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Obituary - November 10, 2023

Robert ‘Bobby’ Herbert Snyder

Long-time Lakeside restaurateur Robert “Bobby” Snyder died Monday, November 6, after an eight-year battle with cancer.

pg11cBorn May 15, 1941 in Pennsylvania, Bobby grew up in Hackettstown, New Jersey. At age 19 he moved to Los Angeles, California and began working as a waiter. He opened his first restaurant, Left Bank, in LA in 1972.

Bobby moved to Puerto Vallarta with a friend, Juanita, in 1981. Before long he had relocated to Guadalajara, where he purchased a house on Calle Clemente Orozco. He started a banquet catering company, Buen Provecho, in 1983, taking many of his banquets to the Lake Chapala area.

Leaving Mexico in 1990, Bobby moved to Tampa, Florida and, later, to New Smyrna, Florida, opening successful eateries in both cities.

For a short while he lived in Costa Rica, but in 1998 moved back to Guadalajara to restart his banqueting business.

In 1999, Bobby opened a café on the beach in Ajijic next to the original Posada, before opening Roberto’s on the Ajijic-Jocotepec Carretera, where he made hundreds of friends with a mouth-watering menu and a bon vivant attitude, always ready with a funny story or bit of gossip.

Bobby sold that restaurant after he was diagnosed with cancer, renting a house on the beach in Cuyutlan, Colima, where he could enjoy the sound of the waves. But within six months or so the restaurant bug bit him again and Bobby was back at the helm of yet another Ajijic eatery, Bobby’s Terraza, just a block from his previous venue. There he served what the Guadalajara Reporter reviewer described as “a new category of gourmex” cuisines. Unfortunately, the cancer came back with a vengeance and he closed the restaurant within a couple of years.

When the cancer went into remission again, this gifted, undaunted man surprised us all and in 2022 opened Bobby’s Escondido in West Ajijic on the edge of Canacinta in what had been Vicky’s Hideaway. His famous menu from Roberto’s was revived and he did very well cooking, creating and entertaining both friends old and new. He always greeted guests as family and told great stories of Ajijic characters long gone (and some seated at the next table!). The atmosphere was warm and hospitable and the service ready and amicable. Many long-time patrons of his many venues knew that their favorite drink didn’t even have to be ordered—but appeared as if by magic.

Bobby gave his heart and soul to every restaurant he created. They were his passion and hobbies.

His support to charities and his dedication to his staff were profound.  Many times during the economic downturn of the Covid epidemic, Bobby would take a vat of pork birria or another delicious dish out to the towns east of Chapala to serve a few hundred hungry souls.

Bobby’s final days were marked by serenity and the absence of pain. His journey was eased by the presence of numerous friends, whose visits brought him comfort. His departure leaves a void in the hearts of many.

His dog Domino and cat Smokey will remain at Escondido to greet the guests who will continue to enjoy his singular dishes.

The restaurant will continue with the same days and hours and Thanksgiving Day reservations are being honored.

A celebration of Bobby’s life will be held at Escondido on Saturday, November 25, 2 to 6 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, bring a good story of Roberto to share and donate some time to your favorite lakeside charity.

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