One of Garland’s oldest restaurants, Hubbard’s Cubbard, closed in summer 2022 after more than 50 years of serving breakfast and lunch.
Owners Debi Whitworth and JD Green continue to own and operate its sister restaurant, Hubbard’s Cafe in Rowlett. Years ago, they also operated a Hubbard in the small East Texas town of Mount Vernon, but it closed.
Garland was its original hometown. Chuck Norris famously filmed an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger at the Southern Cafe. Outside, “there were probably 6,000 people in downtown Garland, watching,” Whitworth says. Some of her female servers were paid $50 a day to be extras, walking up and down the street wearing jeans and boots.
Norris and actor Clarence Gilyard, who played his best friend Jimmy Trivette on Walker, Texas Ranger, ate chicken-fried steak for two days. “And they consumed a lot of pie,” Whitworth says of the crew.
Those are just some of the moments of the cafe now sealed as memories. Whitworth and Green are in their 60s and 70s and say they can no longer run two restaurants.
“We were hoping that someone who had worked for us in the past would carry the torch. And it just didn’t happen,” she says. “No one really wanted it.”
“For us to survive, we have to have one place.”
Much of the memorabilia from the Garland restaurant will move to the Rowlett restaurant. It’s bigger and has a liquor license, which is why the owners chose to close the historic Garland restaurant and consolidate, despite pleas from regulars.
One item that can’t move is the more than 80-year-old soda fountain that Whitworth bought from a pharmacy in Wichita Falls. The soda fountain was installed about 20 years ago when the couple moved Hubbard’s to its final address, a few blocks from the original.
The restaurant is now up for sale, and Whitworth hopes whoever buys it will keep the soda fountain.
‘The Little Hooters of Garland’
Mildred Hubbard opened Hubbard’s Cubbard on Main Street in Garland. To see also : How to watch Lions vs Falcons on Friday 12 August 2022. For decades, Hubbard’s has been a down-home Texas diner with simple, good food.
The restaurant changed hands several times. Whitworth operated Hubbard’s longest.
As one Dallas Morning News writer said in 2005, “Saturday mornings are standing room only, and you’re likely to rub elbows with some of the city’s movers and shakers.” A sign near the front told customers what seat they were entering: “Please be seated, our hostess is busy.”
Eventually, Hubbard was nicknamed “the Little Hooters of Garland,” says Whitworth.
She says the name probably came from the lack of dining options in the area – only Hooters and Hubbard’s. And, some of her staff members went on to become Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders or Dallas Mavericks dancers. When one female server made the Dallas Cowboys swimsuit calendar, customers would bring in copies to autograph.
“And I’d go, ‘Not now!'” Whitworth says.
The Dallas Morning News wrote about Hubbard’s Cubbard a dozen or more times – never about what the servers looked like and always about the food.
Here’s a playful excerpt from 1997:
“The stand-alone pastry case at Hubbard’s Cubbard stands like a beacon amid tables and booths with red and white checkered tablecloths, antique signs and knick-knacks. My lunch companion and I were immediately drawn to what was inside: pastries piled mile-high with meringue like beehives. And under the creamy coffees lay thick wedges of chocolate or coconut. Our taste buds danced a bit, most likely meringue.”
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The last ride
When the owners announced the closure on Facebook, the outpouring of support and sadness was “heartbreaking”. Never mind that “for 30 years, I’ve been on my feet, filling those sweet tea glasses,” says Whitworth. See the article : Jaguars hire Ethan Waugh as Assistant General Manager. She will miss the customers.
The plan is for Whitworth and Green to operate only the Rowlett restaurant – until they no longer want to.
“We’ll ride it out until everyone wants to retire, and then we’ll say: Let’s go home.
“It’s been a ride – but a fun ride.”
Hubbard’s Cubbard was at 901 Main St., Garland. It closed in summer 2022. Hubbard’s Cafe at 3324 Lakeview Parkway, Rowlett, remains open.