Over the past couple of months, our In Their Words videos have shared the stories of friends and partners who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. All of us who were in the storm’s path—including our Corpus team—will never forget the havoc wrought or the lives changed. One year later, we remain humbled and deeply honored to be a part of Texas’ dynamic, strong coastal community. Together, we persevered and continue to rebuild. We hope you’ve enjoyed watching the videos and have felt inspired by the courage, persistence, and grace of these Texas restaurateurs.
Our last video from this segment features a family-run restaurant called Benchwarmers in Fulton, Texas.
Laura Brown and her brother, Adam, are the brother-and-sister duo behind this popular bar and dining destination. Located on Fulton Beach Road, Benchwarmers is known for its eccentric burger menu, ice-cold beer, and crazy-good wings.
“Anything I need, Mission is going to have it.”
This is a place where people come to have fun, eat a comforting meal, catch a game, and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. (The Benchwarmers brand motto, “Great Food… Great Times,” alludes to these sentiments.)
Laura and Adam are a great team with Laura running the front of the house and Adam working behind the scenes as the head chef.
Clearly, the hard-working duo has a passion for the industry. Growing up in Rockport, Laura and Adam’s family owned restaurants, thus exposing them to the foodservice industry from a young age.
When Laura got married, this tradition continued since her in-laws owned Hu-Dat, a local dining institution serving up authentic Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. Last year, Laura and her brother opened Benchwarmers right next door, carving a niche of their own in the fabric of Fulton.
When Hurricane Harvey barreled across the Texas coastline in August 2017, Benchwarmers was one of many businesses in the storm’s direct path.
Coming back to the restaurant after the hurricane made landfall, Laura remembered looking at the absence of her roof, which was ripped off, as was the fence surrounding her property. That was just the beginning.
“As soon as we returned and we saw that our vent hoods had been blown off, I called Mission. They sent their guys down right away to see what exactly we needed,” she said. “They helped me tremendously.” With daily communication between our teams, Benchwarmers officially re-opened on October 7, 2017.
In addition to new hoods, we worked with Laura and Adam on all their cooking equipment, furniture, smallwares, and bar equipment. “Anything I need, Mission is going to have it,” she said.
Today, patrons walking into Benchwarmers will undoubtedly feel the restaurant’s warm ambiance and lively energy has returned. Neon signs flank the walls while music plays over the speakers.
A bright, oversized chalkboard is scribbled with daily specials and enduring, post-Harvey messages like “Rockport Strong.” At the bar, patrons saddle up—or “warm the bench,” as they like to say—while watching their favorite sports teams play on the TV.
Tables are placed around the small restaurant, but the bar remains the central focus. Made from old mesquite trees, it has a character of its own, as evidenced by the scorpions that are visible within the trees’ myriad crevices.
At Benchwarmers, everything has coastal character including the menu, which was curated by Adam. Patrons will find shrimp tacos, a wide-ranging menu of burgers, the house favorite kimchi fries, and the best wings in town. BYOF (bring your own fish) is another popular option.
On any given day, locals and visitors in Rockport-Fulton head in for their fix of food and fun.
With Benchwarmers back in business, Laura has her sights set on the re-opening of their neighboring Hu-Dat. “Mission has always been there, and that’s why I’m excited to work with them to help rebuild Hu-Dat,” she said.
For our Mission team, there is no greater gift than to work with talented, hard-working individuals like Laura and Adam—the true face and future of foodservice.
- Prep Tables
- Bar Equipment
- Back Bar Refrigeration
- Glass Chillers
- Metal Trays – Sheet Pans for Serving
- Sushi Serving Trays
- Salad Bowls
Watch the video now:
Check out other industry partners in our In Their Words Video Series.