Owning and operating a restaurant is a dream job for many aspiring business owners, and for Fort Davis residents Richard and Jennifer Harrod, relocating to the popular tourist town they now call home made sense after their first visit in the 1990s.
Originally from East Texas, the Harrods made the trek to their preferred vacation destination spot, where they later opened an Airbnb, and fell in love with the idea of hospitality. In 2019, the Harrods purchased the Fort Davis Drug Store and Hotel, where they offer a wide variety of home cooked favorites, catering to both locals and out of towners.
Jennifer is the general manager, and oversees the front of house staff. Richard handles inventory to keep the restaurant running smoothly. The Harrods pride themselves in offering delightful homemade, home cooked favorites such as chicken fried steak, chicken tenders, green chili cheeseburgers, and meatloaf, all fresh and made from scratch.
“When we purchased the restaurant, we wanted to focus on bringing in the locals, not just tourists,” said Jennifer. “We thought there was one way to grow the business and make more money, but it was also good for the community. We don’t have to ask tourists to come, but with locals, that was the challenge to us. How do we get the locals to come here?”
To better serve Fort Davis ISD – whose schools have no cafeterias - the restaurant began offering daily lunch specials and providing student lunches.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week, and that’s a hit with locals and visitors alike. Customers should save room for dessert, as this place has it all - malts, milkshakes and, of course, ice cream.
Besides the 1950s inspired original nostalgic ice cream soda fountain and ice cream bar, the Harrods also offer six hotel rooms on the second floor above the restaurant. Each room boasts its own specialty theme, such as The Rancher and the Stargazer, and each room is decorated to match its theme.
“Ice cream is super popular, and people like to come out here and have a homemade milkshake and sit at the ice cream bar!” Harrod exclaimed.
Jennifer’s favorite part of her job is meeting new people every day.
“Just to have all that community be right here, I love that,” she said. “That is something we really pride ourselves on, being a family-type environment. It’s a beautiful drive from Alpine or Marfa. We have tons of regulars from there.”
The menu is available online at the website fddrugstore.com. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Starting next week, they will offer extended summer hours that will be updated on the Facebook page.