Bogue’s Restaurant closes permanently after 84 years

Bogue’s Restaurant, a longtime staple of Birmingham, has closed for good. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

It’s a sad day in Birmingham. Bogue’s Restaurant, one of the oldest and most beloved restaurants in The Magic City, has permanently closed. Keep reading to learn more.

About Bogue’s Restaurant

A photo of the original Bogue’s Restaurant, which was displayed in their new location.

Of all the recent closings in Birmingham, the closing of Bogue’s Restaurant has hit me the hardest.

Back in 2019, I visited Bogue’s at 4AM in order to interview Ella Irby, a longtime Bogue’s employee who was responsible for baking the restaurant’s famous sweet rolls each and every morning. Since then, I’ve visited Bogue’s a number of times for breakfast and lunch—although, not as many times as I’d have liked.

Ella Irby
Ella Irby with her famous sweet rolls. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Opened in 1938 on Clairmont Avenue, Bogue’s Restaurant was one of Birmingham’s longest-lasting restaurants. Famous for its sweet rolls—a special recipe by original owner Mildred Bogue—Bogue’s has been named the Best Diner in Alabama by Business Insider and was featured on‘s “51 Best Breakfast Destinations in America” list.

In 2010, the restaurant moved next door to the historic Fire Station 22 building while the original building was demolished. Despite the change, Bogue’s beloved, hearty breakfasts and lunches kept the customers coming.

Bogue’s Restaurant Closes Permanently

Bogue’s Restaurant has permanently closed. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Recently, several Bham Now team members noticed that Bogue’s appeared to be closed, but had no sign on the door. We attempted to reach out to the Bogue’s team for clarification—however, their website has been deleted, their Facebook page deactivated and their phone number disconnected.

Finally, I was able to get in touch with Ella Irby, who confirmed that Bogue’s Restaurant has closed permanently after 84 years.

“Bogue’s is actually gone, I can’t believe it. It closed a week ago Sunday. I was happy to work there for 45 years and I had five bosses over the years, starting under Andy Straynar.”

Ella Irby, longtime Bogue’s Restaurant employee

With the closing of Bogue’s, Ella has decided to retire. She’s still getting used to not having to wake up at 3AM to start on the sweet rolls!

Although we’ll miss its one-of-a-kind atmosphere and friendly staff, the memory of Bogue’s Restaurant—and its famous sweet rolls—will live on.

What is your favorite memory at Bogue’s Restaurant? Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!

Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer at Bham Now

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