Save the Gay Hawk Restaurant 1951

The Gay Hawk was established in 1951 in the southeast corner of Downtown Memphis on formally Wellington Ave.  The restaurant was opened by Mr.  Harris Scheuner,  also the owner of Gridiron Restaurants,  who catered to a black audience (when it wasn't so popular to do so) until 1961. The restaurant sat empty for two years before it was offered to Lewis Bobo in 1963.  Mr. Bobo, who worked at Napa Auto Parts and owned a cleaning service, took over operations after buying the building from Mr. Scheuner with all that he had - $400 a month for 14 years.  Mr. Bobo turned the Gay Hawk into a meeting place for old friends,  a citywide catering hub, and a Memphis Legend for community and comfort food.  Mr. Bobo served the Memphis community for over 50 years and in 2012, he passed the restaurant on to his daughter, Terica Bobo,  who now operates the facility, working hard to keep this cherished Memphis landmark alive. 
 
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Ms.  Bobo has started raising funds to keep the Gay Hawk updated and operational. She wants the Gay Hawk to remain a tourist destination and a favorite local hangout for Memphians for years to come. To do that she needs help with some of the costs for much needed building renovations and the daily operation costs while the updates are being installed. Here is the breakdown: 

New Roof                                            $10,000     
Parking lot updates                         $3,000
Flooring                                                  $3,000
Bathroom Upgrades                       $4,000
Property Taxes                                $10,000

Help keep this Memphis Landmark alive. 

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About Lewis Bobo
The only son of six children and the fifth child, Lewis was born September 12, 1934, to the proud parents of Ida Williams and Louis Hampton Bobo, Sr., in Tunica, Mississippi.  Louis, Sr., a plantation agent, was a devoted father and taught his son the trade, thereby giving him his first job. He made sure his children received proper education in the Mississippi School System, namely Evansville Church, Burning Blue Elementary, and Rosa Fort High School. He was baptized at Scotts Chapel Baptist Church in Tunica at the age of twelve. The Bobo family moved to Memphis in 1950.

Lewis, Jr. decided to stay in Tunica to accept a position, his first introduction to corporate America, at the tender age of 16, at Federal Compress for a hefty sum of $.75 per hour.  He moved to Memphis a year later and secured employment at Chuck Hutton delivering auto parts and then later to NAPA Auto Parts.  He often mentions the time he gave young Elvis Presley a ride in the back of his company pick-up truck, with his guitar.
 

Being the product of industrious parents and fore parents, Lewis, Jr. reopened the doors of the Gay Hawk Restaurant in 1963. Established in 1951, the restaurant had been closed for two years. Since that time Memphis has been treated to the finest entertainment and food in the Delta.

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The Bobo Family are Christians and believers in the power of prayer. Lewis, Jr. had been actively involved in the community since his relocation to Memphis. His giving spirit merited him tremendously, giving him the opportunity to launch Bobo’s Catering Service in 1974, specializing in Bar-B-Que. A. Maceo Walker of Universal Life Insurance and Willard Sparks of Sparks Commodities opened doors for him to launch three sandwich shops and a cafeteria in their buildings to service their employees.

He was an active member of the community, being involved with his family, his church Saint Luke Baptist Church, the NAACP, LeMoyne-Owen College, the Masonic Order, the Shriners, and the Vanguard Club. He loved boating and traveling, and was an accomplished hunter and fisherman.

Memphis said goodbye to this longtime staple in the soul food community on April 24, 2018. 
The finest tradition of Memphis includes LEWIS H. BOBO, JR. and the GAY HAWK RESTAURANT.

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Please donate and also share with your friends and family.
Help us get the word out about our efforts to keep the Gay Hawk going strong!

Donations

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  • Catherine Chilton 
    • $100 
    • 19 d
  • Catherine Chilton 
    • $100 
    • 1 mo
  • Catherine Chilton 
    • $100 
    • 2 mos
  • Catherine Chilton 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Catherine Chilton 
    • $100 
    • 4 mos
See all

Organizer

Terica Bobo 
Organizer
Memphis, TN
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