Bogue’s is a Birmingham institution. Since opening in 1938, it’s been the go-to spot for locals seeking a heaping helping of stick-to-your-ribs down-home cooking, friendly folks, and old-fashioned Southern hospitality.
Founded by Pat and Mildred Bogue, the namesake diner spent its first decade dishing up vegetable plates and Mildred’s soon-to-be legendary sweet rolls to the downtown business community. In 1946, with a move south to Clairmont Avenue, Bogue’s become a popular destination for families, too, launching weekly traditions that continue to this day.
The Bogues retired in 1968, entrusting their legacy to Andy Straynar, who would own their restaurant longer than they had, for 32 years. While the menu remained essentially the same, Strayner made cosmetic changes, including the addition of orange vinyl booths. Straynar’s son, Greg, helmed the counter until 2006, when guardianship of the Bogue’s legacy passed to current owner Daryl Whitfield, a local restaurant entrepreneur and longtime Bogue’s customer.
In 2010, a controversy was ignited by the property owner’s plans to demolish Bogue’s and the neighboring historic Fire Station 22 to make room for a national drugstore chain. Neighborhood activists rallied to save these two Birmingham landmarks, resulting in the renovation of the Fire Station to become Bogue’s new home in 2012.