Bob Evans, owner of the popular Bob Evans Barbecue restaurant chain, is back in business after nearly a decade away.
The news of his return, reported by the Seattle Times on Monday, is another win for the restaurant industry.
The Associated Press named Evans the best restaurant chef of 2017.
The Times said Evans, who died in 2010, “became an icon to the nation’s culinary community when he revived a classic Southern barbecue restaurant with an inventive and innovative menu and service that drew from the local culture and history of the region.”
The restaurant opened in 1978, according to its website.
The menu is still a work in progress, but Evans is hoping for an expansion of its current offerings to include the famous chicken ribs and smoked brisket.
Evans opened the restaurant in 1978 in Seattle, Washington, the first in the country to serve smoked briskets.
The restaurant quickly became one of the most popular in the nation, winning a national Michelin star in 2007.
Evans died of heart failure in 2010.
“It’s been a long road to recovery and healing, but it’s been worth it,” Evans’ son, John Evans, said in a statement.
Evans also served as the chef of a local restaurant in the 1980s, and he has also served on the boards of many local businesses.
He was the first to open a Bob Evans restaurant in San Francisco, the nation the birthplace of the chain, in 1980.
“Bob Evans was one of America’s most important and enduring chefs, and his contributions to the history of Southern barbecue are undeniable,” said Sam Bienstock, a professor of culinary arts at the University of Southern California and author of “Bob’s Barbecue: A True American Story.”
“I am proud to say that we now have a restaurant, one that is both authentic and representative of the best in Southern barbecue, with the same sense of history and flavor.”
The Seattle Times also named Evans, 78, the best chef of the past decade.
“He is one of our nation’s most enduring and iconic food chefs,” said Bienrichs wife, Liza Evans.
“His contributions to Southern cooking were immense, but also equally influential, as he helped to define the regional cuisine and culture and to provide an unmatched opportunity for people from around the country and around the world to enjoy authentic Southern cuisine.”
Evans, the son of a farmer, was born in Spokane, Washington in 1942.
He began his career in the restaurant business as a dishwasher at a grocery store, where he would clean out the shelves after customers had left.
He would return to school to learn the ropes, and eventually become the restaurant manager at the Spokane Southern Food Co-op in the late 1960s, which grew to become the Spokane South Market.
Evans moved to Seattle in the early 1980s and started working at the Bob Evans in 1980, the paper said.
In 1993, he opened his first restaurant, Bob Evans & Son in the downtown area.
In 1996, he moved to the restaurant chain’s new headquarters in San Diego, California.
He opened the chain’s first Seattle restaurant, the Bob and Ernie Evans, in 2002, and the first Bob Evans Market in 2006.
In 2018, he took over the reins of the Bob & Ernie franchise in Los Angeles.
Evans had more than 2,400 restaurants in the United States, according the Associated Press.
Evans was the namesake of the Seattle restaurant chain and the city that bears his name.
He also founded the Bob’s Bar & Grille chain in 1972, which now includes more than 50 restaurants and more than 60,000 customers, according AP.
Evans is survived by his wife, Nancy Evans, and two children.