|Bob's new Bobby Q
|Bob LeRose, B'87
In the middle of a successful sales career with the likes of Del Monte Foods and Gallo Winery, Bob LeRose sensed that something was missing.
“I felt that my entrepreneurial side hadn’t yet been fully tapped,” says LeRose, who lives in Stamford, Conn. It was time to start a business … a restaurant … a barbecue joint.
“Barbecue intrigued me,” he says. “Finally, we felt that we just had to do it, knowing that it would turn our life upside down,” LeRose recalls. He and his wife, Kelley, opened Bobby Q’s Barbeque & Grill in Westport, Conn., in November 2004, complete with live music, a rooftop bar and an extensive menu that includes limeade as a tribute to Bill’s Barbecue in Richmond. (See www.bobbyqsrestaurant.com.)
By all accounts, including one in The New York Times, Bobby Q’s succeeded, but LeRose’s entrepreneurial side continued to emerge. He teamed up with another Richmond alumnus, Rick Harford, R’87, to start a second company, Q Masters BBQ, that sells entrees and sauces in the heat-and-eat sections of retailers throughout the Northeast.
In addition to Harford, LeRose stays in touch with several friends from his Richmond days, including Craig Werder, R’87, Tom Gutenberger, B’87, Kevin Shields, B’87, Chip Martella, R’87, and Jim Malone, R’88.
“A bunch of us celebrated our 40th birthdays by going to Jamaica together,” he says. They also attended their 15th class reunion in 2002. “It was a blast.”
Still exhibiting the hustle that made him an outstanding shortstop at Richmond, LeRose is looking for new restaurant sites in suburban Connecticut. He also plans to expand Q Masters BBQ into the Mid-Atlantic region.