Bobby Boy Bakeshop opens to rave reviews
Winston-Salem has been waiting for months, and now Bobby Boy Bakeshop has opened in the Buena Vista area in the building that used to house the iconic Fabian’s.
After Bill Smith’s untimely death a few years ago, the restaurant sat empty, and people wondered what would become of the space. Then, a culinary couple moved in. John Bobby, formerly executive chef of A Noble Grill, and pastry chef Lucia Bobby announced that they had taken over the space along with another tenant and began working their magic.
Now, 1100 Reynolda Rd. is nothing like its former self. Where Fabian’s was purposefully dark and intimate to add to the mystique of the experience, Bobby Boy is bright and light, as its name implies. It is simple and refined; white and natural tones of blue and wood make its interior look lovely. The bakery is designed to be grab-and-go, but the inclination is there to linger.
As soon as you lay eyes on the space, you’ll have already forgotten what it used to look like, and what a transformation. The kitchen moved to an exterior wall with windows, so you can see the magic happen.
When I spoke with John Bobby at their soft opening, he said it was bittersweet transforming such a memorable location. Lucia Bobby, who never had a chance to eat at Fabian’s, said when they branched out on their own, they decided to really go for the big change.
“It is completely different now,” she said. “People had strong feelings one way or the other about Fabian’s. The building needed some love, and we knew it was going to be our new home. It was a wild ride and a huge learning experience.”
John, who’s an award-winning acclaimed chef, made his name at Noble’s, and Lucia has worked with him on numerous occasions in restaurants and competitions after they graduated culinary school together.
Working in Charlotte and finally the Triad, both have been rising in the ranks. Lucia has worked at the famed Amelie’s in Charlotte as well as the Ritz Carlton before landing in the Triad. There are few in the area that can match her pastry technique. Her flair for simple, artistic and perfectly balanced desserts is unmatched as far as I’m concerned, and I’m excited to see what she can do when she’s able to unleash her full creative potential.
To see what I’m talking about, just look in the pastry case at Bobby Boy–glistening, flaky, glossy and chocolatey. If you’re a sugar freak, you’ll be in heaven. “We’ll keep all kinds of pastries here, and we will listen to guests to learn what is popular and what we may change,” Lucia said, “We’ll keep the classics like eclairs and Napoleons. But we’ll also feature fun flavors like our Yuzu curd tart (a bright yellow citrus beauty). A mirror glaze is fun, and I just love to see the kids’ faces when they see their reflection in a dessert. That’s exactly what we’re here for.”
John will be focusing on baking his own bread, fresh for the public daily at 1 p.m. until they’re sold out. There will be naturally leavened sourdough, spelt wheat seed, and lately, he’s been experimenting with a dark chocolate loaf because he has a love for anything fermented.
You can enjoy a cup of local coffee or cappuccino provided by Magic Beans Coffee as well as sodas and tea. Sharing the space is Caviste Wine Shop, which has moved from its Robinhood location. Some high bar seating and community tables are among the seating options. Its U-shaped bar invites conversations and observations, and you might be inclined to have a Chenin Blanc with your pastry. The Bobbys have worked together with Caviste on wine dinners in the past, and plan on doing more in the new space together.
Lucia said though she and her husband have worked together in various aspects in the past, starting a business together has been an interesting process.
“We are discovering over the years that we think differently,” she said. “I’ve dealt with a more corporate structure and he in independent restaurants. So despite our different viewpoints, we like working together, and we each bring a different perspective.”
Both chefs agree that the reception they received was heartwarming.
“It’s been so great,” Lucia said. “Nothing but positive, happy people–you couldn’t ask for a better soft and grand opening week. It’s everything we hoped for.”
Kristi Maier is a food writer, blogger and cheerleader for all things local who even enjoys cooking in her kitchen, though her kidlets seldom appreciate her efforts.
Bobby Boy Bakeshop, 1100 Reynolda Rd., Winston-Salem, bobbyboybakeshop.com. Bobby Boy is open Tuesday-Saturday, 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.