HEREFORD — The Chuckwagon Grill opened its doors on May 6 in Hereford as the community’s newest eatery.
Located at 7216 State Highway 92, the Chuckwagon is a family-owned and -operated restaurant, with father-son team Bobby Douglas and Dusty Stoop working together to provide home-cooked favorites for customers in a family-friendly atmosphere.
“We opened last Monday and have been doing steady business since our opening day,” Stoop said during a recent interview. “My dad (Douglas) has been in the restaurant business for several years now, so he has a lot of experience in this. He started the Sonoita Chuckwagon Grill, which he had for four years, he’s owned a bar in Tucson, an ice cream shop and a few other businesses.”
Stoop got his start in the restaurant business as a cook at his father’s Sonoita location.
Prior to opening the Chuckwagon, Douglas started remodeling the building’s interior, a project that included new flooring, ceiling tiles, paint and removing walls for a more open look and to make way for a couple of additions.
“We took a storage area and turned it into a space for an ice cream parlor,” Stoop said.
A wall that was removed toward the rear of the dining area will house a bar once the liquor license comes through.
While still a work in progress, other plans are to have an outdoor dining area with live entertainment.
Douglas said he appreciates the community’s response to the new restaurant.
“I really like this location,” he said. “We’ve received great support from the community and positive comments about the food and service, so that’s always good to hear.”
Open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, the restaurant has gained customers through word of mouth, Douglas said.
“We have a great staff and, for a new restaurant, everything is going well,” he added. “We’re still working on the liquor license and ice cream parlor, so we’ll be adding more options once the bar and ice cream shop are open.”
Douglas also plans to expand the menu, to include outdoor barbecues and all-you-can-eat fish fries.
Breakfast is served all day and includes such popular menu items as omelets, corned beef hash, pancakes and waffles, to name a few of the offerings.
Burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizza, wings and appetizers are also available through the day, along with a variety of desserts.
The Chuckwagon employs 12 people and holds a maximum of 90 customers.
While Stoop works alongside his father to make the business a success, he is quick to give Douglas credit for its popularity.
“I’m the man behind the man,” Stoop said with a smile. “My dad isn’t one to brag or want to take any credit for his success, but he’s the one who knows the restaurant business and he owns it.”
Another family member, (Uncle) JR Mauldin, is an older brother to Douglas who stepped out of retirement to serve as the Chuckwagon’s business manager. As a retired “long haul truck driver,” Mauldin said he has traveled all over the country and has eaten in restaurants in nearly every state.
“The food here is excellent,” he said. “I’m big on gravy, potatoes and coffee and all three are fantastic here.”
CJ England, one of the servers, said the restaurant is getting great comments from the customers he’s served, with the burgers topping the list of favorite food items.
“So, we’re off to a great start,” he said. “We’re already seeing return customers in the short time we’ve been open and several of the people who eat here are coming back.”