Family tradition is continuing for the Desiderios, a name well known to the Buffalo dining crowd.
On Oct. 28, Bobby and Jay Desiderio opened Bobby J’s Italian American Grille. The restaurant is located at 204 Como Park Blvd. in Cheektowaga, in a building that used to house the popular restaurant Adam’s.
Jay Desiderio said he and his brother intend Bobby J’s to be a neighborhood Italian restaurant.
“I want to keep this place reasonably priced,” he said. “Most of my wines, reds and whites, will be $17 a bottle.” Local craft beer, too, is on tap. “We put 26 beer taps in,” Desiderio added. “We’ll be featuring craft beers from Western New York. Flying Bison, Resurgence, Big Ditch.”
Bobby and Jay Desiderio – along with their brother Vince, who owns Linguine’s Italian Restaurant in Bowmansville – grew up in the restaurant business. Their late father, Michael Desiderio, owned and operated Desiderio’s Restaurant on William Street in Cheektowaga from 1968 to 1989.
“I sure wish he was here,” Jay Desiderio said as he described Bobby J’s. “I know he would be proud. He loved the Cheektowaga community.”
Bobby J’s will pay tribute to the Desiderio patriarch with a creation of his called What a Dish – rigatoni topped with homemade red sauce, Italian sausage and pork. Other offerings will include half-pound burgers, hot stuffed banana peppers, seafood and wraps. Desiderio also promised crepes, made on the premises, stuffed with ricotta cheese and served over what he called Old World red sauce. Daily chalkboard specials will round out the regular menu.
The plan is for Bobby J’s eventually to offer dinner theater, tentatively scheduled to start in January with Neil Simon’s “Biloxi Blues.” Dinner theater is a family tradition. Their father’s restaurant featured it. The brothers did, too, at Desiderio’s Dinner Theatre, which they opened in 2009 on Broadway in Lancaster but recently closed in anticipation of the new restaurant.
For now, though, Bobby J’s is focusing on food.
“This is going to be not an upscale restaurant, not a downscale restaurant. Just a casual reasonably priced restaurant that has unbelievable cutting-edge entrees and creative salads,” Desiderio said.
The dining room at Bobby J’s seats about 80. There will also be room for banquets. The restaurant will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. It opens at 11 a.m. every day but Sunday, when it will open at noon.
The brothers like the location for several reasons. One is the convenience to the William Street and Walden Avenue Thruway exits.
A more important reason, though, involves family. Jay Desiderio said their father’s spirit is never far away.
“My dad’s restaurant was only about a mile from here,” Desiderio said. “It’s almost as if we came full circle.”