There is a wonderful house located at 300 North Marion Street in the historical section of Athens that about a month ago became the home of Drucilla’s. Drucilla’s is a restaurant owned by Carol Holland, an Athens native. The restaurant was named in honor of Carol’s beloved grandmother, Olna Drucilla Bullington. Mrs. Bullington was a schoolteacher in several Limestone County schools for many years, and according to Carol, a true lady. Naming the beautiful, stately, old Victorian home in honor of her seemed appropriate. She was a wonderful cook and Carol spent lots of summer days watching, and sometimes helping, her grandmother cook delicious southern dinners. Carol graduated from Athens High School, after which she obtained an engineering degree from UAH.
After approximately 35 years spent working as an engineer for several Department of Defense contractors, she decided to change directions and pursue her dream of owning a small business in Athens. Carol had always admired the beautiful old home at the corner of Marion and Bryan streets and decided it was the perfect location for an eclectic Southern restaurant. By opening Drucilla’s, she chose to venture out in a whole new direction and live out her dream, which is something we in America are still blessed to pursue.
The house was built in 1901 as the Manse (or parsonage) of the Presbyterian Church, and since then has sheltered both families and businesses. Several generations of children lived there, and it has been a beauty salon as well as a law office. It has been beautifully maintained, and has leaded windows that cast rainbows on the walls when the sun shines through. It boasts the high ceilings of the day, has two fireplaces, and is furnished cheerfully with brightly colored tablecloths as well as an eclectic assortment of antique tables and chairs.
Carol loves the idea of “eclectic” in both the décor and the menu. Some of her menu choices came from places she has visited on vacation. Some are family recipes or are just classic Southern, and she uses the term “Southern eclectic” to describe it all. I have tasted the best of both worlds there by enthusiastically consuming some of the tastiest potato soup I have ever eaten, paired with the chicken- and-grape salad. It was just right.
The restaurant has daily plate specials, which include broccoli and Mexican cornbread, homemade yeast rolls, or hushpuppy muffins as well as a wide selection of salads. The menu is designed so someone can eat a filling, delicious meal while spending very close to $10.00. Drucilla’s is pleased to honor our uniformed service men and women, law enforcement officers, and first responders by offering a 10% discount on each purchase. Drucilla’s is also pleased to offer this discount to senior citizens and veterans if they let the cashier know they are eligible for the discount.
The menu will expand as they learn what their clientele likes the best, and the day I was there, they had sold out of several items. This is always a good sign in any establishment, especially during start up. Here is the line-up for Monday thru Friday: baked pork chops, chicken and dumplings, meatloaf, roast beef, and baked fish. “People say our chicken and dumplings are best they have ever eaten,” says Carol.
For lighter fare, there are tomatoes stuffed with traditional chicken salad or chicken Waldorf salad (the chicken-and-grape-combo), chef salad, and a chicken and spinach salad. In addition, there are mix and match combinations, and homemade desserts, with two featured each week. Soups include potato, corn chowder, cheesy chicken enchilada, and chili.
Most produce, as well as a lot of the food products and supplies, is purchased from local merchants. This allows not only for a better selection for each day’s menu but also supports our county economy.
Drucilla’s would be a beautiful place for wedding receptions, bridal and baby showers, church dinners and other special gatherings, and they already have such events on the books. They are also available in the evenings for private dinners, and eventually, plan to utilize one or two of the large upstairs bedrooms for a private dining room that can be used during the day. Eventually one of the other upstairs bedrooms will be a gift shop and antique mini-mall.
They are currently taking orders for Thanksgiving dinners, and more information on that will be forthcoming. I think you’ll agree, Drucilla’s is a welcome addition to the Athens restaurant scene. You can find out for yourself every Monday through Friday, from 10:30 am til 2 pm.
300 North Marion Street
Athens, AL, 35611
Hours: M-F 10:30-2