1. How long has your business been open and what drew you to downtown?
My partner, Dave Jones, and I actually got the opportunity to buy the building - the old Roy D. Hopkins Feed Store - and didn't know what we would do with it, we just thought it was a really cool opportunity and decided to go for it. We brainstormed for a while and decided on the icehouse and restaurant concept.
2. Do you have a favorite downtown moment or memory?
After we bought the building, Dave and I did most of the remodeling work ourselves over about 18 months. We had a grill outside and a little 25-inch TV. On the weekends our friends would show up and just hang out while we were working. We had some really fun times then, before the place even opened.
We've had people come in over the years, Richard Rawlings came in one time. Shooter Jennings came through. You never know who could come in the door.
3. Can you tell us something interesting you've found in your building?
Well we have an old refrigerator that belonged to the feed store that still works, it's right over there [at the end of the bar]. The wall on the east side of the building was covered in plaster when we bought it. One day we were down here working and took a hammer and broke through the plaster and saw some brick. We eventually uncovered the entire wall and you can see it's all brick and was in great condition. These are the original ceilings as well.
4. What do you want people to know about your business?
It's been almost a year since we went smoke-free. We just knew we needed to keep up with the times and with the demand of our local community, and it's really been a positive thing for us. We've seen food sales increase, we do a great brunch on Sundays.
5. What would you like to see downtown in the future?
More people giving downtown the opportunity to earn their business. We have seven restaurants downtown, which is so great. I see people every weekend who park here and walk to Zapatas or Verona or Pecan Point for dinner, then walk back here and get to enjoy another place, maybe have a nightcap or listen to some music. It's awesome that we have that in our downtown, that people can have more than one destination on a date night or a girls' night. There are a lot of great experiences downtown, Knock on Wood, the new Gallery at 1894 City Market, and everything downtown is locally owned.
Thank you, Mr. Dodson! George Dodson and Dave Jones own Hopkins Icehouse, located at 301 E Third St in downtown Texarkana, and now a second location on Gibson Lane. More information, including menus, can be found at hopkinsicehouse.com. You can also keep up with them via Facebook.