Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held for New Grapeland Restaurant

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – Because it’s not on the beaten path of eateries in Grapeland, area residents may not have heard about the latest addition to the Grapeland restaurant scene.

Located at 521 Pine St., the “Grab-A-Bite” restaurant hosted an official ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Oct.5 to formally announce its presence, just in time for the 2017 Peanut Festival.

After the ribbon cutting – sponsored by the Grapeland Chamber of Commerce – “Grab-A-Bite” owner Albert McDaniel spoke with The Messenger about the restaurant.

“I always had a desire to do something in the community,” McDaniel said when asked about why he decided to open his restaurant. “I wound up with this piece of property and every time I was mowing it, somebody would ask me, ‘Why don’t you open up a business?’”

Originally, McDaniel said he planned to use the property as a rental but after talking with his wife, the couple came to a decision to open the eatery.

“My daughter worked as a paralegal and said she couldn’t stand the city. She came back home and we said we’re going to find you something to do. She had worked at McDonald’s while she was in high school and that’s how we came up with the idea. It’s been a great idea so far. It’s been a lot more than we expected.”

“My wife (Janet McDaniel) and daughter (Brittany McDaniel) actually run the place. They just let me say I own it,” McDaniel said with a laugh.

McDaniel said, so far, the biggest sellers on the menu have been the chicken strips, steak fingers and hamburgers.

“Our biggest seller has been our burgers. That’s what we are getting to be known for. I have been really shocked at the business we’ve had. People have been very receptive and they keep coming back. IT’s been a lot more than I thought. Now, that could change tomorrow but we’ve been very blessed. It’s been more than we thought or hoped for,” McDaniel said.

“On Fridays and Saturdays, our fish has been a big seller,” he added.

Asked if he had plans on expanding the menu, McDaniel said he hoped to keep the menu relatively simple at the moment.

“We’re going to keep it simple because right now it’s been a little hard to keep up with everything. It’s a handful, but we’re keeping up with what we have,” he indicated.

Freshness is a big part of the operation, McDaniel emphasized. Storage limitations mean the restaurant only orders what it needs to meet the business demands. As a result, deliveries are made on a regular basis and the menu items are prepared daily, which helps keep the food products fresh, he explained.

Staffed by Merceena Jackson, Korie Nathaniel, Alice Rodriguez and Aurellia Walker, the restaurant is currently open from 10:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The hours are expected to change as the winter months approach. For more information or to place an order please call 936-687-4722.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.