By Jan Rahn
Of utmost importance to the newest restaurant owners in Grant is the two-fold focus of serving great food and delivering outstanding customer service.
Tim and Kimberly Bishop are the proud new owners of 310 Central American Grill. They recently moved back to Tim’s roots to open the business formerly known as Bench Warmers along main street.
They are excited about being open, getting acquainted and fulfilling their desire to serve the public.
First and foremost they intend to provide a family restaurant where a gathering is enjoyable and private, as well as satiating—with a desire to return. Secondary is the bar, they said.
“It has been a long journey—20 months,” said Tim about the time frame involved in purchasing the business. He and Kimberly began looking into the possibility in December 2010.
They did a lot of research, talked into wee hours of the night, spent time in prayer, met with locals in the community, and spent a lot of time with retired restaurant owners Phil and Ann Calkins.
Tim grew up in Perkins County and graduated from Grant High School in 1996—he knew what he was moving back to. Kimberly, on the other hand, is a native Californian, and although she grew up in a west coast farming community in Salinas, Calif., western Perkins County, Nebraska is quite a change.
As children of entrepreneurs, Tim and Kimberly knew they someday wanted to be business owners. Tim said he’d always had the desire to own a restaurant.
“I didn’t think it would be in Grant, Nebraska though!” he laughed.
When the economy began to shift, the downward turn led to him being laid off from a job he had in Colorado Springs. Then a second career choice led to another layoff.
“That’s when I decided, ‘I’m done working for the man’,” said Tim.
The opportunity of owning a business in his hometown arose and the young couple decided to look into it.
As strong Christians who felt they were definitely being led by the Lord through the series of steps that it took to come this far, the Bishops have no doubt they have arrived where they need to be to set down permanent roots for their two young daughters, Hannah, who is four-and-a-half and eight-month-old Emelyn Grace.
Tim attributes his strong desire to own a restaurant to the years he devoted as an employee of PF Changs China Bistro—which is where he met Kimberly in Colorado Springs!
He spent five years with the restaurant, learning nearly every aspect of that type of business. He was a server, an in-house server/trainer, a national trainer, a bartender, and was on management staff. Upon leaving the restaurant, layoffs from Tim’s subsequent careers with Hewlett Packard and U.S. Welding are what led him to the pursuit of owning his own restaurant—in Grant, Nebraska!
Kimberly is still employed with a Colorado-based manufacturing company of medical supplies and will continue to travel until she can make the full transition to being a partial stay-at-home mom and co-owner/helper at 310 Central American Grill.
Both of their families have been tremendous in helping with the renovation project. Kimberly’s parents, Barbara and Rodney Foxx of Colorado Springs, have spent untold hours in Grant helping with the changes which have included new paint, new booths, bathroom renovation, bar top and bar face changes and a new finish on the floor. There are new tables and chairs and there have been some minor alterations in the kitchen.
There are seven employees hired to keep things flowing smoothly, with either Tim or Kimberly always on board during business hours. A new cook from South Carolina has the couple excited about the promise of great food and fun specials. They have some ideas for game days and the upcoming holiday seasons.
As the son of Delbert and the late Lois Bishop of Big Springs, Tim has family in the area who have been very willing to help with projects. The beautiful booths were constructed by his brother Steven of Ogallala (who was also the general contractor) along with Kimberly’s dad. Tim’s dad and stepmother Diane, sister Cori (Sis) of Elsie and brother Doug of Colorado Springs have also contributed much time and energy toward meeting the opening date.
Hours will be Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. Closed on Sunday.
“We want to be open and do it well—focusing on customers and good food,” said Kimberly, again emphasizing their focus of important quality family time when eating out at 310 Central American Grill.