In The Weeds 8.16.17: We’re Hungry!

We have four old menus for local businesses here in the Special Collections Dept at the Emily Fowler Library: The Flying Tomato, The Duck Inn and Jim’s Diner. We think “The Tomato” example is from the early 2000s after they were no longer franchised and the “Flying Tomato” menu is from the mid-to-late 1990s. The Duck Inn menu is probably from the early 2000s, as well. Finally, the Jim’s menu is maybe from the early ’90’s? We would love to hear from anyone who knows who worked at any of these establishments. Contact us at the email below.

The Duck Inn existed for nearly 60 years at the same location in Lake Dallas from 1945 to mid 2000’s and were known by the famous and funny motto, “Duck Inn and Waddle Out!” The Flying Tomato was established in 1984 at 1226 West Hickory Street on a location formerly occupied by The Crossroads Club and Bullwinkle’s. Jim’s Diner existed at 110 Fry Street from 1980 to approximately 1997 and was the sight of many a performance and poetry reading from some folks you may have heard of like Brave Combo, Little Jack Melody, and Norah Jones.

Now, without further ado, here they are and we cannot be held responsible for your hunger pangs…



Here’s an ad from the January 2, 1958 Record-Chronicle advertising the newly “Rmodeled” (oops!) Duck Inn:


Two Tomato menus, donated by Melinda Rule:





Here’s a 1986 Alec Williams photo of the Flying Tomato during the Fry Street Fair of that year:


Finally, the piece de resistance: a hand drawn menu from the late and much lamented Jim’s Diner at 110 Fry Street followed by a Denton Record-Chronicle photo, both courtesy of Martin Iles:



Many thanks to Melinda Rule, Martin Iles, and Alec Williams for their contributions.

(I had too much fun tagging this blog post with words like, “Gutbuster”, “catfish”, “hushpuppies”, etc.)

Written by Chuck Voellinger. For questions or comments please email me at Thanks for reading!


Miss Emily’s JukeJoint, 7.2.11: Pleasant Surroundings

    Lets visit some late and/or lamented eateries in Denton and propose musical accompaniment for dining at each…

Back in the late ’50s-early ’60s, NTSU alum/pop star Pat Boone opened a restaurant @ 1009 Highway 24/Decatur Drive/University Drive/US 380 called “The Pat Boone Country Inn“. You can see the current location here. Below is an ad from a 1958 issue of “Denton Doings”, a short-lived magazine from that era we have here in Fowler Special Collections:


I love the cowhide seat covers.  May I suggest some easy listening along the lines of Harry Belafonte or old rock and roll a la The Coasters.

The Star Restaurant @  1201 W. Hickory was named for the Star of David and for its movie-themed decor. Library employee Leslie Couture: “I couldn’t wait to go there because they had a Yoda statue and light sabers. When you are a kid out to eat with your parents, you have to listen to boring parent talk but, at The Star, there was a lot of cool posters and things that you could walk around and look at.”


Seems like Indian music and the Grateful Dead would be nice to have while you down a cold one at the Star.

   I still miss Steve’s BBQ at 403 E. Hickory. Let me try and describe it to you because the memories of it are still very vivid, as I used to work across the street at The Greater Denton Arts Council and would frequently get some of Steve’s rockin’ BBQ. You opened the screen door to a smoky, dank room with a couple booths and yellowing newspaper articles on the walls. I swear it seemed like there was a layer of grease over everything. Near the front door was an old jukebox with late-60s, early-70s soul 45s that I guess didn’t work because I never heard it play and it was surrounded by discarded boxes and “junk”. What a playlist, though! Al Green, ZZ Hill, Little Milton, etc. And the BBQ? I’ve never had better. Spicy, hot and righteous.

BBQ Heaven

Maybe not the best photo but it does show the old Harpool complex, long since demolished. Obviously, one wants to hear what was on the jukebox. Miss Emily’s JukeJoint takes  you  there.

Honorable mention goes to TC’s Catfish on McKinney St. You had to have tried that catfish and tartar sauce. So goooood.

posted by Chuck