Petition Seeks To “Keep the Hometown Feel of Burger Bob’s Alive”

Ariel Fernandez

Founder & Editor
[email protected]


A resident-led petition on change.org to save Coral Gables’ Burger Bob’s has quickly secured 700 signatures.

Chase Howard, a resident who spoke about the importance of Burger Bob’s at the July 24th City Commission meeting, started the petition, which has collected over 700 signatures in 6 days.

As previously reported on Gables Insider, Burger Bob’s location is currently going through a request for proposal (RFP) process, following City staff working on a backroom deal.

“I’ve been going to Burger Bob’s my entire life. It was the first place my mom let me ride my bike to alone as a little kid. I know the staff there and they’ve seen me grow up. When I heard that they were in danger of closing I knew that I had to give back to the establishment that had been such an institution in my life and decided to attend a city commission meeting and speak in front of Mayor Vince Lago and the rest of the commission asking for an extension on Bob’s lease,” says Howard of the motivation for starting the petition. “Our petition seeks to demonstrate to the city commission that residents of Coral Gables want Burger Bob’s or an establishment similar in size and accessibility to continue to exist within the space on the golf course. With our petition the community’s support for Burger Bob’s becomes tangible and undeniable. The city commission will have to look through the names of their constituents, currently numbering at 700+ individuals, and decide whether or not their support means enough for them to select Rita’s proposal. One thing is clear, however. There is a lot of love for Burger Bob’s, its staff, and the role that it plays in our community, and that love has pushed a community into action,” he added.

The Petition

The petition titled “Keep the Hometown Feel of Burger Bob’s Alive” reads as follows:

“As many Coral Gables community members are now aware, Burger Bob’s, located on the historic Granada Golf Course, is in peril. This petition supports the retention of Burger Bob’s or a restaurant similar in size and accessibility as the operator of the space.

On February 23rd, the city received an unsolicited bid to lease Bob’s space, renovate it, and convert it into an upscale dining establishment. The way in which the bid has been processed is improper and was conducted in a way that is not up to our city’s standards. Essentially, it now appears as if neither Burger Bob’s nor any other interested party has any fair, reasonable shot at issuing a winning bid for the space against the city’s predetermined bidder. The issue of the bidding process for the space is very important, so please read more about it here.

Although at first glance it may seem good to have a new, upscale restaurant move into Bob’s space, that is not the case. Because of its size, accessibility, and relevance to the community, Burger Bob’s occupies a sweet spot where it supports the community rather than disrupting it, which would not be the case for a larger establishment.

In terms of size, Burger Bob’s is ideal for its current location. At its busiest times while events are being held at the country club, the parking made available to patrons of Burger Bob’s and Liberty Café fills to capacity and spills onto the edge of the golf course. If a larger establishment such as that proposed by the unsolicited bidder, which aims to increase maximum seating from 56 to 135 patrons, bumps up the number of patrons inside of the restaurant without expanding parking availability (which would be difficult, if not impossible to do in this location), then the community will see extremely detrimental effects. A sizable increase in vehicular and pedestrian traffic, an extreme lack of parking, and an overflow of parking patrons into residence areas, especially those lining the golf course, will become the norm.

Regarding accessibility, Burger Bob’s has evolved to be the perfect establishment for its location. It is open and easy-going enough that a golfer can pop in for a quick drink and a sandwich and be out in a few minutes. Along with this, regulars from the community can be seen popping in, grabbing an inexpensive bite to eat, and socializing amongst themselves on a daily basis. Neighbors have grown to appreciate and love the home-style presence of Burger Bob’s. Both the price point and the laid-backness of Burger Bob’s serves its patrons and the wider Coral Gables community in a way that a larger restaurant could not. 

Lastly, Burger Bob’s’ relevance to its community has made it an institution in Coral Gables’ social fabric. Burger Bob’s has been on the Granada Golf Course for over 27 years, and it has developed a massive following of regulars. It is a much-loved pillar of our community, so stripping it away from the community would leave a glaring hole in the soul of Coral Gables. 

In signing this petition, you are voicing your support for Burger Bob’s or a restaurant like it to continue existing within the space so as to better serve our community through its size, accessibility, relevance, and more.”

To view the petition or sign the petition, you can click here.

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16 thoughts on “Petition Seeks To “Keep the Hometown Feel of Burger Bob’s Alive”

  1. I am happy to see Bob’s go. Watching them handle my food without gloves was too much. I appreciate the charm of an old diner (LOVE diners) but that can be achieved by paying fair market value AND meeting today’s health standards.

  2. Don’t we have enough fancy places? Burger Bobs is cheap, silly eats. I love walking to it. I like Liberty cafe too, but Bob’s is old school no frills staples, with coinciding pricing. It’s always full when I go. I think it’s worth the keeping even if there is less revenue, for the city’s charm factor.
    In that spirit I sign this,
    My 2 cents,

  3. Save, Sacrifice & Invest in Real Estate. Sears, or it’s CEO, owns the corner of Coral Way & Douglas. Walgreens OWNS the prime location behind Sears; no NNN lease there. There are SMART business owners who save, sacrifice & buy their own locations; they are thus no longer vulnerable to rent hikes. The majority of hospitality business owners are not so smart. They think they are. They are drunk with hubris and down the road the business goes under. If they had bought the property, they could rent it to another person when revenue drops & live off the rent. Very pathetic to read about people asking for handouts/ concessions. If Bobs is so great why isn’t there a long line outside for a table? Why didn’t Bob partner with someone years ago or improve the business to achieve the long lines/ needed revenue? Bob should have raised prices long ago to improve the space, but his customer base consists of cheapskates, who won’t pay for more/ the improvements/ the new coffee mugs, etc. We live in an EMPOVERISHED community where people pretend to be RICH with expensive leased cars. Once they pay those real estate taxes, insurance & Mortgage, they have a few bucks left to spend at our Neiman Marcus on the Mile aka Ross.

  4. Ben says:
    August 10, 2021 at 9:09 am

    “This is moronic.

    So, if Burger Bob’s wants to pay much lower rent, imagine $50 a month, and another bidder wants to pay fair market, probably closer to $6000, it would be preferred to keep the old greasy spoon because your grandparents went with you and let you sit on a golf cart while they sipped their coffee from a dirty mug?

    This is a valuable location and it should be allocated through an intelligent and not emotional process”.

    ****

    And therein, as they say, lies the problem.

    Yes, we DO prefer to keep the “greasy old spoon”, precisely because our “grandparents went with [us] and let [us] sit on a golf cart”. And as to “valuable location”, why, yes again. It IS valuable – to those of us who treasure such long standing traditions as Burger Bob’s over the much shinier and newer CGCC cafe just across the street where you can sit and luxuriate in all the $6,000.00 per square foot space you want. We LIKE the (sometimes) greasy spoons and we LIKE the (sometimes) dirty mugs, but such sentiments are lost to ears that cannot hear and eyes that do not see. In a culture hell bent on erasing it’s own history, it is especially plaintive to watch one precious memory after another fall to the higher cost-per-month crowd. There is an ineffable quality to some times and some places which no price per square foot calculation can ever reach and for us locals, Burger Bob’s is one of them. If we wanted to sip our coffee on Sunday mornings and eat our burgers at high end, upwardly mobile, elegantly designed locations, we’d go to one. There are plenty around town to choose from. May the Spirit of Saint Roxy of Bolton descend on the interlopers and bring wisdom to their houses.

  5. Just a clairification note — the unsolicited bid proposal actually pays less rent than Burger Bob’s. The increased rent that would be paid is NOT proportional to the increase in size. And the increase in size is due to changing the rules that previously applied to Burger Bob’s and the tenant before him (27 years ago) to allow such an expansion. And let’s not mention the elephant in the room — parking. More than double the tables and no increase in parking?? Where are the cars going? Lastly, if we measured the cost/benefit of every decision based solely on financials, just think of the things that make your life in the Gables a little special that woudl be gone — the Youth Center and its programing, Granada Golf Course, Biltmore Golf Course and Tennis facility, Public Library, art installations, green spaces, etc. I encourage everyone to go to https://linktr.ee/BurgerBobInfo to find out more information.

  6. One of the most incredible places I think remain as Coral Gables last. Why in the world would anyone trade this fabulous icon for the big $$?????
    This needs to stay as is.

  7. This is moronic.

    So, if Burger Bob’s wants to pay much lower rent, imagine $50 a month, and another bidder wants to pay fair market, probably closer to $6000, it would be preferred to keep the old greasy spoon because your grandparents went with you and let you sit on a golf cart while they sipped their coffee from a dirty mug?

    This is a valuable location and it should be allocated through an intelligent and not emotional process.

  8. Thank you for following this issue and providing your readers with the link for more information and to SIGN and SHARE the petition. The more residents that come together and sign, the louder our voices become and the harder it will be to ignore. The Gables (and surrounding areas) needs another restaurant like the one proposed like a hole in the head — we’ve a plethora from which to choose. Not to mention it seems that group is seeking the Country Club and Biltmore locations as well?? Burger Bob’s (or a similar type diner style restaurant) is unique and most appropriate for a public 9-hole golf course next to a pro shop.

  9. I grew up there and am very grateful that Burger Bob’s still is there. I send them good thoughts and keep them in my prayers.

  10. Yes let’s keep the ambiance of Burger Bob’s the way it is – we do not need a fancy eating place on the golf course just a home town place to meet with people and enjoy good food !!!!!!

    Let the Ciry of Coral Gables show and prove that they are truly working for the citizens.

  11. I too grew up at burger bobs my late grandfather ate there every morning it’s an institution establishment that has been a cornerstone in our community . My late father loved bobs chili and hamburgers. After a storm Burger Bobs would be open for breakfast and lunch when the power was out we would walk and get a hot meal. We love burger bobs and wish it to stay a pillar in the community and greenway neighborhood

  12. It ain’t over till it’s over. Please, City Commission and City Manager, restore my faith in humanity. Be transparent, above board, fair and responsive to the wishes of your citizenry. This should be an easy one. Start over. Listen to your residents.

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