Twenty years ago, no one seemed to know what to do with The B.O.B. This abandoned downtown Grand Rapids warehouse had enough character to preserve, but several rejuvenation attempts fell flat before the B.O.B. was finally born. Or, should we say, reborn? An acronym for “Big Old Building,” The B.O.B. now houses a dozen restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
These days, the place buzzes with activity in the evenings and on the weekends. Indulge in pre-dinner drinks at the Monkey Bar, an Asian-themed hangout decorated with bamboo. Afterward, head up to Judson’s Steak House or Gilly’s seafood restaurant for dinner. As the evening progresses, you can move on to Bobarino’s for another drink—if the weather's nice, check out the deck overlooking downtown Grand Rapids, or sit inside and admire the walls paneled with hundreds of crushed beer and pop cans, vinyl LPs and vintage license plates. Crush and Eve nightclubs offer dancing, and Dr. Grins Comedy Club is worth a visit if you're in the mood to laugh. Best of all, everything’s located under one roof. Only Bobarino’s is open at lunchtime, though; the rest of The B.O.B.’s restaurants and bars don’t start service until dinner or later.
Dinners at The B.O.B. range from $12 to $25 depending on where you go, and admission to Dr. Grins Comedy Club varies by performance.