Bob Lovejoy, owner and cocreator of the Pickle Room and the Three Pickles sandwich shops, died last weekend after suffering either an aneurysm or massive stroke.
Born in 1949, Lovejoy got into the bar-and-restaurant business relatively late in life after a successful career as a contractor. In 2006, Lovejoy opened the first Three Pickles on East Canon Perdido Street at the site of the present day Handlebar coffee shop. At a time when local businesses are struggling to find a toehold, Lovejoy — who opened the shop with his son Clay — instantly attracted a loyal clientele of downtown workers, which has only expanded since.
Lovejoy’s true civic accomplishment, however, was the reincarnation of Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens, a signature downtown bar and restaurant located next door to the current Three Pickles. Lovejoy had long been a regular at Jimmy’s and managed to capture its essence and spirit — not to mention vibe and look — when he opened the Pickle Room in 2013.