Lunch at Dively's One Stop: A Calming Break
The best decision we made all day
Sometimes you just need some chicken spaghetti in the middle of South Arkansas.
That was the Wednesday Hot Plate special with a side salad, garlic bread and sweet tea at Dively's One Stop on US 63 in Rowell, and it did not disappoint.
Their slogan: Gas, Food & Hospitality is retro to the days when Mom and Pop places ruled the two-lane backroads of America and offered refuge for an hour or so from driving.
Dively's is a blessing in rural Cleveland County because good eating – or any eating – is hard to find. The quaint restaurant is in a gas station – one that still has analog pumps out front that folks use. Inside, the decor is as authentic as you get in South Arkansas. An American flag hangs on the wall under a tiny picnic table in a kiddie corner. Their coloring pages of a cute store surround the flag. A stack of deer hunting guides sits on a counter near an old-timey popcorn machine.
Dively's is owned by Lauren Knowles who moved from Florida to Cleveland County because she had roots connected to her grandparents. She remembered the store, which was called back then Richardson's Grocery, from her childhood and spotted potential.
Anyone hungry can get almost anything they want at Dively's all day.
The restaurant opens at 5 a.m. and closes around supper time at 7 p.m. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, Dively's has all meals covered from eggs and bacon in the morning with made-from-scratch biscuits and gravy to homemade ranch dressing for salads and sub sandwiches at lunch.
Supper could be a barbecue sandwich, hamburger steak – a popular favorite – burgers or even a salad. Count on Mexican on Taco Tuesday and fried catfish on Friday.
But Dively's is more than food. It's about building a place for the small community along US 63 and the nearby backroads to gather.
"It's a small community and we take care of each other," Lauren said.
Lauren said that the "old timers" of the community are in the parking lot waiting before the doors open at 5 a.m. to get coffee and gab. They even sit around and play dominoes in the morning. (Guessing they catch up on the county gossip, too.)
On Razorback game days, they stream the game for folks to call the hogs together. Starting this Friday, though, Dively's will close early to support the local Woodlawn Bears football team.
Dively's isn't just about gas and food. They even sell deer corn for hunters to get their deer feeders full for hunting season. Modern gun deer season opens Nov 11.
"We are going to extend our hours and open an hour earlier," Lauren said. "We're going to have a lot more hot plates on those days so when they [the hunters] come in they can get something to eat."
Dively's is the perfect antidote to a fast-paced world of chain food. An infusion of down-home cooking and Southern hospitality warms the heart and the belly.
Dively's One Stop is located at 12700 USb63 South between Woodlawn and Pansy. They are open from 5 a.m.-7 p.m.