Bob’s Grill: Diner for the decades
June 24-30, 2019
By Amanda Nettles
Bob’s Grill has been a Conway treasure for several decades. The restaurant first opened on Chestnut Street in 1980. Bob Green, the original owner, decided to move the restaurant to a larger space and a busier street — Oak Street.
Bob’s Grill is one of the oldest restaurants in Conway. Leslie Marshall took over the restaurant in 2004. Marshall observes community involvement in the restaurant daily. “I have so many people I know and interact with. I didn’t have that before. I have been here for 15 years. I have seen my first employees’ children grow up here. I basically have two generations working for me.” She said customers always see people they know. “This restaurant gives a lot of people second chances and even helps people get back on their feet.” Her favorite menu item is the fried mushrooms. She said customers usually go for the breakfast items.
While attending college at the University of Central Arkansas, I trekked to Bob’s Grill many mornings. On a Sunday afternoon, I decided to branch out and try a Philly cheesesteak sandwich with onions and peppers, and I decided to expand my hips even further by ordering a side of onion rings.
My food came out fresh and hot. The Philly meat was just off of the grill. The meat and veggies were smashed together between two pieces of buttery, crunchy Texas toast. There was just enough cheese melted on top of the meat and veggies. Every bite absolutely melted in my mouth. It was an outstanding Philly cheese steak sandwich.
The other monster I had to tackle was some giant onion rings. I hadn’t had onion rings in several years, and these delicacies were out of this world. First of all, they were huge — about the size of my fist. The batter on the outside of the onion was crisp and fluffy. Every bite was crunchy but soft. My lunch was so satisfying and filling.
The restaurant has the traditional southern diner vibe. There are booths lined up along each wall and tables sit in the middle of the restaurant. The restaurant is almost always busy, so the more seating for visitors, the better.
Marshall has always been involved in the restaurant industry. She began her restaurant journey as a teenager working at Burger King. She worked her way up to management at Burger King. Her skills and development allowed her to take on being the owner of Bob’s Grill.
Marshall said one of the biggest challenges she sees in the industry is the constant road construction. She said customers can sometimes have a difficult time finding parking spots. Nevertheless, loyal customers still call Bob’s grill home.
Bob’s Grill is located at 1112 W. Oak St., Conway, AR. Hours are Monday - Friday, 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday, 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bob’s Grill’s Philly cheesesteak sandwich with onions and peppers with a side of onion rings. (Photo by Amanda Nettles)