COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Thirty-seven years is a long time to be in business, and a little restaurant in Cookeville has found a permanent place in the hearts of the community. A note about that little restaurant's future has the city talking.
Inquiring minds want to know. Why is this restaurant's banana pudding so good?
"That's a secret recipe," laughed customer Sandra Heinrich. "I can't tell you that cause they won't even tell us."
"It's a lifetime experience!" said another customer, Margaret West.
The banana pudding comes after a heaping plate of barbecue or some other goodness at Cookeville's Bobby Q's. The place has been part of the community for 37 years.
"This restaurant has been a landmark in this city," said longtime customer Ken Sircy.
It's one of those special places where the faces are always familiar, like Lee Gann.
"I'm the pitmaster here at Bobby Q's," she said.
"We sit down and say, 'we haven't been here before, what do you have?'" smiled Robert Hall. Hall's come to Bobby Q's all 37 years it's been around. "It's kinda like eating dinner with family,"
There's not a more familiar face to Bobby Q's than owner Mike Migliore.
"He's the reason it's here," said Hall.
"He'd still be going strong," added Gann. "It's just his health is bad."
Migliore just put a message on his Facebook saying after 37 years, his health has declined too much and it's time to close Bobby Q's — on April 23. "I hope to see all my friends before we close," the message said.
"I just love this place," said Gann, with a tearful expression. "I told [Mike], there's a season for everything, and this one is change."
"It was a sadness in everyone's heart," said Heinrich.
Even though it's hard, the people at Bobby Q's understand. So, they're here the next few weeks to say goodbye to Bobby Q's; to say goodbye to that famous banana pudding, but not to say goodbye to Migliore.
"We're still going to be here for him even after it's closed," said Gann. "37 years is a long time to give your all to something, and he's done that."