Just in case you haven’t noticed yet, there’s this awesome show called “Bob’s Burgers” on Fox, and it’s kinda my favorite thing on TV right now. Following along with Bob, Linda, and their three rambunctious kids as they try to make a burger joint profitable is hilarious and a much needed break from reality. From the burger of the day to the Easter-egg signs in the opening, there’s so much to discover and enjoy.
Well, I also happen to work at a real estate company, so there were a few things I really wanted to discover. Bob is always complaining about his rent, but how much would that building be worth? Where is this restaurant located?
When the Movoto Real Estate Blog gave me the opportunity to research this bizarre abode and answer these questions, I was all over it. Not quite Tina’s-love-for-Jimmy-Jr. obsessed, but definitely getting there. I grabbed a burger from my local In-N-Out, watched every episode on Netflix, and did some serious math. In the end, I found that Bob would have to fork over at least $796,446 to buy the place from Mr. Fischoeder.
But did I stop there? Oh no. Like with Linda and wine, I definitely don’t know when to stop.
The Grand Re-Re-Re-Opening
This show is all about the fart jokes, butts, puns, and mischief, and that’s definitely where the value of it lies. But, to determine the would-be real estate value of the restaurant, we needed to ask ourselves some pretty important questions:
- How big is the restaurant/house?
- Where is it located?
- How much would a similarly sized place cost there?
- How much would it cost to rent the place per month?
- How many burgers would you need to sell to live there?
Using all that, I’d be able to determine how much a real life version of that place would go for on the market. Okay, those last two criteria are just to add a little bit of reality to the realty, and for fun. Seriously, what would Bob’s Burgers be without fun, anyway?
Just Stay The Heck Out Of The Extra “Bedroom”
As we saw in the episode “Bed & Breakfast,” there are a ton of upstairs bedrooms as well as the restaurant downstairs. By the way, that fourth bedroom, Louise’s, was actually originally a closet. My guess is she demanded her own room rather than sleep near Tina’s late-night thrashings.
So there’s a little novelty real-estate trivia for ya. But how much space does this place really have altogether? There aren’t any set floor plans for this house and eatery, so I had to go episode by episode in the show itself to figure out the layout for myself. In my research, I found that the building is made up of:
- The restaurant/kitchen
- 1 customer bathroom
- 3 bedrooms
- 1 walk-in closet-turned-bedroom
- Upstairs Kitchen/dining room
- 1 living room
- Upstairs bathroom
- Basement (ie. The Meatgrinder)
What I didn’t include is the hallway, attic, not-so-secret crawl spaces, or walk in freezer. After all, no one lives in those, except maybe when Linda’s parents came to visit. That’s a lot of rooms, especially considering how small the place looks from the outside. Ah well, maybe like The Tardis, it’s bigger on the inside. There was only one way to find out.
Jeeze-Louise, These Calculations Are Hard!
I had some fun when finding out the measurements in this place. Because I did it all by hand, I needed a point of reference. For that, I have to thank Linda’s love of being drunk. Excuse me, “having fun.”
Most wine bottles are 12 inches tall. Using that, I determined the height of one of my favorite characters in the show, and one of the only characters that goes into literally every room in the house: Louise.
With the ears (and seriously, when is she without the ears?), Louise came out to 4.6 feet tall, and from there it was just a matter of using her as a reference point in every room of the house. They came out to the following:
- Restaurant: 275 square feet
- Kitchen: 196 square feet
- Customer bathroom: 29 square feet
- Basement: 412 square feet
- Bob and Linda’s bedroom: 245 square feet
- Tina’s bedroom: 197 square feet
- Gene’s bedroom: 213 square feet
- Louise’s “bedroom”: 62 square feet
- Kitchen/dining room: 197 square feet
- Upstairs bathroom: 50 square feet
- Living room: 182 square feet
All that comes out to a total of 2,058 square feet.
Now, the place does seem pretty top-heavy, but keep in mind that the lower part has a ton of fridges, meat lockers, storage, crawlspaces, and the long stairway up to the living area, so it all comes out about right.
But all that doesn’t tell us how much it would cost to live here. And considering the fact that bob’s always complaining about his rent, it’s got to be something significant, right? As it turns out, yeah, it is significant. But how did we figure that out? We had to determine where Bob’s restaurant is located.
Mr. Fischoeder Owns This Town
Yes, he’s got everything under his thumb or on his payroll, but what city is he and his psycho brother ruling over?
After some Internet research, I found out some pretty interesting stuff on that subject. It turns out that they are supposed to live in a “Simpsons”-esque everyman’s town, but that wasn’t always the case.
Initially, the show was supposed to be set in San Francisco, thus the type of architecture you see. However, Linda’s accent was decidedly East Coast, and it would have been too difficult to constantly explain that she was a transplant. So instead, the show’s creator, Loren Bouchard, says that it’s pretty decidedly set on the Eastern Seaboard. In fact, he goes as far as to say that it’s probably somewhere in New Jersey.
So, that narrowed down my search. From there, I looked for smaller sized cities that had the following nearby landmarks and amenities:
- An amusement park pier
- A lighthouse (within a short drive)
- A taffy factory (per The Belchies)
- An art festival (per Art Crawl)
- A seafood festival (Lobsterfest)
Sure enough, there was a place that had all of that, right down to a very old historic taffy factory. That place, and the location of Bobs Burgers if it existed in real life, was Ocean City, NJ.
While it is towards the south, and most fans theorize that the location is somewhere in North Jersey, this place just fit the criteria better. Given nearby Atlantic City, maybe Gene’s dreams of showbusiness aren’t too absurd after all.
Like Something Out Of Tina’s Erotic Friend-Fiction…
…all of our calculations were based on some truth and mostly imagination. Well, with less butts, zombies, and freeform dancing, and more math. Yeah I know, bad trade off, but it still works.
When we get to the hard facts, we had to figure out the price based on what actually existed. So I found similarly sized properties and found the average price per square foot in Ocean City was $387 per square foot. That meant that Bob’s quite large home would cost a grand total of $796,446.
Bob and his family don’t own, they rent. So how much does it cost them? The average rent for buildings this size in this area is about $3,924 per month. Yeah, you can see why Bob is always complaining.
Now, let’s say you were renting and were trying to make ends meet (or meat maybe). Well you’d have to sell about 785 burgers a month to earn just the rent, and that speaks nothing about restaurant costs, clothes, food, utilities, or other expenses. It’s no wonder that everyone’s always scraping for money in the Belcher household. I sure hope Teddy and Mort are hungry.
Come Meat Our Family And Let Us Meat You
So there you have, it all you never wanted to know about Bob’s restaurant and home. Now, this irreverent show pokes fun at everyone, including another of my favorite shows, and never pauses to apologizes.
In true form, we’ve done the same here for everyone’s amusement, especially now that the show is on hiatus again and fans are growing more restless and angsty about its absence. At least, that’s how I’m getting. Above all, this research has been a labor of love and obsession, much like every patty Bob puts on a bun for his customers.
By the way, is anyone else hungry for burgers now? I know I am.