Nestled away from the chatter about $90 designer sneakers and the murmurs of LF’s “only sale of the season,” Bobby Q’s has a comforting homey-ness to it that you can’t really find at many other places downtown. Eating at Bobby Q’s reminds me of sitting in a ski lodge somewhere in Colorado or Jackson Hole, and I almost feel like there should be snow outside the windows and ski pants on my legs.

The comforting smokehouse, which has been been an integral part of downtown Westport since its opening in the fall of 2004, announced that it will be moving to a new location in South Norwalk later this spring. Sunday, April 3, was its last day in operation in Westport.

When I opened the heavy wood doors, the familiar smell of barbeque sauce and hot fries wafted past me. The dark oak wood panelled walls are covered in signed copies of menus and photos of football teams chowing down on victory ribs, reminding me that this isn’t just a restaurant, but a community.

“It’s just very warm-feeling in here,” Lilly Howes ’17, a long-term Bobby Q’s customer, said as we sat down. “We have so many memories here.”

But Bobby Q’s isn’t just about the memories and the ambiance– it’s a restaurant after all. For my last meal, I figured I’d order an all-time favorite: the pulled-chicken sandwich with fries.  

When it came to the table, I immediately abandoned the blue crayon I was doodling with and indulged in the glory of my favorite comfort food.

And when all was said and done, that same nostalgia settled within me again. Waiters started packing up boxes of barbeque sauce and taking apart tables. The cash register had been dismantled and some of those old photographs lay lifeless in a pile. A “We’re Moving!” sign was taped to the door.

I took one last look at my favorite restaurant and let the red doors close behind me. Slowly, the lively bluegrass music faded out behind me, but I know the memories of meals spent at Bobby Q’s never will.