Founder of Bob’s Cafe dies

Oct. 1, 2018

The founder of Bob’s Cafe, which was known for its broasted chicken and iconic neon sign on West 12th Street, has died.

Robert “Bob” Lyons died Sept. 10 at the age of 97.

Lyons got his start at the cafe, which originally was called the Pickle Palace, in the 1940s. He bought it in 1951 and renamed it Bob’s Cafe. The Lyons family ran the restaurant at 1312 W. 12th St. until 2000, when it was sold to Ben Weiland and renamed Bob’s Carry Out & Delivery.

In 2017, Weiland changed the restaurant’s name to Cluckin’ Good Chicken & BBQ and moved the business to East 10th Street.

The building, which is still owned by the Lyons family, remains for sale, along with the Bob’s Cafe name. It’s listed with Vantis Commercial Real Estate.

According to his obituary, he was born Aug. 13, 1921, in Tripp County and attended Springfield Normal School to become a teacher. After a short time of  teaching, he entered World War II as a Navy medic, serving in Okinawa after the Japanese invasion.

Lyons once served as president of the South Dakota Restaurant Association and, according to his obituary, led a successful effort to repeal a restaurant and hotel tax in 1981.

A celebration of life will begin at 10 a.m. Oct. 19 at Central Baptist Church. The family asks that memorials be directed to the American Cancer Society and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Diners gather to say goodbye to Bob’s counter


Want to stay in the know?

Get our free business news delivered to your inbox.

Founder of Bob’s Cafe dies

Robert “Bob” Lyons, the founder of Bob’s Cafe, died in September at the age of 97.

News Tip

Have a business news item to share with us?

Scroll to top