Mudhook Bar & Kitchen Wins Four 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards

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Bryan Kaeser at Bell Pepper farm
Bryan Kaeser FB photo from bell pepper farm

Mudhook Best Burger, Best Lunch Place, Best Dinner Place, Best Restaurant

Restaurateur Bryan Kaeser and his Mudhook Bar & Kitchen received four major Readers’ Choice Awards for 2021. Quite an achievement, considering Mudhook opened in downtown Duncanville in Nov. 2019—only a few months before the pandemic. Mudhook was named Best Burger, Best Lunch Place, Best Dinner Place, and Best Restaurant in the annual awards competition.

Kaeser, who also owns Black & Bitter Coffee & Books a few doors down on Main Street, said he is thrilled and grateful to be the recipient of such awards from his patrons and the community.

cheeseburger
Photo credit Mudhook

“I am so thankful for the tremendous support shown us during that most difficult year for all of us. It was especially hard for restaurants and small business owners. I greatly appreciate the hometown support and repeat business that we’ve had from Duncanville, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and other Best Southwest neighborhoods. This is our home, where we hope to continue to grow, and also keep giving back to the community,” Kaeser said.

A quintessential entrepreneur, Kaeser has proved to be an extremely valuable member of the Best Southwest community since opening his restaurants. Although he’d been open only a few months before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the closure of local restaurants and bars in March of 2020, Kaeser quickly pivoted to help the community and his businesses.

Mudhook’s Convenience Store

Mudhook became a convenience store that stocked hard to find items. When he started noticing food shortages at local grocery stores, Kaiser said he talked to the restaurant’s suppliers, and learned they were overstocked due to restaurants closing. After spending 25 years in retail, Kaeser said it was an easy decision. If restaurant suppliers had a surplus and grocery stores were understocked, he could help fill that void.

“With the mandatory closing of indoor dining, I no longer needed tables or chairs. We just moved those out of the way and started buying supplies we heard were needed. My initial investment was about $12,000 for toilet paper, vinyl gloves, fresh produce, ground beef and other meats,” Kaeser said. “My main objective was to keep my restaurant going and provide for my employees, as well as help the community with their needs.”

Man holding strawberry in field
Bryan Kaeser FB photo from strawberry farm

Their best-selling items included toilet paper, ground beef, eggs, loaves of bread, and potatoes. They also stocked sanitizers, vinyl gloves, and masks made by local vendors. Fruits like bananas, limes, and avocados were also popular items. When they learned Duncanville ISD students might not be able to return to school following spring break that March, Mudhook offered free food for local students. They also donated 2,000 vinyl gloves to the Duncanville Police Department.

Curbside Pickup Or Delivery

When many other Dallas County restaurants were forced to close their doors, Kaeser pivoted to offer curbside pickup and/or delivery for take-out orders. He sold burgers, beer, and even pre-packaged cocktails.

“I’m not scared to do what I need to do to keep people employed, keep people healthy or keep people fed. I have an endless amount of hustle and won’t be beaten down or outworked. I‘m determined to do all of the above to achieve my definition of success. I realize buying in bulk isn’t what most people need, but if you take 5 lbs. of rice, then go drop off some for your neighbor. We’re all in this together. Although it’s a tragedy, the Covid-19 pandemic seems to bring out the American spirit of helping our neighbors,” Kaeser said.

On a recent trip to visit California produce farms sponsored by Ben E. Keith Company, Kaeser says he was really impressed by the quality on such farms as the Rocha Bros. strawberry farm in Watsonville. The farm grew from 7 to 60 acres with the berries (best he’d ever tasted) all hand-planted and hand-picked. He also toured a fennel farm, bell pepper farm, and lettuce farm. His experience has spurred ideas for creative dishes on Mudhook’s future menus.

Beer Pairing Dinner

Chef Bryan is planning a beer-pairing dinner for late October, featuring a multi-course meal starring Compart Family Farms Duroc Pork. The Minnesota farm specializes on Duroc, the Black Angus of Pork. Each course of the special dinner will be paired with a Craft beer or ale.

pork steak on plate
Bryan Kaeser FB photo Compart Farms Duroc Pork steak

Mudhook Bar & Kitchen serves craft beer on 12 taps, along with an extensive wine list and craft cocktails (with a focus on Texas whiskeys). Their kitchen also serves delicious foods, including favorite comfort foods like gourmet burgers featuring Wagyu beef. Located at 100 S. Main Street in Duncanville.

Specials include happy hour Tuesday through Thursday from 4-7 p.m., with a selection of food, beer, wine, and craft cocktails for $5 each. Wednesday is $6 burger and fries night. Thursday is “Keep the Glass Night.” Brunch is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sat. and Sun. Regular hours are Tues.-Thursday. From 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sat., 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.; and Sun., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information about Mudhook Bar & Kitchen, call 469-759-6743 or visit MudhookBar.com

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