Bob Popken is back in town with a new restaurant. After a short trial run in Arizona to work out the kinks, the new Bob’s Fish Fry is up and running, doing

Bob Popken recently opened Bob’s Fish Fry restaurant. (Stephen Tool photo)

Bob Popken is back in town with a new restaurant.  After a short trial run in Arizona to work out the kinks, the new Bob’s Fish Fry is up and running, doing a brisk business.

Popken is a Hawthorne native who left town at a young age to see the world. He spent most of his time cooking on board various ships in Alaska, even becoming a certified tugboat captain in the process. He returned to visit Hawthorne on occasion.

Cooking never left Popken’s mind and he dreamed of returning to Hawthorne to start a successful business. After retiring from life as a tugboat captain, he returned to Hawthorne several years ago, to realize his dream.

“I’m a fish connoisseur. I cooked on nearly all the boats I was on and I learned to cook all kinds of fish,” Popken said. “I came back here about five years ago and fixed up the home my mother left me. We built this last year, me and a friend and we decided to take it down to Arizona to see how we’d do down there at Quartzite, Arizona. I didn’t want to fall on my face.”