Having grown up in Allegan myself, I know firsthand there's a serious lack of diversity when it comes to pubs and grub in town-- especially in the downtown area. That's why locals were so keen on heading over to Bubba's Sports Bar and Grill, located on the corner of Locust and Water Street in downtown Allegan.

The sudden closing of Bubba's in 2021 has left a void in the downtown dining scene and without fail, every couple of months someone on social media always asks,

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Will Bubba's sports bar ever reopen?

Where's Bubba?

It's a sad story that led to the closing of Bubba's Sports Bar. The original owner and namesake, Robert "Bubba" Leslie, operated the popular bar for 15 years. After his passing in 2016, Bubba's son Robert Leslie Jr. took over operations and continued to run the establishment over the next 5 years.

Sadly, Robert Jr. passed away from a sudden heart attack in August of 2021 leaving the fate of the bar and grill in limbo.

Closed For Business

Though I wasn't close with the Leslie family, I enjoyed frequenting their establishment! Bubba's was my favorite place to meet friends and grab some food when I'd come home from out west during the holidays. I spent many Drinksgivings and pre-Christmas gatherings knocking back a few pints and catching up with old friends at Bubba's.

From what I've heard in town and gathered via social media, it seems that after Robert Jr.'s passing the family attempted to keep the establishment open, thinking the closure would only be temporary. As is often the case, the family allegedly ran into a lot of red-tape when trying to re-establish operations, specially when it came to the liquor license.

What's Next?

Despite their best attempts, plans to reopen Bubba's seem to have gone awry and for close to a year now the building has sat empty. One Bubba's regular, Kristyn Rae Revor even added that,

It [the building] is condemned. They had a major water leak during the winter

If that is in fact the case, that leaves the fate of Bubba's looking even more bleak. What are the chances someone will come along and be willing to invest in the property? For the time being, Allegan residents must choose between the two craft breweries, the Eagles club, or dive bar Sherwood Cove to wet their whistle.

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