What to Expect:
Traditional dishes served with TLC

The Experience
Before you even get a menu, you’ll be glad you chose to grab a bite to eat at Charley’s Restaurant. After being cramped in an office all morning or staring at a computer, the two-story, bright atrium is the perfect place to relax and refuel between meetings.

Formally located in River Ridge Mall, owners Rob and MJ Pearson moved the restaurant to its Graves Mill Road location in 1996. Since then, they’ve continued building this business that operates more like a big family.

“There is a lot of longevity here…not a lot of turnover,” said Catering Manager Lisa Bullard, who has worked at Charley’s for 13 years.

Bullard believes this “family feel” only improves the customer experience.

“Everything is made with TLC around here. And it’s all made to order,” said Bullard.

What to Try
The lunchtime Charley’s crowd usually gravitates toward a few lighter options such as the soup/half sandwich combo and the chicken salad platter. Their “famous” hand battered chicken fingers are also popular, served with honey mustard. (Try adding roasted seasonal vegetables as a healthier side option.)

And their produce? You will be happy to hear that it’s all local and “comes in fresh every day,” according to Bullard.

Charley’s dinnertime favorites are still an option at lunch too—sizzling fajitas, steaks and burgers are always a big hit.

The Extras
In the middle of our interview, I overheard one of the servers request a copy of Charley’s gluten-free menu from the hostess table. “We do a great job handling food allergies and preventing cross contamination,” Bullard explained.

And if you need to have a business meeting, Charley’s has a spacious room you will want to check out. It’s private and holds up to 70 people; Charley’s also provides a projector screen for you to use for presentations. Your guests choose from three menu items.

If you want to stay in your office for a lunch meeting, they also offer full service off-site catering as well.

By Shelley Basinger