Restaurants / Openings

Beloved Fort Worth Burger Spot With a Horse-Friendly ‘Drive’ Thru to Open New Restaurant After Departing Crockett Row — Hooker’s Grill Moves Into Hudson Oaks

A PaperCity Exclusive

BY // 07.07.20

After closing her Hooker’s Grill in the revamped Crockett Row Food Court and keeping the original location on Exchange Avenue in the Fort Worth Stockyards open, Ruth Hooker has even more news. She just executed a lease on Monday to open a new location in Hudson Oaks. It will be conveniently located just off I-20 on the way to Weatherford, though she isn’t ready to divulge the exact address just yet.

“I want to wait to see what will happen in the next few months, but I’m hoping to open September 1 in Hudson Oaks,” Ruth Hooker tells PaperCity Fort Worth.

“All the uncertainty with the virus right now, is why I pulled out of the food hall. With beef prices soaring and working 14 t0 16 hour days on a short staff, I just needed a break. I loved what Bruce (Russo) did with the food hall. That needed to happen and I hated to leave, but felt it was the right move.”

The Fort Worth Stockyards staple Hooker’s Grill, known for its walk-up window and outdoor dining, took a much needed break over the Fourth of July and Hooker will reopen it on July 15, rested and ready to grill.

The classic onion burger is heading to Hudson Oaks.

The family owned and operated Hooker’s Grill is known for its onion fried burgers, Coney style dogs and hand cut French fries as well as its tongue in cheek motto: “Support your local Hookers.” Ruth’s father, Bob Hooker, once told me that since all his daughters were Hookers, they decided to just roll with it. Hooker’s Grill also serves throwback tots, milkshakes and onion rings.

The walk-up window is often a gallup-up option for those on horseback, making it one of the most fun drive-thrus you’ll ever see. “At Hooker’s Grill, we welcome all horses, most dogs and some children,” Ruth Hooker says.

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Another little known fact is that Ruth Hooker is a Native American business owner ―  from the Choctaw Tribe to be exact. That’s why you’ll see the colorful mural of an Indian maiden painted on the wall — and emblazoned on the restaurant’s T-shirts. No cultural appropriation here ― the Hookers are the real deal.

Ruth Hooker thinks it will be good to have a little distance between the new spot opening in Hudson Oaks and her Stockyards location. Since she lives in Weatherford, she has always wanted to open a restaurant nearby.

“It will have indoor and outdoor seating and we’ll serve beer and wine just like in the Stockyards,” Ruth Hooker says. “We have a lot of Weatherford residents who visit regularly when they are in the Stockyards. They’ve been asking for this for a long time.”

“At Hooker’s Grill, we welcome all horses, most dogs and some children,” Ruth Hooker says.

Hooker thinks their original location on Exchange Avenue was ideally suited for the switch to outdoor dining and the new social distancing protocols.  Already equipped with misters on the upstairs deck, it is an all-patio, all-the-time format. They have taken every precaution, from touchless menus and plexiglass installed at the walk-up window (or gallup-up window for those diners on horseback) to employing all disposable packaging and near constant cleaning procedures.

“It’s tough enough to provide a quality product, without the added worry about the safety of your employees and customers,” Ruth Hooker says. “I don’t think a lot of people understand how hard restaurateurs are working behind the scenes these days.”

It’s a time of big change. Although she is sorry to be riding out of Crockett Row, Ruth Hooker is excited to be heading West for her next Hooker’s Grill opening.

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