After 34 years of feeding golfers, the long-time manager of the golf-course restaurant will soon be moving on.
Golf Hill Grille Manager Kris Bishop recently decided to retire from the restaurant. However, the past three decades have turned the restaurant into more than a job. It became her home.
“Everyone of the golfers and the people that come through here are family,” she said. “They’re not customers, they’re my family.”
She began work there in 1985 after deciding to eat lunch with a friend.
Behind the counter, she noticed a woman working alone, “having her ever-loving butt kicked.” She decided to ask if the woman needed help.
“(I said) hey, I know how to pour sodas and I can put six-packs in a cooler,” she said. “Would you like some help.”
That woman, Ebbie Bishop took her up on her offer. First, Ebbie became her boss, then one of her best friends, then her neighbor and finally her mother-in-law.
Calling the job as “absolutely wonderful,” Bishop said the happy people who come to visit make it so. In fact, she said she said she described everyone who comes in as happy ... unless, of course, they just played a bad round of golf.
“If they are in a bad mood, it’s because they had a bad golf game and you can get them out of that real quick,” she said laughing. “I always tell them, ‘You know, it’s better to have a bad golf game than a good day at work. If you’re having that big of a problem, we’ll switch. I’m having a good day at work, I’ll go have a bad golf game.’”
City Manager Molly McGovern said the City loves Bishop and they will miss her.
“She is awesome,” she said.
Councilman Ambrose Buckman said over the years, Bishop worked very hard.
“I guarantee you, she’s not lazy,” he said.
Golf Course Business Manager Dean Berry said he described Bishop as a gift to this community and the queen of comfort food.
“In her 34 years at ESGC, she has literally served thousands of customers and she did so not because it was her job, but because she loved nothing more than making people happy with her food,” he said. “Try to find someone around Excelsior Springs who has never had Kris’ famous fried chicken, one of her perfect cheeseburgers or her biscuits and gravy — it won’t be easy, and they all came back for more. She will be missed but she deserves to spend more time at home and with her best friend and husband Mike. We wish her nothing but peace and joy as she finally takes some time to focus on her own happiness. Thanks, Kris, we’re forever in your debt.”
Bishop, however, doesn’t plan to disappear anytime soon. She will still be in town and said she will become a door greeter at Walmart to see everyone. If she must, she said she will stand outside the doors of Price Chopper waiting for everyone to go buy their groceries.
“I had a lot of year spoiling these guys, I don’t want it to go to waste,” she said.
Bishop said because the community has been so wonderful, they’re stuck with her.
“I love everybody in this place,” she said. “They’ve been so good to me.
They’re still going to see me ... They can run, (but) they can’t hide.”