Rockin’ restaurant open for business

Cove Herald/CATRINA RAWSON - Juanita and David Helgesson build a hamburger while working at their new restaurant, Rockin’ H’, Monday in Kempner. -

By Taylor Short

The Cove Herald

KEMPNER - During the first day of operation at the Rockin' H restaurant Monday, David Helgesson manned the grill while his wife Juanita dressed the burgers and dogs.

Their daughters, Vicki and Angela, took orders from a long line of patrons through the small sliding window. Either way, no one was standing still inside the '50s and '60s rock n' roll-inspired diner.

"My husband always wanted a restaurant," Juanita said while chopping celery. "Here we are and the busier the better."

David suffered an injury while working in construction, which left him out of work. He took the situation as an opportunity to follow his dream and offer the community his favorite dishes.

"This is it. It's a big investment," David said as he juggled three burgers on the grill with hot wings and fresh-cut french fries in the fryer. "But without the support of our friends and family, we could not have done this."

The couple saw the small building, located at the corner of U.S. Highway 190 and Farm-to-Market 2808 in Kempner, was for lease. Within a month, the family repainted it pink and blue to fit the theme and began cooking.

The walls are lined with Elvis Presley and Beatles memorabilia. Classic rock plays on the radio to match David's love for the king of rock n' roll.

"It's been a dream for us," he said. "It was a bad event that turned good."

The intensity of the family restaurant's first lunch crowd Monday was apparent on their faces. But they were determined in their goal to make a good impression on their first customers.

The restaurant uses all fresh ingredients in their burgers and hot dogs, Frito pies, breakfast tacos, shakes and malts. David said his favorites are the cheese steaks and hot wings, which he claims are the best in the area.

By Wednesday afternoon, he said he was happy with the constant stream of customers.

"It's been almost overwhelming for a bunch of rookies," he said.

The restaurant offers a 10 percent military discount and is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Contact Taylor Short at or (254) 501-7476.

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