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BLOOMINGTON — After selling their McDonald's restaurants last year, Bob and Julie Dobski are building a $4 million upscale restaurant in east Bloomington.

Bob Dobski said he hopes to complete construction and open RobDob's Restaurant and Bar at 801 N. Hershey Road by June or early July. The site is across the street from Culver's.

He estimated the cost of the project between $3.5 million and $4 million, saying the restaurant will have the most cutting-edge kitchen equipment installed. 

But at 71, Bob Dobski said he's wanted to do something that has been on his wish list for a long time — "opening an upscale restaurant with a nice bar."

"It will feature a full-scale menu, from steaks to seafood to pasta to chicken, and some comfort foods, and more," he said.

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Julie and Bob Dobski, owners of the upcoming RobDob's Restaurant and Bar, overlook site preparations Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, at 801 N. Hershey Road.

While the restaurant will have seating for 130 diners, the bar will seat another 100 people and feature a player piano, said Bob Dobski, adding, "Occasionally, we'll have some other entertainment."

He expects to employ 70 to 80 people at the restaurant that will be open for lunch and dinner, with the kitchen open from 10:30 or 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., except for Fridays and Saturdays when the kitchen will stay open until 10 p.m. 

Retirement doesn't appear to come naturally for Bob Dobski.

"I've been in business all my life," he said. "At 8 years old, I was working in the family grocery business in Chicago. Then, my wife and I opened our first McDonald's in 1982 and then we sold them.

"So this is a new chapter," he added. "As long as I am healthy, maybe I can build a business some of the family members can take over down the road."

Julie Dobski continues to operate Little Jewels Learning Center, which has three locations in the Twin Cities.

Bob Dobski envisions the restaurant and bar as being an establishment that can host various fundraisers and meetings, as well as being "a nice place to go to have a nice meal or visit or have a drink.

"But as we learned in our McDonald's before this and at our grocery business that we had in Chicago, you've got to deliver and be true to your customers in what you provide," he said.

"We've got to deliver the meals, the cleanliness, the friendliness, the service, the overall experience customers expect."


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Contact Maria Nagle at (309) 820-3244. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Nagle

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