Chances are if you know Fort Worth Stockyard, then you know Hooker’s Grill. The restaurant sits along West Exchange Avenue and has for years, and now it’s been featured heavily in 1883. Thanks to a “Hollywood facelift,” that is.
For the Yellowstone prequel, Taylor Sheridan’s team would rework the entire two-story outdoor deck where her customers would dine into 1883‘s rustic Fort Worth saloon. To do so, Hooker’s Grill owner, Ruth Hooker, happily shut down her restaurant for an entire six months for filming. And now that it’s reopened, she has no desire to remove the incredible work 1883‘s crew did to her business.
“I thought, we have a true opportunity to make a go of this and make it permanent,” Hooker tells local WFAA amidst reopening.
To do so was no easy task, either. Luckily, however, Ruth had a powerful ally.
Fort Worth Councilmember Carlos Flores, representative of the Historic Stockyards area, would help her preserve the building’s façade.
“We want to make sure that people know that something significant happened here,” Flores adds for WFAA. “The business community was really excited to have that production here, as well as the City of Fort Worth.”
Hooker tackled heaps of permit requests and paperwork herself, too, in order to make everything kosher. But now that it is, her gorgeous Western-style saloon will stay as it is for as long as it’s standing.
Keeping Her ‘1883’ Makeover Gives Hooker’s Grill Owner a Serious Leg Up with Tourists
“We’re excited to be a part of it, the restaurant just, for some notoriety, but the fun thing for Fort Worth and the Stockyards is that I have so many friends and customers of the Stockyards that were extras in the [show],” she continues.
On top of loving her grill’s new look, Ruth is also the only business to keep the makeover. All other buildings and businesses are back to what they were, giving Hooker’s Grill a serious leg up when it comes to Fort Worth tourism.
“It’s fun for the people that come,” Hooker says. “They can get a little bit of nostalgia through the building as well as the food.”
That food is just as much a leg up, too, as it ties in perfectly with both her heritage and this 19th-century representation of those roots. Hooker’s Grill serves Native American fry bread, which comes from her Native American mother. Her father, who she describes as a “quintessential cowboy,” loved fried onion burgers, which she also serves. Her bread wound up on film in 1883, too.
“We’re really lucky to have something like ‘1883,’ which celebrates both of those cultures,” Hooker adds of her heritage, something she’s very proud to now have represented in the look of her restaurant, too.