I get lots of restaurant recommendations from my readers. Some are spot on. Others…well, get the Stouffers. One of these recommendations was a place called Bogey’s. It’s one of those places you can’t there from here. It is located on Route 616. Where? If you cross the Bridge Street Bridge from downtown Struthers and drive straight up the hill…that is Route 616. Where? Well…if you are driving towards Pennsylvania down Route 422...it’s the intersection just as 422 widens to four lanes. You know, turn left to Hubbard and turn right to go towards Villa Marie and wind around and eventually you will get to the far side of the Bridge Street Bridge coming out of Struthers. Got it? Bogey’s is ½ way between the two.
The first time I saw Bogey’s was a few years ago driving home from my Uncle’s funeral who was buried in a cemetery I never knew was there and you can’t there from here either. I thought what a strange place for a restaurant. It didn’t look like anything special, just another roadside joint. But I like to try new places, so when Bogey’s popped up on my list that folks want me to visit, I thought why not. A few weeks ago my wife was in Akron doing her quilting thing so I called up my son and said “Let’s go!!!”
I wasn’t expecting much. Like I said, it’s not much to look at on the outside. It was a Saturday night. The parking lot was packed. The restaurant was packed. And was I ever wrong. This is a great place. It is operated by the folks who used to run the old Bobby D’s on Midlothian Boulevard. This is another of these neighborhood tavern places that have decided to kick it up a few notches and offer some serious food. They have succeeded.
The inside is pleasant enough, but nothing spectacular. Humphrey Bogart memorabilia hangs on the walls. A large bar is located right inside the front door. The place is much bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside. It is a large space with lots of seating.
Let’s talk about the food. The menu is ambitious with the typical Veal and Chicken Parm, marsala, greens and wedding soup…all that stuff that every restaurant in Mahoning County must serve to stay in business. But there are lots of other offerings with ambitious fish specials on Friday nights and Prime Rib on Saturday nights. There is a wide selection of appetizers from which to choose. My son and I had the fried soft pretzels with a spicy cheese dipping sauce. Leave the cholesterol counting at home!!!
All of the food coming out of the kitchen looked spectacular. With great hesitation, I ordered the prime rib. OMG, it was outstanding, probably the best I have had outside of the Iron Bridge in Mercer which is the gold standard for prime rib. My son ordered chicken parm, portions are large, the food is good. What else do you need? How about professional service across the board!! The bartenders were professional and friendly and dressed in shirts and ties. These guys were good. And the owner is on site, walking around talking to the customers making sure everything is jake. That is a sign of a good restaurant operator.
And here is the thing. He must have the priced the menu items 5 years ago. That outstanding Prime Rib, and I know good meat when I taste it, was $14.99 for a 14 oz. portion. Are they nuts? You would pay $20.00 plus anywhere else, if not more.
On the down side, I didn’t care for their sauce. That’s just me, but saucy Italian dishes aren’t the centerpiece of their menu anyway. The other problem is the overall atmosphere, which is belies just how good Bogey’s is. Notwithstanding, the people that were there were all having a good time, and my son and I made several friends sitting at the bar.
One visit does not a meatball make, so I am going to withhold meatball excellence awards until I make another visit or two, which I hope will be soon…and on a Saturday night to get the Prime Rib. I want to make sure it’s not a fluke…isn’t that the name of the babe who needs the government to pay for her birth control?
The bartender advised me Bogey’s takes reservations. It needs a website. But that doesn’t deter what I suspect to be a loyal following from the Struthers, Campbell, Hubbard and Lowellville areas. They are lucky to be there. As for the rest of us, we’ll always have Paris. Play it again, Sam.
Bogey’s Bar and Grill
3535 Upland Ave.
Lowellville, Ohio 44436
Lowellville, Ohio 44436