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Bland Ambition

A beloved South End restaurant is losing all of its soul.

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Charles P. Pierce
November 25, 2007

Dear Malcolm Aalders:

Go home.

I don't care which home you go to. The newspaper article in which it was announced that you were going to chloroform Bob's Southern Bistro - the restaurant formerly known as Bob the Chef's, and then revive it, as the story put it, as an "upscale lounge for college students and young professionals" - described you as a 28-year-old Clevelander who "recently moved to Boston from the Netherlands." How does that three-rail shot play? Who moves from Cleveland to Holland? It doesn't matter. Go back to the banks of the Cuyahoga. Go to whatever banks are financing your little piece of South End soul-killing and tell them it was a terrible mistake. Don't do this horrible thing. You are right, of course, in saying that this isn't about race. This isn't about black and white. It is about Yuppie Scum and Not. The one thing the city does not need is another high-toned watering trough for money-whipped foofs, another place to kick off the Pradas while you get sockless on cosmos and plot to steal the office with the window downtown. When I first moved to Boston, I learned about the city simply by sitting alone at Bob's, chowing on the "glorifried" chicken, and eavesdropping on the 20 conversations around me. It was one of those invaluable places where the city talks to itself, and most of those places are gone. Now Bob's will disappear courtesy of someone who says things like "Darryl [Settles, the previous owner] is passing the pen on the story of this place." Yeah, right. Maybe that makes sense in Dutch. Or in Cleveland.

Charles P. Pierce
pierce@globe.com

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