A gathering of friends saves Fork in the Road cafe in Arlington

A favorite family restaurant in Arlington was barely keeping the doors open, with cash strapped and hot days ahead.

So chef-owner Josh Hopkins of Fork on the road sent the Facebook equivalent of a Bat-Signal.

His viral post attracted so many customers that now he often runs out of food.

So he asks diners to help other small restaurants.

“It’s so frustrating for small mom-and-pop cafes to see people walking past us and going to a chain restaurant,” Hopkins said this week after local Facebook groups and TV stations rallied. around his 9-year-old gourmet sandwich and burger. cafe, 1821 S. Fielder Road.

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A muffuletta with homemade olive relish at Fork in the Road in Arlington. Bob Booth Star-Telegram Archives

Arlington’s affordable housing and central location have made the city a natural destination for newcomers.

But new Texans are more familiar with chain restaurants than local coffee, and not everyone ventures to longtime favorites like Fork in the Road, Tom’s Burgers and Grills Where Mr. B’s Burger Pub.

Hopkins’ Facebook post on June 15 sounded desperate: “Fork in the Road is dying, we’re about to have to close our doors for good.” …Visit your local small businesses now or we’ll all be gone.

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Chef-owner Josh Hopkins of Fork in the Road in Arlington. Bob Booth Star-Telegram Archives

After groups of foodies shared the call and WFAA/Channel 8 reported the story, Fork in the Road queued for days and ran out of food.

Now, Hopkins hopes customers will return throughout the summer.

“I saw friends I hadn’t spoken to in years,” he said.

“I think people have cut back, but my prices are the same as Chick-fil-A. If you want a beer, I bring yours, so you save more money.

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Three cheese crack-a-roni at Fork in the Road in Arlington. Bob Booth Star-Telegram Archives

Fork in the Road opened as a chef-run sandwich shop known for Hopkins’ chicken salad, club sandwich and muffuletta.

But as much as anything else, it’s known for three-cheese “crack-a-roni,” an early gourmet mac and cheese.

The menu changes weekly. Top sandwiches currently include a turkey Reuben and a Buffalo chicken sandwich, Hopkins said.

It also serves mussels, hummus, five gourmet burgers and homemade desserts.

Fork in the Road serves lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday; forkintheroadarlington.com.

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To find Arlington’s hidden restaurant, look for the Fork in the Road. Bob Booth Star-Telegram Archives

This story was originally published June 22, 2022 5:45 a.m.

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a guy from Fort Worth who covered high school football at age 16 and went on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 18 sessions of the Texas Legislative Assembly. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,800 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas restaurants, eateries and cuisine.

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