Alumni Profile: Phillip Cobb ’65

We recently caught up with our very own Phillip Cobb ’65 and had the chance to ask him about his Phi Delt experience, and where life since Ohio State has taken him. Here’s what he had to say: 

Where has life taken you since you graduated? Give us a brief recap up to this point including career and family highlights.


After leaving OSU, I took a job with International Paper Co. that got me to Dallas where I met a guy named Gene Street that wanted, like me, to get into the bar/restaurant business. So in 1971 we opened a bar named J Alfreds, I got the name from my Toledo buddies that reminded me about a bar at BGSU named J Alfred Prufrock’s. Since I ran the PDT kitchen at OSU for 3 years, as did my older Phil brother Dave Cobb, I knew I would eventually get into the Food & Beverage business. In the next 17 years our company built a chain of down home cooking places known as the Black – Eyed Pea and also the Dixie House restaurants and sold our 45 units to a British firm in 1986. From 1986- 2004, I did 6 more restaurants with my second wife, Janet, and finally semi retired in 2004. On the non profit side, I decided in 1983 to bring back a historic Trolley system to the Dallas area and we opened in 1989. Today 32 years later we are still operating a 7 car system with 600,000 riders per year, and we are the third largest historic system in America after San Francisco and New Orleans. Other notable ventures that I’ve been involved in over the years include: Majority owner of the Dallas Sidekicks indoor professional soccer team for two years, Chairman of the USA Film Festival for two years, Founder and Chairman of the Uptown (Dallas) neighborhood association, and Board member of The Dallas Arboretum. As for my family, I have two daughters, Savannah and Sierra, two step-sons , Brian and Blair, and 4 grandchildren. Janet and I have been married 26 years.

What are the most important lessons you learned because of Phi Delta Theta?


The lessons I learned as a Phi Delt: whether it’s playing intramural sports, running the kitchen , or just getting through Hell Week… have to work things out together as a team. That has guided me throughout my business and personal career.

When you look back on your time in Phi Delta Theta, what moments do you tend to remember most?


The moments I remember as a Phi: really good times with my roomie Doug Wahl, who is also from Toledo, having beers at the Char Bar or Don’s on the weekends, going to Buckeyes sporting events, and living at the house over two years.

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