Bishop's Mediterranean Grill is opening in the former Staniford Cafe space in Boston's West End, Boston Restaurant Talk reports. A tipster tells Eater that the restaurant will be a "Lebanese bistro" and that the chef/owner grew up working at a restaurant by the same name out in Lawrence.
"During its heyday, Bishop's served the best Middle Eastern food and french fries in New England," remembers one diner, regarding the Lawrence restaurant. "That's right, Middle Eastern food and french fries." Plus, the "dining room that resembled an aircraft carrier."
UPDATE: The surviving founders of the original Bishop's Restaurant have reached out to Eater to indicate that while the people behind the new enterprise did indeed work at Bishop's, they do not have permission to use the name. Here's a statement:
"As co-founders of Bishop's Restaurant, along with our mother, sister and brothers, we know the hard work, dedication, and constant effort that goes into building from scratch and maintaining (over a 50-year period in our case) a successful restaurant. The good will of our efforts continues strong more than 12 years after our decision in 2001 to retire both the business and personally.UPDATE 2: The restaurant opened in July under the name Bishop's Mediterranean.
We respect anyone who shares those ambitions, embraces a strong and integrity business model and, on his or her own, rightfully earns success and a self-deserved reputation.
Significantly, since our 2001 decision, the name "Bishop's" continues to engender fond memories (here in Massachusetts and throughout the country), pride and respect for what we accomplished. The good will remains both vibrant and strong. We know that my deceased brother, Bishy, and our sister, Vicky, and especially my mother, would be beaming with pride over that.
We have recently learned of the soon to open "Bishop's Mediterranean" in Boston. Our family has seen that restaurant's logo and other promotional material, all of which deliberately, remarkably and unmistakably, draw explicit and direct parallels between our family's restaurant — the genuine "Bishop's" — and this new enterprise. Those associations are not accurate.
To set the record straight, this new enterprise has no relationship to our family's restaurant, its reputation and good will, and our family has neither authorized nor consented to the use of the "Bishop's" name, brand and logo. This new enterprise is not us and, in our opinion, should earn, the hard way, their own reputation, just as our family did starting in 1952 and for the next nearly 50 years. While we wish this new enterprise the best, we do not respect or appreciate what they are doing.
We have a Facebook page (I Remember Bishop's) and would invite your comments. Thank you for all of your support over the years and enormous expressions of positive interest since our closing on December 31, 2001.
God bless Abe & Joey Bashara"