Former OBI owner Matherson dies at 65

Former OBI owner Matherson dies at 65

There are 48 comments on the Newsday story from Dec 13, 2007, titled Former OBI owner Matherson dies at 65. In it, Newsday reports that:

Robert Matherson, a larger-than-life bar owner and developer who battled local and county officials tirelessly over the fate of his renowned Babylon night club, died yesterday of cancer.

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Lindenhurst, NY

#54 Dec 30, 2007
I was so upset to learn of Bobby's passing. I talked my husband into working for Bobby because I knew he needed someone to run the old WWII sky light. My husband went on to become the OBI south manager & did construction work and ran the club so Bobby could travel daily from the OBI West,North and East each night. My husband gave him peace of mind, tuned up and repaired Bobby’s old yellow Buick, and was a faithful, mature, responsible, and loyal employee, but Bobby fired him the night of the Christmas party at the South because he refused to fire a bartender, a teacher and a brand new father at Bobby's request.It was the employee Christmas party that night. My sons who were 6 and 7 years old were as devastated as my husband and me. It was the worst Christmas we ever had. We were preparing for the huge employee party that night. Obviously we did not go. I had to withdraw from classes at St. Joseph’s college because I could not pay the tuition. I didn’t return back to college after that for 24 years. Meanwhile, our time at the OBI was up. It was our livelihood but also a recreational dream with our boat in the OBI slip. A few years later, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. We had no insurance or anything. After my husband's death at age 41, I asked Bobby if he would consider helping me start a scholarship drive for my two sons, and he never responded favorably. He never returned my calls.
Still the OBI had such an impact on our lives during the good times. Ironically, while we were there, they were relatively good times for Bobby, too. He was in-between major hassles with corruption and law suits. My husband worked so hard for Bobby, and we enjoyed the fun times there. We bought bobby Sanchez's boat and docked it at the OBI and I have wonderful memories of going fishing, clamming, and "trying" to water ski with my husband and two sons. I remember my husband and Bobby barricading themselves inside the OBI during a hurricane and violating the emergency evacuation order. I left there while they duct taped windows thinking they were crazy. Bobby said it was his job to go down with the ship, but did he have to take his manager…my husband with him? That was the way the two of them were together.
Years later I went back to the OBI and Bobby was so kind to me. One day he was seen giving my son’s Boy Scout troop $40 to buy pizza while they did an Eagle Scout project by the ramp toward the drawbridge. They were fencing in the baby geese whose nests were under the rosa rugosas to keep them from being hit by cars.
Bobby had guts and tenacity to fight for his rights to be a business man on Long Island. I completely respected him and knew how much he loved his four children, as well as keeping a friendly relationship with their mothers. I was so upset to hear of his death.
Bobby is a legacy and I wish that on January 6th, his birthday, that his familywould have something of a memorial at the OBI site. I would love to hear this announced in Newsday. You can do it. Hot Chocolate and donuts for all who would like to stand at the site for a memory and a service? I think that the only way that the OBI could officially fade into the sunset forever was for it to be torn down first, and then for Bobby to pass over. If he passed away, first, and the OBI was still standing, it would be unbearable to see what fate might have done to HIS nightclub. I was glad to see how he controlled the undoing of Long Island's greatest legacy. He STARTED IT, and only he could END IT….his way.
Bobby’s Pig Roast was hysterical. He gave us a place to have fun and he always made it interesting and different. Loved Super Suds of Rhythm on Sunday afternoons. Bobby had a great sardonic sense of humor. I hope you had great times in Key West.Rest in Peace and may you be walking in the light and love with God.
Grieg Latterner

Quakertown, PA

#55 Feb 1, 2008
The OBI became an institution on Long Island over the years and I was sorry to see it close. I was even more saddened when I was apprised of Bob Matherson's demise.

However his memory will be appreciated by the multitudes of customers that shared good times over more than three decades at a unique and somewhat politically incorrect night spot by the inlet

Port Chester, NY

#56 Apr 22, 2009
Ironic....Noto and Matherson fought the within in a couple of months they have both moved on to a better place.....even better than the beaches of babylon.

Monroe, NY

#57 Jan 18, 2013
car got towed on memorial day weekend listened to buster and the soul brothers only one of many great bands sundays were comfortably numb
Booker B

East Quogue, NY

#58 Jan 20, 2013
That's "LITTLE BUSTER"......Our very own Blind Melon Chitlin'
Adolpho B

Brooklyn, NY

#60 Jan 23, 2013
Bobby was a coke head. We did cocaine on the bar after closing hours. It turned him into a paranoid freak.

Brooklyn, NY

#61 Jan 24, 2013
There was lots of folk who tried to separate Bob from his money.

United States

#62 Mar 19, 2015
The phrase "may he walk in the light and love of God "was composed by me several years ago How
it became part of somebody else's comments is hard to explain.

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