Donna Thompson—known locally as Donna T.—is the owner of Legends, a bar and music venue in Fulton, Texas. Prior to Hurricane Harvey, Legends was a staple in this coastal town, a place where people came to dance, drink, and have a good time.
When Harvey hammered the coast in August 2017, it barreled through the town of Fulton and decimated homes, hotels, marinas, and bars, including Legends. In addition to her bar, Donna T. also owns Sugar Shack and an antique shop called Magnolias.
“When I made the call that I was ready for Mission to come help me redesign, work out new furniture, or anything that I needed in the lease process, they were there for me and that was really, really, really nice to know that I had that with them.”
The entrepreneur remembers turning on the TV in Bastrop, where she and her husband had evacuated, and the first thing she saw was her shop in ruins. After arriving back to Fulton, a similar fate awaited her beloved Legends bar.
The mega-storm tore off the roof, ripped out the walls, and the interiors were either looted or blown away.
Not one to give in, the red-haired, vivacious Donna T. rallied her troops and spent five months resurrecting her business.
Joe Roemer is a bartender at Legends and openly admires his boss’s courage and leadership. “She’s not just a business owner – she gets involved and is in it for the town,” he said.
Driving through Fulton today, there are still many businesses boarded up, along with trash, tarped-off buildings, and vestiges of severe damage.
Legends is a symbol of survival as the community continues to grapple with the recovery effort.
“When I made the call that I was ready for Mission to come help me, they were there for me, and that was really, really, really nice to know that I had that with them,” she said.
In addition to re-designing the space and supplying them with new furniture, the Mission team got Donna T. and her team up and running with an ice machine lease. “It’s the one thing we cannot live without,” she said.
“The reason I like leasing is because, if it breaks or if I have to get ice, it’s automatically one hundred percent taken care of.”
Ice is a real necessity at Legends, which serves all kinds of beer and beverages to thirsty patrons. The bar is the central focus here, with back-lit liquor bottles, neon signs, and wall hangings that Donna T. salvaged from her shop post-Harvey.
A collage of pictures is placed beneath the bar’s glass-top, revealing musical heroes such as Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson.
Today, patrons coming to Legends will experience a new and improved version of their favorite local watering hole, a place that Donna T. lovingly put back together not just for herself but for the people in town who love it.
As before, there is much personality and texture in the décor and a refreshing sense that people here don’t take themselves too seriously.
Over the door a sign reads, “Take Your Bullshit Outside.” On many nights, the brass bell that hangs on a post by the bar is rung when a round of drinks is bought for the group.
Donna T. describes Legend’s new style as a “shabby chic lounge” with pale green walls, mix-matched chandeliers, pool tables, and comfortable seating.
There is music every Wednesday to Sunday, with karaoke on Thursday and Sunday nights, and a DJ on Wednesdays during the bar’s weekly pool tournament. On Friday and Saturday nights, live bands play while couples gather on the central dance floor.
Donna T. and her team—who lovingly call her “Mom”—personify the strong, steady spirit of Fulton, Texas. In the aftermath of a devastating storm, she embodies the goodness of this coastal town and has blazoned a trail for its legendary reinvention.
Legends is located at 3720 Highway 35N Rockport, Texas 78382 | 361-729-0720
- Bar Stools
- Ice Machines
- Back-Bar Refrigeration
- Bottle Coolers
- Direct Draw Dispensers
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