Hometown Eats: Holly Jo’s Creekside Grill
BOONES MILL, Va. (WDBJ) - Some of the most memorable restaurants are the ones you’ve driven past time and time again, until one day, you finally stop.
“It’s dinner and a show at Holly Jo’s and the regulars know it. You never know what you’re going to get,” said Holly Jo’s Creekside Grill owner Holly Chapman.
Since September 2014, that’s been the motto at Holly Jo’s Creekside Grill on 220 in Boones Mill, a place you’ve likely driven by a hundred times and never knew it was there.
“Once people step through the door here and it’s their first time here, which we hear a lot, ‘oh my gosh we drive by here every day, and we had no idea,’” said Chapman.
Champman worked in the restaurant industry most of her life, but she said people kept telling her to get a “real job.”
“I did what everyone expected me to do. I went to college and became a teacher, but I missed it, I missed the fast pace and action of it all. I said, ‘I’m 40, open a restaurant’ so I did,” said Chapman.
“Great home place to eat, it’s quick and get you out of here for a good price,” said regular customer Wesley.
A wide variety on the menu, plus a side dish of Holly’s humor hanging on the walls.
“I want people to be entertained, when they are sitting there eating, to be like ‘what does that mean?’” Chapman joked while describing the décor.
What’s a family restaurant without family history? You’ll find that framed above the bar, in Holly’s late father, “Power” Tom Pack’s basketball jersey.
It’s not just décor; she credits her staff for keeping this place bright.
“I tell people I make sandwiches, it’s my staff that keeps me afloat, for real,” said Chapman.
Customer support and loyalty is big at Holly Jo’s and the best example is the guy who has his name on the menu, John Garst.
“From day one he has been my biggest supporter and he’s never ordered off the menu, he just tells us to make whatever we feel like,” said Chapman.
“30 years ago, I was working in a high-stress job when I was young, and I didn’t want to make a decision one day and the waitress asked what I wanted, and I told her I don’t know, so she said she would bring me something. It was a bolt of lightning that changed my life and since there I almost never look at a menu, I just ask the server to bring me whatever they want me to have that day. The folk here at Hollys, I love it here so much and I’m here a lot, she put my name on her menu. That’s the story of the John Garst,” explained John Garst.
“We make stuff for us to eat in the kitchen that’s not on the menu, and they were like, ‘wow that’s really good, try this’ then we put it on the menu,” said Chapman.
Dessert is a big focus at Holly Jo’s as well, like homemade banana pudding, Homestead Creamery ice cream, and funnel cake sticks.
“My family works here, my close friends work here, and when I’m closed for a week, I feel bad because people eat here every night. I think that’s what keeps me going, I don’t want to be a quitter. You have to make it happen, I’m not going to fail,” said Chapman.
“It’s good homemade food at a good price,” said regular customer Joel.
Holly Jo’s Creekside Grill a hometown eat you won’t drive by again!
Holly Jo’s Creekside Grill is open Wednesday through Sunday at 25174 Virgil H Goode Hwy Ste 2, Boones Mill, VA 24065.
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