A recent visit to Strokers on Harry Hines netted us a really good char-grilled burger, a pretty tasty Cuban sandwich (aptly named the Mark Cuban), and a tour through the nearly 2-acre facility. It was a searing hot Sunday afternoon when we met with Strokers owner Rick Fairless who guided us across the biker’s dream campus, taking us into the secret labyrinth’s where he has a crew at various stages of customizing insanely cool motorcycles. It was there he shared his plan to take over the Big State Drug, removing the apothecary portion of the historic 1948 building, and building around the 50’s era soda fountain.
Both Rick and wife Susan Fairless are multi-generational Irving residents. Susan’s family dates back 6 generations, and grew up going to Big State’s soda fountain as a child, ordering shakes and banana splits. The couple plans on adding obvious attractions such as candy counters.
“We will be bringing back two Big State employees, Chef Leland and waitress Cheryl who will continue to work behind the counter when it reopens. It’s going be really cool. We are doubling the size of the soda fountain and grill. We are adding a candy shop, shaved ice, root beer on tap and more ice cream varieties,” said Fairless during the tour.
They also plan on selling a few beers, but not right away.
Fairless continued the tour showing much of the parts department being boxed and readied for a trip to biker Mecca, Sturgis. He will be packing up a few of his famous bikes for a road trip to South Dakota for the 74th annual biker’s rally.
As we entered the iconic ice house, we smelled the grilling burgers and decided to place our order for lunch. We stood out a bit from from the many wearing leather jackets, but Fairless assured us that everyone is welcome at Strokers, and there is never a problem regardless if you ride a bike or a beater Pinto. Everyone gets along, and that was more than evident.
We enjoyed our lunch, and threw back a few PBR’s. It was a great afternoon in the sun.