OSAGE BEACH, Mo. — Firefighters, police officers, nurses, teachers and soldiers gather ‘round: there’s a new Heroes in town.
Heroes Sports Saloon, positioned on Osage Beach Parkway in front of the outlet mall, was designed as a tribute to the community’s heroes and a family-friendly environment to dine and play. The restaurant opened on Nov. 8.
In explaining the theme, co-owner Bob Robinson, a former policeman, said, “Anybody that’s a hero in our community, we want to recognize.”
This is not Robinson’s first venture as a restauranteur. He opened Larry’s on the Lake in 2010, and the restaurant has seen significant success since that time. But Robinson emphasizes Heroes is wholly different from Larry’s.
One of the distinctions is the thematic emphasis. “At Larry’s, we have a theme: ‘Everyone’s a Larry,’” Robinson said. But at Heroes, Robinson and his business partners wanted to especially honor the individuals who labor daily to save citizens’ lives, preserve their freedoms, and bring up a new generation of heroes. So firefighters, police officers, soldiers, nurses/EMS/hospital personnel, and teachers receive 15 percent off… every day of the week.
The concept is already proving successful: even in the traditionally slow season at the Lake, on a week-day, during what are typically a restaurant’s slowest hours, patrons gather at the bar and nearby tables. Some of them are sporting scrubs, others wear a shirt emblazoned with a local fire district logo.
Around Heroes, uniforms and equipment hang from the walls and ceiling, all of them donated by local fire districts and other organizations where Heroes’ heroes work. A wall of one room is dedicated to local news clippings telling of courageous actions of men and women in the community.
Heroes honors heroes, but Robinson and his team have also gone to great lengths to make the restaurant a family-friendly place.
“Heroes is a gathering place for the community,” he said. “It’s not just a bar… kids can come here as well. [It’s] more of a family entertainment restaurant.”
In that spirit, the restaurant offers something for everyone. Sports fans can watch a variety of events on the restaurant’s host of TVs. Kids can cruise to the loft and enjoy more than a dozen different arcade games. And beer aficionados can select from 22 different brews on tap. “We have a total of 52 beers,” Robinson pointed out. Happy hour is from 3–6 p.m.
Heroes’ kitchen is organized, clean, and obviously well-managed. “Our philosophy is, if it’s broken, we fix it,” Robinson said. “I don’t have any problem bringing somebody back to the kitchen and saying, ‘Here you are buddy: we’re transparent.’”
What comes out of the kitchen is sure to please the tastebuds, too. "We put a lot of effort into our food," Robinson said. Heroes' flatbread pizzas are a popular choice. Robinson's favorite is the steak; Heroes offers steak specials on Wednesday evenings. The wing platters are impressive as well—Heroes serves full wings, glistening with sauces packing a range of heat levels.
In a day that can sometimes feel complex, fragmented, and divisive, the hero-honoring theme of Robinson’s restaurant stands as a simple, unifying ideal in the community. Some might say we need a Heroes now more than ever.