Texas Tavern

Shari L. Dragovich

$20.70 $23.00
Publisher: Mercer University Press
ISBN: 9780881467604
Cover type: Paperback
Publish date: 9/1/2020

On February 13, 1930, amidst the turmoil of the Great Depression, Isaac "Nick" Bullington-circus advance man, advertising guru, and entrepreneur wanderlust from Indiana-opened a tiny, shotgun-style, hamburger, hot dog, and chili joint in Roanoke, Virginia. He called it the Texas Tavern.
He hung quirky sayings on its walls and made the outside look like something more suited for a boardwalk on the beach. He sold his food on the cheap and declared it "The Millionaires Club," a place for saints and sinners alike; all status must be checked at the door.

Ninety years later, the Texas Tavern is still the Millionaires Club, and more. With Nick's original recipes and the addition of the cheesy western, the Texas Tavern has become a national food-lovers' landmark. It's a beloved institution throughout Roanoke's valley, and a stabilizing force for society at large. Most impressive yet, the Texas Tavern is still owned and operated by the same Bullington family.

What makes a place more than a place? How does a ten-stool restaurant become a local icon and cultural mooring for our time? Furthermore, how does this place, serving standard American fare, become a Southern food treasure?

Texas Tavern: Four Generations of the Millionaires Club explores these questions as it tells the story of one family and their faithful stewardship of place: their restaurant and their community. It celebrates the Tavern's famous food-and it reveals the Tavern's true heartbeat through the love stories of its customers.
Shari L. Dragovich is a farm-raised Midwesterner and educator, transplanted in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She has been writing articles about her community for ten years, with a growing focus on foodways and thriving local places. Dragovich is the dining writer for her hometown magazine, The Roanoker.

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