Farm Luck Soda Fountain to bring classic family feel downtown

The owners of Farm Luck Soda Fountain and Dry Goods, Chris and Pattilyn Wilkinson, hope to revive a small town staple from the past.

Their business, located at 117 W. Franklin St., is slated to open toward the middle or end of May.

Farm Luck will offer customers a wide selection of ice cream treats, old-fashioned sodas, phosphates, sandwiches, soups, a candy counter and much more. Their store is located in the former Waxahachie Bank and Trust building and is on the home stretch of its renovation.

“We are bringing the traditional soda fountain back to town. We have two young boys and we noticed that downtown needed more places for families. We are kind of putting a Texas spin on the traditional soda fountain. It is not going to have black and white tile floors, vinyl and chrome. It is going to be more rustic,” Pattilyn said. “We have been to Fredericksburg and other historic downtown areas and you can usually find a place that has candy or fudge and we didn’t find that in downtown. We were kind of like, 'Hey, let's do the soda fountain.' We originally looked at the old Trinity Building, where the Trinity Pharmacy was, but that didn’t work out. That is when we got in touch with the Lakes and found our current spot.”

Pattilyn said some of the elements the building has retained from its time as a bank are part of the penny tile floor and the original vault. The bank vault will be repurposed and is going to house Farm Luck’s kitchen. The back of the building is where the candy section and dry goods will be housed. Candy will be sold by the ounce.

One of the items that will add to the nostalgic atmosphere is a bar found on Craig’s List in Poetry, Texas. The bar was manufactured by the Fredrick Company in the 1930s and was found in a barn coated with five layers of paint. It took the Wilkinsons months to strip off all the layers of paint to take it down to the original wood. It is now stained and will have cast iron bar stools with wooden tops to complement it when it is installed in the building.

Chris said owning and operating the restaurant has been a dream for a long time and now it's becoming a reality.

“Previously, I worked at Radio Shack for the last decade at corporate. With the recent Radio Shack issues, I got downsized last march. I decided before that happened we talked about what we were going to do. We decided to open up a restaurant,” Chris said. “We have talked about it since we were married and almost a decade before that. So we felt like this would a good time to jump off and go.”

Chris will be working in the restaurant and Pattilyn will continue to teach at Waxahachie High School but use her knowledge from her marketing degree and experience as a marketing representative to help promote and market the business.

The restaurant is set to be open 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. seven days a week and will be offering a wide selection of items on its menu for both lunch and dinner and the occasional snack during the day. Farm Luck has its full menu listed on its website and take orders over the phone. Delivery will be available only for the downtown area starting out. The restaurant will have seating capacity of about 50. Blankets will be available people to borrow if they wish to have a picnic on the courthouse lawn.

“Most of our recipes have come from family recipes. So we have any where from the traditional chicken salad to a spin on the Waldorf Chicken Salad Sandwich. We have a jalapeno pimento cheese sandwich. We have variety of salads and baked potatoes. We are going to carry three different type of soups like tomato basil and a broccoli and cheese,” Pattilyn said. “Then, in the fountain area, we are going to have malts and shakes, and phosphates. The phosphate is just a liquid that you add to the soda and it brings out the flavor. We will have egg crèmes, which don’t actually have eggs in them. It is basically like chocolate milk with the carbonated water added. All of the sodas will be handmade like they used to be, where you put the syrup in.”

The restaurant’s name pays tribute to Waxahachie’s history and the Wilkinsons' two sons.

“Originally, we thought about calling it the Farmacy, but state law says that you can’t do that because it is anywhere close to a place the distributes medicine and they don’t want that conflict. So we kept the Farm part, which is a nod toward the traditional Pharmacy and the fact that Waxahachie is a farming community historically and currently,” Pattilyn said. “The luck part is actually our two boys' names mixed together Jack and Luke. So I just put them together. I always wanted to remember that our establishment was created for families.”

Chris said the main things left to finish on the building before they can open are some cosmetic work, some plumbing and electrical work. Despite the work that still remains, Chris is happy to be working along side his wife in this venture.

“We are excited to do it together. We have been best friends since we met. I have known her since I was 17 years old,” Chris said. “We are best friends and we do everything together. This isn’t any different.”

For more information, visit www.farmlucksodafountain.com, search Farm Luck Soda Fountain and Dry Goods on Facebook, search @farmluck on Instagram, search Farm Luck on Twitter or search Farm Luck Soda on Pinterest.

Follow Andrew on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AndrewBrancaWDL or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AndrewBrancaWNI. Contact him at andrew.branca@waxahachietx.com or 469-517-1451.