Hometown Eats: Bob’s Restaurant

Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 4:09 PM EDT
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VINTON, Va. (WDBJ) - We live in an area full of different flavors, but every now and then you get that craving for classics.

We’re bellying up to the burgers and dogs at Bob’s Restaurant in Vinton for this week’s Hometown Eats!

“Kind of like our hometown Cheers,” said regular customer Angie Bell Chewning.

“Everybody knows everybody,” added Bob’s owner Rodney Price.

“If you mention ‘Bob’s’ everybody knows,” explained other regular customer Kathryn Sowers.

Since 1984, Vintonites have called Bob’s Restaurant on Walnut Ave their home away from home.

“From the outside you don’t know what you’re going to get when you come in, but when you do, you’re greeted with a smile, fresh food, always friendly staff, cold beverages, you just can’t go wrong,” said Chewning.

Bob Pedigo originally opened this joint, but in January of 1985 it was bought and is still owned by Rodney Price and his wife Roxanna. Then, the Flood of ‘85 happened.

“November of ‘85 we were on the roof. Lost everything,” explained Price.

Rodney had to be airlifted out.

“Yeah, on the helicopter,” added Price.

But it’s what happened after the waters went down that Rodney knew Bob’s was going to be around for the long haul.

“We had a whole lot of neighbor people who came and helped, and we had it opened in seven days,” said Price.

Almost 40 years later, Rodney had some medical issues that threatened to close the doors. But like in 1985, help stepped up once again, like his sister Debbie Cooper, who came on staff, allowing Rodney to celebrate his 70th birthday in the place he loves.

“I enjoy it. I’ll do it until it’s time to go sit in a rocking chair, I guess,” joked Price.

Until then, Rodney will rock the flat top serving up classics like the juicy 6-ounce burgers.

“The burgers are the best. My granddaughter and grandsons will come all the way from Salem down here. My granddaughter thinks it’s the only place you can get a burger,” said Sowers.

“The hot dogs are great!” Chewning exclaimed after describing her perfect burger with bacon and grilled onions.

I went with the Carolina classic topped with mustard, onion, homemade chili, and slaw.

Whether it be community involvement like Relay for Life, daily specials, live music, or having a place to practice a little 8-ball with a burger and dog, everybody will tell you the same thing about why they keep coming back, the prices. And I’m not just talking about the cost of the food.

“Salt of the Earth people who just love the place and love their customers,” said Chewning.

“They’re the kind of people you want to have around you,” said Sowers.

“They’re all good people and we have a bunch of them. They take care of us, and we take care of them,” said Price.

Bob’s Restaurant, a hometown eat that if you don’t know, now you know. Bob’s Restaurant is at 1004 Walnut Ave, Vinton, VA 24179.