Blackie’s on the Square — something new downtown

Staff Writer
Glen Rose Reporter
An inside view of Blackie's on the Square in Glen Rose.

The idea behind Blackie’s on the Square was to bring something fun, new and different to downtown Glen Rose, but the original target date for opening turned out to be bad timing that no one could have expected.

Blackie’s is a restaurant that offers a food menu and drinks plus music in a fun atmosphere featuring seven 65-inch TVs that will be tuned to sporting events available on via satellite.

Two couples who are partners as the owners of Blackie’s — Dobber and Suzi Stephenson and Kyle and Natalie Hooper — had wanted to have the grand opening on April 3. But the COVID-19 pandemic began making its presence known in March.

As Natalie Hooper put it, that planned date was just after “All things COVID happened” — forcing many restaurants to close temporarily.

Natalie Hooper described Blackie’s as a sort of “cool bar,” yet more of a restaurant. It was created because “there wasn’t anything like it in Glen Rose” and they hoped to help continue the revitalization of the downtown square.

“It’s a fun new place in Glen Rose,” Hooper said of the restaurant, at 102 Walnut St., across from the courthouse. “We’re trying to have something for everyone.”

Blackie’s was able to get started in its early days with take-out services, then opened its doors with limited seating in early May under the guidelines issued by the state. Now it’s open Wednesday through Sunday each week, with seating at the 50% capacity allowed.

“It was certainly disappointing. It was not the plan,” Natalie Hooper said of the grand opening delay. “We are certainly super excited to get back to what we intended to be.”

Hooper noted, “We have had a great response from the community and they have given us much grace as we manage through COVID and the changing rules. We have, of course, had to limit occupancy and have had to cancel originally scheduled live music, etc., so it certainly wasn’t the start we envisioned.

“Once we are able to fully open we hope to provide a great atmosphere for people to watch sporting events, to enjoy a great meal for a special occasion or to just hang out with friends and family.

“Our bar is impressive and we have a stage for live music, which will be regularly scheduled. We do a Chef’s Fish Special every Wednesday night, available only to the first 20 reservations, which has been very popular. We have been opening on Sunday and doing brunch for two weeks, but it has been very well received. There are some great things happening on the Glen Rose square and we are grateful to be a part of it.”

The food menu includes tacos, salads, gourmet hot dogs, sandwiches and flatbreads.

“We looked for it (the menu) to be unique — quite a bit of variety,” Hooper said. “We have fun signature drinks.”

Hooper said that Blackie’s is currently open from 4-11 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday and for brunch from 11 a.m.-4 each Sunday.

Even before entering Blackie’s, vistitors are greeted with a silent but friendly figure — “Chief,” a life-size American Indian statue — a treasure that Dobber Stephenson picked up at an auction in the Metroplex. She said Chief was a “must-have” acquisition that has turned out to be popular for visitors to pose with for photos.

“Dobber and Suzi started Blackie’s Bait Shop in Walnut Springs originally and it was inspired by Blackie Norton’s Paradise Bar and Gambling Hall in the 1936 movie, “San Franciso.” We continued on with the Blackie’s part of the name but a different concept. We intend to have other Blackie’s concepts in the future as well.”

One of the ownership partners in Blackie's on the Square, Dobber Stephenson, poses with a friend named "Chief" who keeps watch at the entrance.