College Street Restaurant and Pub was still a dream 10 years ago when owners Wayne and Tammy Strickland bought the building at 210 N. College St.
After a lot of hard work, dedication and elbow grease the business has become a showpiece — as well as a prime example that success is possible in downtown Waxahachie.
“We bought the building in January of 2003. It had been basically a storage area for many years. It had to be redone from the ground up. We had to remodel it and we did most of the work ourselves,” said Wayne Strickland, who co-owns the business with his wife Tammy. “Tammy had the vision and the idea that we could make a go of it here. We were very fortunate to come in at the right time and be able to provide a good service to the community.”
After the purchase of the building the Strickland’s spent nine months working on the renovations. The restaurant and pub was opened to the public in September 2003.
Wayne said since they opened the doors it has been truly an amazing experience getting to know the community and establishing friendships along the way. The pub brings a little bit of England to the city and creates an environment where everyone can enjoy an evening out together. Some of the English staples on the pub’s menu include bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and fish and chips.
“We have had a lot of customers from England and around the world say that this is some of the best fish and chips they have every had. That makes you feel really good,” Wayne said. “When you get those types of comments on the product that you are providing then you know you are getting it right. We continue to work on it. “
Upon entering patrons are greeted with an inviting atmosphere and a warm welcome from the staff.
A portrait of Winston Churchill hangs on the wall along with soccer memorabilia, art, advertising signs and currency from several countries that hangs over the bar. Also sitting on the bar is a carved wooden statue of Sasquatch, standing a silent watch over the pub.
Before opening, Wayne worked in the telecommunications field and Tammy worked in the medical field. Wayne said you have to be in the right place in your life to open up a restaurant because of the amount of time you put into it.
“It was a struggle at first but we were fortunate to have the right model that people could get their hands around and understand the concept of a good pub,” Wayne said. “I think there was some true doubt in the community in regard to what our intent was and what we really wanted to bring to the community. Having been in the corporate world for 25 years prior to this I said I would never go back.”
Wayne said some people say that a true pub can only be found in England, but if you treat your customers well, provide a great service and great food, an English Pub can be successful here.
Wayne said a large part of their success has been because of the staff.
“We have had a tremendous staff over the years. Without good employees and without people that believe in what you are doing then you are never going to make it very far in the restaurant business,” Wayne said. “We have had employees that have been with us all but the first six months. So we are very fortunate to have a wonderful staff.”
To celebrate this milestone College Street is holding a special celebration this weekend which will feature performances from local musicians such as Bobby Huskins, Carl Block, Sean Cagle, Jason Crabtree and the group Back to Blue.
The live music will be from 8 p.m.- midnight on Friday and noon – 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. At 8 p.m. on Saturday the pub will be transformed into a ‘70s disco.
Wayne said the experience he has had at the pub is something he would not trade and will continue to provide great service to the community.
College Street Restaurant and Pub is open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m. – midnight Friday – Saturday. It is closed on Sunday. To view the menu online go to the pub’s website at www.collegestreetpub.com.
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