Bobber’s Family Restaurant has been closed since the end of the 2022 summer season, but on Thursday its finality hit home for many who enjoyed the home-style, family-friendly atmosphere of the restaurant for decades with the sight of a demolition crew razing the building.
Operated by former Mayor William Akers, the restaurant was located across the street from borough hall, at the Boulevard and Sherman Avenue. It was named for Akers’ late son, William Jr., who earned his nickname as a young boy for “bobbing” his head as he learned to interact with others. A few years after Bobber passed away, the Akers family knew it was time to retire from the business, said Mayor Anthony Vaz, his friend and successor leading the town.
“We’re all very sad about it, but the former mayor was ready to retire,” said Vaz. “He wanted to put his family first. He worked so hard, he and his wife and family.”
Akers leased the building in which his business was located, and late last year after Labor Day, the borough approved funds authorized through a state grant to demolish the building. No plans have been proposed as to what may replace the restaurant, which served its signature Mickey Mouse pancakes amidst colorful and cheery decor on the walls.
“They rented the building for years, and he saw the way the wind was blowing – the owner just didn’t want to do it anymore,” said Vaz. “A landlord has the opportunity to do what he wants to do as long as it meets the requirements. That’s life, but it’s sad because we all enjoyed it. I was there every Saturday, usually with [Councilman] Richie Tompkins, and sometimes on Sundays too.”
According to Ocean County tax records, the property is located in the Retail Business zone and is assessed at $606,200.