Farmer sells homegrown burgers and more (2024)

Farmer sells homegrown burgers and more (1)

LITTLE ROCK—Between Highway 9, the Little Rock River and the Little Rock water tower sits a drive-in, fitting no more than 32 people.

Mark Gross has been a farmer all his life. Being the founder of a rural burger and ice cream shop — well, that’s a new venture.

Triple View Drive-In is on the intersection of Log Avenue and Highway 9, 1 mile southeast of Little Rock. More specifically, the drive-in sits on Triple View Farm — the farm Gross was born on and where raises the beef served on a Triple View Drive-In potato bun.

“My beef is 250 feet right behind,” Gross said. “The animals are right here behind the building.”

The menu holds four versions of the unfrozen meat: The classic hamburger, a cheeseburger, The Boss’s Burger with bacon and cheese, and The State Burger with the works.

Off the menu, coolers full of steaks, beef jerky, beef sticks and more are available for purchase to cook at home.

The farm-to-table diner also serves a variety of sandwiches, deep-fried foods, hot dogs and other items 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily Labor Day to Halloween, as long as the weather holds out.

Although Triple View Drive-In began serving food items for the first time in April, what truly started Gross’ venture into the food industry was the ice cream.

“There was a drive-in half a mile west on the north-side road. There was a drive-in there, and I lived right here because this is my family farm. I lived here, and I would ride my bicycle at 7-10 years old and go down there at night for a 5-cent ice cream cone,” Gross said. “I would ride that down there, and I would get a 5-cent ice cream, and then I would come back at night. My mother and father would just be here. But then I would come home, and this is where the saying comes from. My mother was very upset with me. She’d be meeting me at the drive-in, or she’d be meeting me by the house, she’d say, ‘Why would you even consider going down that dangerous road at night, it’s very busy?’ and I said, ‘Because the ice cream was well worth it.’”

That saying — “The ice cream was well worth it” sits above the Triple View Drive-In exit.

Gross sells a baby ice cream cone for $1, and a full-sized for $2.

Farmer sells homegrown burgers and more (2)

Weekly pie flavors also keep customers coming. If in an a-la-mode mood, customers can ask for their pie to be crumbled and mixed into their ice cream, which Triple View calls a “tornado.”

Gross also gives away free ice cream coupons regularly at George-Little Rock School District events, local youth sports games and public libraries.

“I love to see kids with a big smile on their face,” Gross said. “That’s what I’m about.”

But people of all ages have been attracted to Triple View. Gross keeps a map hung on the west side of the restaurant. Pins mark spots from all across the United States where customers have come from, even though the drive-in only opened for ice cream in April 2023 and with full-menu service this year.

Getting started, let alone after seeing how much business has grown in the last two years, Gross originally worried about staff shortages.

Instead, he found a surplus.

“I’m very, very, very pleased with my help and my manager (Ashley Eben),” Gross said. “I couldn’t do it without them. They are my backbone to this place. We are overwhelmed. We can’t give everybody hours that we need to because we have so much help. We have 35-40 on the list.”

He said without the community stepping in to support his business on either side of the counter, he would never have what he does today. Particularly young people who are not old enough yet to work on a farm can find work at Triple View as a unique food service outside of town.

Not much fills the future in terms of new plans for the roadside diner. As a farmer of beef, pork, corn and soybeans however, Gross said he hopes to one day incorporate his own pork onto the menu alongside his beef.

The owner eats most of his meals at the restaurant. He often knows everyone that comes in the door by name, and those he does not he finds out before they leave.

Gross said it is the people he has gotten to know who have intrigued him to stay in the same state outside the same town on the same farmland all his life.

“We love to serve the community,” he said. “We love to have people come in and talk, and obviously I love to talk so very excited.”

Farmer sells homegrown burgers and more (2024)
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