Bishop's Legacy Is Permanently Closed
For several years this was the website for the Bishops Legacy restaurant, located in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Content is from the site's 2015 -2016 archived pages as well as from other outside press and review sources.
As of December 2016 the restaurant permanently closed.
We will miss you.
143 Merrimack St
Lowell, MA 01852
M - Tu 11:30a-4pWe will open Mon & Tue for Special Events & Private Parties.
Call for more information
THE ZAGAT REVIEW
Fourteen years after the closing of its decades-spanning predecessor, Bishop's (a haunt for local celebs and politicos), this family-owned Eastern Mediterranean eatery revives its spirit – and even some recipes, from Middle Eastern sandwiches to meats cooked over open flame. The new incarnation trades white tablecloths for casual counter service, and from the handful of seats guests can view a timeline of photos outlining the original's history.
5.0 star rating 5/3/2015
Bishop's Legacy just opened 6 weeks ago in the former home of La Boniche in Downtown Lowell. The Mo and I headed there this past Friday for date night. The restaurant had a wide range of clientele from the elderly to young couples with piercings and tattoos.
The restaurant has a small bar area with a few high top tables. On Friday and Saturday nights, that area is mainly for those that are only having drinks or small plates.
On the other side of the wall partition there are regular tables for dining.
Black and white photos from the past are hung on the walls to complement the posted timeline of the restaurant's history that began more than six decades ago.
We started with a round of martini's. My husband went with a traditional dirty martini and I went with the "Lemonade" which is similar to a lemon drop martini.
For starters, we got the Lebanese grape leaves with meat as well as the studded clams. The restaurant makes their own signature walnut stuffing and has 4 different variations for their lobster dish, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed shrimps and stuffed clams. It was sooooo delicious!
After I finished my martini, I went with the highly recommended special drink, the Moscow mule made with ginger beer, lemon juice and mint. It was was fantastic, I'm definitely a fan!
We asked our server if we could mix and match the skewers and we were glad to hear that it was allowed. My husband went with a sirloin tip and swordfish kebab with a side if Bishop's signature fries.
The owner sat down with us and explain the process of the fries. He carefully selects his vendors, orders the potatoes in bulks and has the vendor keep them in a climate controlled temperature with the right humidity and has them delivered a little at a time. Once they are in the restaurant, they are hand cut and cured and kept in the basement. The fries won a prize for top 16 fries in AMERICA. The fries lived up to its hype and expectations, They were prettying amazing. Even the Mo said he didn't need to douse his fries in ketchup to enjoy them.
Chuck, the owner shared a story with us about him helping out his grandmother and a few other Lebanese women in her restaurant. For 10 weeks, he write down everything they did in the kitchen and measured all their ingredients. Of course it was tough at first but they finally got used to pausing for him take measurements. I could relate to this as my family cooks without measuring as well. Chuck brought us a sample of kibbe. The baked kibbe offered on the menu is the same recipe from his grandmother's kitchen. It was tender and flavorful with hints of allspice.
I enjoyed the baked stuffed clam so much so I ordered the baked stuffed mushroom along with a single skewer of the chopped sirloin with cheese. The prices are so wallet friendly that diners could order a few things and not feel like they broke the bank.
Chuck insisted we try his vegetarian rolled grape leaves and vegetarian cabbage rolls. The grape leaves had a hint of lemon and had a great texture from the blend of lentils, parsley, rice and quinoa.
After all that food, we didn't have room for dessert. The bill came out to around $100.00 for 4 drinks, 3 appetizers and 2 entrees. We will definitely be back for sure! We had such a great meal.
The restaurant also has an "In/Out" side that is popular during the lunch rush and before dinner. There are prepared salads, drinks, desserts in addition to fresh made pita bread.
WE ARE NOW ACCEPTING RESERVATIONS.
Reservations are accepted! Call ahead, even on Friday and Saturday and we will put you on the list!
RESERVATIONS FOR PRIVATE PARTIES & EVENTS DURING THE WINTER ON MONDAYS & TUESDAYS ARE NOW AVAILABLE.
We can accommodate your party with added menu items.
PLEASE CALL FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
We have introduced our new 2016 Winter / Spring Menu which includes:
+Lebanese Nachos: our own creation of freshly fried pita chips layered with kibbee crumbles, diced pepper, tomato, red onion, feta & Cheddar Cheese & buffalo tarator!
+Jumbo Chicken Wings
+12-13 oz hand cut Certified Angus Sirloin Strip Steak
+12 oz Bishop Big Burger served with pickle & french fries
+Shrimp Scampi; 8 Extra Large Shrimp cooked in a garlic seasoned butter with fresh mushroom, onion, parsley, tomato, calamata olives, served over linguini topped with fata & parmesan cheese
“In & Out” offers call ahead take out as well as specially priced packaged foods for office or home, heat & serve, salads, soups, beverages, desserts and more!
Take home a whole Baked Alaska or MochAlaska when ordered 24 hours ahead!
We also offer a 2 pound frozen ready to bake Apple Crisp from Mann's Apple Orchard!
Our full bar includes draft craft beer, bottled beer, wine by the glass & bottle, expanded selection single malt scotch whisky, martinis, and Happy Hour food specials!
Bishop’s Offers 2 Community Fundraising Opportunities for Your Non-profit Organization
Eat at Bishop’s Fundraiser
At the same time that you are enjoying Lowell’s finest eastern Mediterranean foods and beverages you could be raising funds for your non-profit organization.
It’s called “Fundraising Night a Bishop’s Legacy Restaurant” and there is not an easier way to get people to support your organization.
Here is how it works;
You must be a non-profit and have a MA Non Profit ID number. Make a copy of the non-profit id number and bring it to us.
At least a couple weeks prior to the event come in and meet with us to plan the event, and decide on a day and times.
Print up flyers or coupons and distribute them through your organizations members to as many of their friends, relatives, and associates as possible.
On the night of the fundraiser, all they have to do is show up during your event time and eat some great food and drink some refreshing beverages. Either before or after their meal they hand the waitstaff the coupon or flyer. The coupon/flyer is stapled to the guest check.
At the end of the event we collect all of the guest check receipts with the coupon or flyer stapled to it, and add up the totals.
Within 10 days of the event a check is written to the non-profit for 15% of the total amount of food and beverage consumed.
"The best and most fun fundraiser I ever attended was at Bishop's Legacy for the Lion's Club Children's Fund. The theme was Batman Forever and it was hugely successful in terms of both attendance and amounts raised. Lots of intricate costumes (I think I even saw Christian Bale in his Batman outfit) and for those without costumes they gave out Batman apparel via sweepstakes and auctions. Some of the shirts even included the villains, like the Joker or the Penguin. A black sedan was parked outside with added fins and a hood made up to look like a Batmobile. MoonAtMidnight contributed a ton of t shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies - I ended up with Batman Begins sweatshirt and a classic logo T. Check out all the coolest Batman t shirts, especially the awesome sublimated prints. They assigned the help who also dressed in black Batman shirts and masks, so the entire event was one huge Batman party. I will forever remember this evening and am so sad to see this great spot closing. But hey, as the Dark Knight rules - Batman forever!" Richard M. Blish
Gift Card Fundraiser
This is a simple way to raise money for your organization by receiving a discount on Bishop's Legacy Restaurant Gift Cards purchased and selling them at face value!
For example, your organization purchases 200 $10 Bishop's Legacy Restaurant Gift Cards at a discounted purchase price of $8 each.
Your members sell them for face value, $10 and earn $2 on each gift card sold. The total amount of your sales is $2,000. You pay us $1,600 and your organization earns $400!
We bet people will be thrilled to buy a Bishop’s Legacy Restaurant gift card and help out your not-for-profit organization at the same time! There is no limit to the number of gift cards that you can sell!
PARKING OPTIONS & ACCOMMODATIONS
The City of Lowell has numerous options for visitors parking in the downtown area, and guests coming to Bishop’s Legacy Restaurant that range from free to a nominal charge.
· Metered street parking is available for up to 2 hours for $2.00 on Monday – Saturday until 6:00pm.
· Street parking is free after 6:00pm, all day Sunday, and on holidays.
· Parking is also allowed in the tow zone loading area spaces after 6:00pm on Monday-Saturday all day Sunday, and on holidays.
COMMERCIAL PARKING LOTS
· Several private commercial parking lots surrounding us allow our guests TO park in their lots at various times during the week and all are available evenings, after 12 noon on Saturday and all day Sunday & holidays.
· PLEASE CALL FOR LOT LOCATIONS AND PERMITTED TIMES
CITY PARKING GARAGES
2 parking garages are located less than a 90 second walk from our front door
· The Joe Downes Garage on John St
· The Leo A. Roy garage on Market St
· As a dine-in guest, you can bring your parking ticket to the restaurant and we will validate it for a nominal fee. For that nominal fee, you can continue to leave your car in the garage while you visit one of the many art galleries, museums, go to the theatre, Spinners game, UMass game, Tsongas Center events, Lowell Auditorium events…
YELP REVIEWS 2015 -2016
Gigi H. Chelmsford, MA
3.0 star rating 3/3/2016
I was going to give this place two stars based solely on the food but added an additional star because it is really beautiful in there and the staff is phenomenal. I ordered a falafel sandwich to go. I couldn't wait to get home to eat and when I bit into it, I was a little disappointed. It didn't have any tahini dressing like the woman who took my order said there would be. The falafel themselves were very well seasoned and tasty but the sandwich was VERY dry.
In anticipation of the dryness factor as many falafel lovers know, I asked if some hummus could be added to my wrap. The hostess immediately said no but I asked her politely to ask the chef it was possible. I guess the chef wanted to send a loud and clear message that the menu can not be altered in any way because she came back with $1.99 to add about 1/4 cup worth of hummus to my wrap. In their to-go case, you can buy a cup (maybe more) of hummus to take home for $2.99 so I politely declined. Lucky for me, I make a batch of hummus and tahini sauce every week so I had them to add to the sandwich when I got home.
Lastly, I find it strange that a Mediterranean restaurant would not have a mezze platter on their menu. A platter with grape leaves, hummus, baba ganoush and or tabouli with pita bread would be a great addition to the menu at a reasonable price, after all vegetarian dishes should cost less than their meaty counterparts. My falafel sandwich cost just as much as the kafta and kibbee meat sandwiches.
I really want to support Downtown Lowell area businesses so I will consider going back after I speak with the manager, he wasn't in the restaurant when I was there.
Dan G. Winthrop, MA
5.0 star rating 11/12/2016
The last time I went to Bishop's was in 2000. Now their legacy continues in Lowell in a clean and modern place.
The food is probably some of the best Lebanese I've had in a long time. I had the assortment, dinner size, which gave me enough to bring home. The kibbee is absolutely delicious, moist and flavorful. That and the grape leaves were my favorites even though everything was delicious!
Dessert. A huge slab of baked Alaska. Get it.
J. T. Windham, NH
1.0 star rating 12/23/2016
WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS PLACE???
What happened to the owner to make him act the way he does?
My wife and I dined at this establishment in Lowell, for lunch and couldn't believe The chain of events that was to follow a poorly prepared meal.
I am as many people are very sensitive to green pepper I specifically ordered my meal with no green pepper when the meals arrived my wife's was fine and mine contained none else then green peppers.
After sending back I ordered some cabbage rolls which weren't cooked fully through they were still quite hard and very bitter.
I casually mentioned this to my server who by the way was outstanding!
It was then we descended upon by the owner, it seems he was not too happy with receiving the news that his food was not up to par or at least to my liking he began to berate us there on the floor and shouting if you people don't know what you want you shouldn't be here.
I was still so hungry I was chewing on a piece of bread while he continued his rant.
It's evident he was disturbed it was evident he was of an ethnic background and wasn't accustomed to how to treat Americans.
I felt as though I was eating at the marketplace in Tunisia, I would advise any potential diners of this establishment to steer clear and if it's prime rib you're looking for head to Scola's in Dracut...
This is not a nice place.
It is not good food.
And the owner is not a nice person.
Dorian S. San Jose, CA
2.0 star rating 12/11/2016
Luved the old Bishops but unfortunately the food was a shadow of it's former glory. The recipes were suppose to be carried over but found the food bland and without the Lebanese spices which we enjoy. I had the sampler plate for a very reasonable $9.99 lunch price. The kibbeh was bland and took a lot of salt & pepper. It lacked cumin & cinnamon and was more just a piece of finely ground beef. The rice, grape leaves, stuffed cabbage and beans were okay but also lacked the Lebanese flavor. The most disappointing was the Falafel plate. The falafel was dry and like little hockey pucks. I don't like to criticize the cooks but I wish they tasted the food. The cucumber sauce was extremely runny and should have been thicker.
On the positive side, the restaurant is very contemporary, clean and provides a nice dining area. Really enjoyed the wall panels which documented the history of the original Bishops. The servers and staff were very friendly and made for a good dining experience. We just wish the food had been elevated.
Kim S. Lowell, MA
5.0 star rating 4/17/2016
During the warmer weathers, there's a nice outdoor patio area. It's nice to grab drinks and bites and enjoy the warm weather. The kibbe/pita nachos are out of this world. We finished the whole plate! Moscow mules are delish in the warm weather and their tabouleh bloody mary is also delicious. Love the staff and the prices.
Cathy Z. Boston, MA
4.0 star rating 8/4/2015
I don't remember the former Bishop's, which closed in 2001. All I know is that the food here tastes like it was made by the Lebanese grandma you never had!
The hummus ($7 for a pint) and tabbouleh ($8) were top notch. There was barely any bulgur in the tabbouleh, which is a sign of good quality to me! Grape leaves are often dry, but this version, covered in a light tomato sauce, was not. Similarly, the baked kibbee ($13) was moist and well seasoned. And I'm not a huge fan of stuffed peppers ($12), but these were fall-apart tender (though a little crunch from some pine nuts would've been a welcome addition).
Not everything was a winner. The steak and lamb tips were pink on the inside, yet dry. Also, the portions--a few ounces of meat + a huge pile of rice pilaf--were a little unbalanced. Maybe a little fattoush on the side would have helped? Since the pilaf was sort of bland and greasy, I'd go with the straight-up baked kibbee instead if you're craving meat. Also, maybe this is just a result of getting takeout, but the fries were soggy, lacking salt, and a little bitter-tasting. I'd skip them next time.
Although not everything was perfect, I'm excited to see a place for Lebanese specialties in the Lowell area. I'm hoping to see Bishop's succeed for another 50-something years!
Ben R. Carrboro, NC
4.0 star rating 4/25/2015
A legacy maintained! Bishop's legacy is a very accessible restaurant in a part of the city populated by a number of interesting restaurants. It has a very casual feel, well lit and with simple tables and decorations, but a very vibrant atmosphere and clean design that draws in a variety of patrons. From the moment we sat down we were greeted with excellent service, friendly ownership, and a sense that our experience, not just the food we enjoyed, mattered. Prices are reasonable and vegetarian, seafood, and terrestrial options cater to any diet and taste. A small bar offers a reasonable variety of cocktails, beers, and wine - we were given a Lebanese imported pale ale to try, which was interesting.
Following in the footsteps of its progenitor restaurant Bishop's, the restaurant makes a point to point out it's staples like Kebabs, Pita, and the outstanding French Fries which put its parent on the map. The owner was eager to point out the restaurant's mission and that these fries were more than just another deep friend frenched potato. My fellow diners and I enjoyed a Mezze plate, which for 7.99 was generously comprised of Bab Ghanoush (excellent), hummus, a farmer's cheese, and terrific cold rolls of cabbage and Grape leaves. Stuffed mushrooms I found rubbery and reminiscent of the canned variety, but in all I couldn't complain about the flavor. Entrees consisted of a Swordfish stirfry, fresh vegetables abound; tomato-broth poached shrimp with the outstanding fries; and Foul Madamas, or a fava bean stew which came with a wonderful pilaf. Each dish was generous and made with fresh ingredients - simple but elegant.
What really stood out about the experience at Bishop's was the enthusiasm with which we were greeted, served, and consistently checked on. I believe there is room for growth and the space felt a but crowded - vibrant but noisy. I do believe the legacy will live on.
Bishop’s Legacy Closes Down This Weekend in Lowell
It’s had a long run in a handful of locations
by Dana Hatic@DanaHatic Dec 22, 2016, 12:00pm EST
A storied restaurant will close down after a lengthy history operating in various locations north of Boston. Bishop’s Legacy Restaurant will say its final farewells this week before closing for good on December 24, according to Boston Restaurant Talk.
Bishop’s Legacy opened in Lowell in March of 2015 after a 14-year absence from the restaurant world, as previously reported. The original spot, Bishop’s, opened in Lawrence in 1949, while another location in the Merrimack Valley operated from 1968 to 2001, as the Lowell Sun noted. Last week, the 143 Merrimack St. restaurant shared the news of the impending closure on Facebook, letting patrons know that this is the final week of service.
The post read, in part:
All of us at Bishop’s Legacy Restaurant would like to thank our many guests as well as the City of Lowell for their support over the past two years. We opened in Lowell offering a casual atmosphere and affordable menu, utilizing our family’s original recipes and famous formula for fresh French fried potatoes.It then went on to indicate that family dynamics had changed, and the restaurant would close, effective December 24. Bishop’s Legacy served Lebanese cuisine, including items like tabouli, falafel, and baba ganoush, among assorted soups, salads, and both seafood and meat entrees.