Along the Lakeside: Introducing Rob Park of The 19th Hole


Earlene Bohannon


Doe Valley’s 19th Hole Restaurant is comparatively small when stacked against other establishments. The staff consists of only a handful of folks; the dining room seats just twenty-four, although another half dozen customers could easily sit comfortably at the bar. There is cozy outdoor seating that can accommodate a dozen or more guests. The kitchen is not much larger than any kitchen one could find in many of Doe Valley’s private residences. What then, one may wonder, is significant about this restaurant? And why would one choose to make the short trek beyond Brandenburg’s fast food drive-thru’s to eat at Doe Valley’s 19th Hole?

The difference, and the why, are in the details. Smaller does not mean less. In this situation, smaller means better service, fresher food, generous portions and a “hey, welcome back!” attitude.

Rob Park stumbled into his position as manager of Doe Valley’s 19th Hole by mere coincidence—while running errands with his brother-in-law, he happened upon a chance meeting with Doe Valley’s General Manager, who suggested that Rob consider the position that would help to revitalize the restaurant, which was badly in need of an upgrade.

Rob was a recent transplant to Doe Valley from Maui, Hawaii. Although Hawaii’s hospitality/tourism/restaurant industry had taken a nosedive during the March 2020 global pandemic shut down, and was still struggling to regain footing months later, it was his desire to be with his family that brought him to the Mainland. At one point, Maui had the highest unemployment rate for any metropolitan area in the entire country. Still, Rob had every intention of returning to Maui and continuing his well established life there.

However, the opportunity to rebuild, reestablish, and reopen a flagging restaurant, piqued his interest and the challenge to be a part of the ground floor up proved to be too interesting to pass up.

As life would have it, Rob had worked at a 19th Hole before—in Austin, Texas while studying Sports Management at the University of Texas. It was his first job in the hospitality industry and he absolutely loved it. It’s where he learned bartending, deep restaurant equipment cleaning and how to go about forging familial relationships with the customers—a habit that he clearly still embraces today.

With more than 20 years in the food industry, working with everything from prime steaks, high quality sushi, Italian, Mexican and Asian cuisines, Rob has extensive experience and an eclectic taste to add some pizzazz to the former burgers and fries, sandwiches and chips menu that was previously the norm of the 19th Hole. In addition to those basics, Rob understands that the star of a successful meal is the food. The unsung hero’s to the prosperity of any restaurant is the folks working the stove in the back of the house. When asked what he considers to be a perfect pairing to delicious food, Rob stated, “I guess the first thing is that we value every person that walks through our door. We want to give the absolute best, most genuine service to our customers. Building relationships around our meals is what I preach to my staff every day”.

Although the burgers and fries can be traditional and perfect in every way (did I mention their fries are amazing?!), it’s also possible to get unusual delicacies prepared fresh daily that you wouldn’t find at any of the quicker options lining the bypass. Things like: Ahi Tuna with wasabi mayo on a bun, a toasted Reuben with fresh made sauerkraut, low carb keto wraps with whatever choice of fillings you might want and handcrafted every morning chicken salad served on several choices of bread. Suppers can be anything from fresh from the grill bbq ribs, mushroom bacon swiss burgers, from scratch pizza dough with an endless array of fresh toppings, cheese steaks and salads made to order with the freshest of ingredients. There’s fresh brewed tea and sodas, mixed drinks and beer. Nothing to break the bank, either—expect to pay less than $10.00 for most sandwiches, burgers, salads and sides.

Breakfast to order is also available. With it’s distinct hunter green walls, wood bar, three wall mounted televisions and golf decor with a nod to Kentucky’s bourbon industry, this could be the perfect place for a morning business meeting.

All meals can be picked up or delivered curbside. Call ahead at 270-422-3959 to place an order.

The 19th Hole Restaurant in Doe Valley is open to the public every day (except for Wednesday, which is their day of the week that they are closed for business). You do not need a special pass to visit—simply pull up to the main gate off of 1638 and let the guard know you are heading to the 19th Hole for a meal. The restaurant is straight ahead, on the right.

Make sure you ask for Rob. Settle in and get to know this fairly new Doe Vallian. From Aloha to Hey Y’all, he’s the genuine deal. Not sure what you’ll enjoy most—his company or his cooking, but either way, you’ll be glad you came.

If you go: 19th Hole, 540 Valley Greens Road; Doe Valley, Opened everyday of the week except for Wednesday, Hours of operation: 9 am - 9 pm Manager: Rob Park.

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