Bob Loeb has been honored with the Memphis Magazine 2014 Memphian of the Year award:
"In the heady 1970's days, T.G.I. Friday’s was the heart of the district; revelers often stood three deep at the bar, ramping up their rowdiness for the weekly wet T-shirt contest. Other eateries and clubs — Silky Sullivan’s, Bombay Bicycle Club, Lafayette’s Music Room — also packed in the crowds, while retailers sold candles and body oils, antiques and art, trendy gifts and funky furniture. But the real attraction was the atmosphere itself, fueled by liquor, live music, and the hormonal exuberance of 20-somethings ready to party.
A teenager then, Bob Loeb says today, “Frankly I was intimidated by Overton Square. That was the big boys’ playground. I didn’t feel I belonged there.” Then the 59-year-old with his chiseled good looks declares with an easy laugh, “But I have quite a number of friends who report they went there regularly!”
As years passed, Loeb joined the throngs who filled the streets at night, and, like many Memphians of at least two generations, he has fond memories of such places as Le Chardonnay, Palm Court, Bayou Bar & Grill, and other establishments. Several closed long ago while others, despite the whims of taste and time, have endured four decades. “Some memories I can share,” smiles Loeb, “some I can’t. But like so many folks, I have a sentimental attachment to the Square. People of such a wide age range want to see it successful.”
Clearly they are seeing that now. Though Overton Square’s popularity faded in the 1980s and by the twenty-first century showed dimming signs of life, the now-bustling district boasts growing occupancy of properties along Madison and its environs. Patrons, some who were at the Square in its heyday and others who weren’t born then, relish the revival of a Memphis institution."