Bishop’s Legacy a Downtown Lowell Hit!

I posted this commentary on my Facebook page just now. It might be helpful to our blog readers to know what a great experience we had at the new and much anticipated Bishop’s Legacy restaurant in Downtown Lowell. There is truly a Bishop’s legacy in the Merrimack Valley and many want to have a re-do on the Bishop’s experience. Bishop’s Legacy is a great addition to the Downtown Lowell scene.

We had supper at Bishop’s Legacy after the 4 o’clock Mass today. Figuring that the Shrine probably had a 5 o’clock Mass, I opted to park on Merrimack Street in the open HP spot just before John Street…. an easy walk to BL. There was a pleasant buzz in the restaurant – half full at about quarter to 5 o’clock. We were seated at a table for 4 next to my Lowell State classmate Dottie Flanagan and her husband Bill. There were a few familar faces – but no one else I could call by name. The much smaller bar was full. No table cloths in the old Bishop’s style but nice, big white cloth napkins were wrapped around a knife & fork. The printed menu and drinks menu were presented by a young, attentive waitress. We ordered beverages and discussed the menu… I wanted lamb of some kind and finally opted for a double skewer, medium rare with French fries and a side-salad. Bill had his favorite “old” Bishop’s choice of haddock meuniere with french fries and a starter of (two) baked stuffed clams. Looking around we could see many pictures from the old days – including one near us with Drs. Freddie Arrigg – Senior and Junior and one with Abe Bashara with Anthony Athanas of Pier 4 – a nice decorating touch. Both of us were very pleased with our meals… the French fries were just as served years ago in Lawrence… the lamb was tender and sweet. I brought some lamb home. Dessert was available – made special for BL. Bill had carrot cake and I had a Boston Cream “Bomb”… tasty but when asked I advised that more cream filling was needed. The host/owner Chuck Saba – a Bashara grandson – spoke with us about the photos telling us that people had sent or given him many of them. I told him that I had one of Congressman Jim Shannon and his staff who gathered at Bishop’s many time for dinner and for fundraisers – he knew Jim as a good guy and would be happy if I e-mailed it to him and I will. Bill told him of the many Merrimack Valley and Greater-Lawrence Dental Society meeting he attended over the years at Bishop’s. He asked if Bill liked lima beans – Bill loves lima beans. He brought him a sampling of his large lima beans and rice in their special sauce… a big hit with Bill. He said the menu is a work in progress and he’ll be trying some specials – lamb chops I hoped! A beef special of the night before sold out quickly.

He’s a charming host who seemed very happy with his fully-seated restaurant with some parties waiting by the time we left at 6:30pm. There were two women from Waltham who had been regulars at the old Bishop’s who got a full court press from the Flanagans about coming back for the Lowell Folk Festival. There were many faces of DTL denizens as well as Greater Merrimack Valley folks – many were Lebanese ready to support Bishop’s Legacy. Good food, good prices, a welcoming feeling if a bit loud – but LaBoniche could be loud too! We will go back!

A Note ~ table service is now available after 4pm. For lunch you need to order at the counter.

Here’s the link to the website ~

5 Responses to Bishop’s Legacy a Downtown Lowell Hit!

  1. Craig H says:

    You mean that, even without the overnight parking ban, people were actually able to park downtown? I don’t believe it. The Bishops people told me so.

  2. Marie says:

    I can only comment on my experience. We were there in the early evening – 4:45 to 6:15pm-ish. yesterday. Seated so I could see out to Merrimack Street, I did see some parking space turn-over. Most people arrived walking north to south on Merrimack Street. After Mass at the Shrine, there were probably street spaces on Kirk, Lee and Paige Streets or in the “CTI” lot – not a far walk for most people. There were some young people illegally parking on Merrimack Street – one car-full whipped out an old orange parking ticket and put it under the windshield wiper – they didn’t care that we saw them do it! Late-night isn’t my time out!

  3. Brian says:

    That CTI has a parking lot in the most walkable part of DTL illustrates how complicit every type business/organization is in the weakening of Lowell.

    Such a poor use of finite land.

  4. Marie says:

    I know that parking is a sticky issue in downtown, Brian! For ID purposes only I named the parking area the “CTI” lot… CTI has 6 or so parking spaces in the lot across from the Shrine used only by WIC clients (Women, Infants and Children)… access is part of the requirement for that program.

  5. Brian says:


    Great point. Requiring surface parking in cities is anathema to livable, successful cities. Couldn’t CTI validate parking in the garages for WIC clients?

    We can’t keep justifying an auto-dependent development pattern if we want social equity. Cars are an albatross around the necks of the working poor. Wide roads like Dutton St, Church St, and the Blvd are death traps for pedestrians that have no choice but to walk. Want to see the Acre, Back Central, and Centralville come alive? Narrow the death traps.