New restaurant offers homestyle fare

Robert Smith

BARNSDALL — Jimmy Hatfield explains he and his wife, Brenda, who at the beginning of January took over what had been Garrett’s Grill, aim to provide homestyle meals and a friendly local atmosphere.

“This community has been good to us over the years. It really has,” Hatfield said, commenting on his bonds of friendship with neighbors and friends in the Barnsdall area, and the desire he and Brenda have to serve.

Now called Hatfield’s Grill, the restaurant is located across State Highway 11 from the Baker Hughes chemical plant that is a major employer in the town and surrounding area. Hatfield’s is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day but Sunday. Sometime in the future, the restaurant may be open on Sundays, perhaps from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Jimmy Hatfield said in an interview last Friday morning that the restaurant’s hand-breaded, chicken-fried steak special had gone over extremely well, and breakfast is available all day. The staff is also working on its homestyle cuisine — the training subject Friday was to be gravy.

“It’s a little burden on the cooks, but they understand that’s what people want,” he said of the commitment to make breakfast fare available at all hours. Hatfield explained that truck drivers who off-load at the plant are among his steady customers. Plant employees also come over, and the restaurant makes specialized dishes for them.

Hatfield said he is working hard to master the learning involved in the restaurant business. This is his first venture in that field. He previously worked as a welder at the chemical plant and he ran a pest control service, which his son has purchased from him.

“There’s a big learning curve,” Hatfield said of running the grill. He said Hatfield’s Grill ran out of hash browns one day recently and found out quickly that the deficiency was “un-American.” He said that he had explained to his employees that he is committed to the notion that Hatfield’s Grill needs to “make it where they want to come back and eat it again.”

Hatfield, 56, has lived in Barnsdall for 40 years and he finished high school there, participating in football, basketball and baseball. He was a member of the 1980 Class A baseball championship team, on which he played right field. He is also a full-time pastor for the Cornerstone Community Church, a role he has filled for going on two years.