Father's Day business

Priscilla Ellis stands behind the bar at Texas Grill in Harker Heights, one of many local restaurants preparing for a Father’s Day rush.

Businesses throughout the community are geared up to handle the influx of people coming to the city to celebrate Father’s Day.

Restaurants have prepped their popular dishes and stores promoted their hot-selling items to help residents make this year’s holiday a special one for dads.

Priscilla Ellis, senior manager of Texas Grill BBQ and Crab Shack on Veterans Memorial Boulevard, said her restaurant cooks about 16 slabs of ribs a day this time of year.

“Fathers normally want to come in and want a man-sized meal, so we will be smoking a lot of ribs and giving away free pitchers of beer to the fathers,” she said.

“They can enjoy a nice, freshly-cooked meal and watch sports if they’d like.”

Ellis said they will also have a special live jazz and blues music performances Sunday and reminded customers to make reservations in advance.

Zum Edelweiss German restaurant is also bracing itself for the rush.

“We are going to be having German roast with potato dumplings, plus our regular menu,” said owner Anne Marie Wallace. “We make sure we have enough staff and product on board.”

On Father’s Day, Wallace anticipates preparing at least three times the amount of food she normally cooks on a typical day.

Stores like Fort Hood Harley-Davidson also strive to make Father’s Day shopping easier, said manager Carlie Currer.

“Father’s day is a great time of year, especially for those that ride … it’s easy to please the riders,” she said.

“We generally set up a general display but a lot of people come in here with a wish list.”

Along with the usual Father’s Day gift ideas, Franklin McGruder, vice president of business development for MA 360 Live, added entertainment to the list.

His company has conducted an extensive grassroots campaign from Waco to Austin to promote the Fourth Annual Father’s Day Comedy All-Stars Show.

“What we’ve done is create an annual event with world-class celebrity entertainment in support of the soldiers and the community that supports the military installations,” he said. “We call this bringing Vegas to Central Texas.”

McGruder expects more than 1,500 people to attend the 8 p.m. show, which will feature comedians John Witherspoon and Joe Clair, at the Harker Heights Event Center, 710 Plaza Drive.

For more on the show, see the story on page 9.

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