Drucilla’s: Southern Hospitality And Victorian Charm

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In November of 2014, Athens Now had the privilege of introducing Drucilla’s restaurant to the Athens community, and it has been, as they say, a match made in heaven. Drucilla’s is located in a wonderful house at 300 North Marion, in the historical section of Athens. It was built in 1901, was the Manse (or parsonage) of the Presbyterian Church, and is named in honor of a beloved elementary school teacher, Olna Drucilla Bullington. She taught at several schools throughout Limestone County including Piney Chapel and Ardmore, and was the grandmother of Drucilla’s owner, Carol Holland. Mrs. Bullington was a great cook, and taught Carol both to love cooking and do it well. Carol is a native of Athens, graduated from Athens High, and got her engineering degree from UAH. She spent her career working for Department of Defense contractors as a Systems engineer. In the summer of 2014, she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of owning her own restaurant. Carol had always loved the house and happily purchased it when it became available. It is a beautiful building, complete with leaded glass windows, fireplaces, antiques, and high ceilings. It now sports an outside eating area (front lawn and back patio), park benches, flowers, and a charming, custom-designed sign.

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Carol loves the idea of “eclectic” in both the décor and the menu. Some of her menu choices came from places she had visited on vacation, some from family recipes, and some are just classic Southern, and she uses the term “Southern eclectic” to describe it all.

Drucilla’s has daily specials, which include homemade cornbread and biscuits or yeast rolls. The price is $8.95, and Carol has tried to price the items on the menu so two people can have a very nice lunch for around $20. One of the things I appreciate about her is her desire to honor our senior citizens, veterans, active duty service men and women, law enforcement officers and first responders by providing a 10% discount every day of the week.

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For daily specials, guests can choose from 2 entrees and at least 8 vegetables. The line-up is as follows: Monday – baked pork chop with gravy or BBQ chicken; Tuesday – chicken and dumplings or spaghetti with meat sauce; Wednesday – meatloaf or sauerkraut and wieners; Thursday – chicken and dressing or cheeseburger casserole; Friday – beef tips and rice or fried salmon patties. Vegetables include green beans, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, squash casserole, baby limas, purple hull peas, corn casserole, whole kernel corn, cream corn, turnip greens. Chicken and dumplings and spaghetti and meat or marinara sauce are available every day.

For lighter fare, Drucilla’s offers at least 16 different salads such as traditional chicken, the chicken Waldorf (apples, grapes, pecans), broccoli, Hawaiian, corn, cucumber, etc. in mix and match combinations. Homemade desserts are always available. Favorites include strawberry cake, coconut cake, Mississippi mud cake, peanut butter pie, caramel pie and strawberry pretzel salad. Strawberry pretzel salad, peanut butter pie, and caramel pie are offered daily. As much as possible, Carol purchases produce and supplies locally in order to support our county economy.
Carol’s husband Justin has worked hard to put in a beautiful garden in the back yard, and the fruits of his labor have been abundant. In season, tomatoes, squash, lettuce, onions, eggplant, and cabbages, all make their way into Drucilla’s daily menu. The herb garden has basil, lavender, rosemary, thyme, spearmint and peppermint, sage, chives and oregano. The garden itself is a feast for the eyes.

7-3-2015 2-35-11 PMDrucilla’s has plans to be involved in the Spirit of Athens Fridays After 5 program where merchants, restaurants, artists, musicians will provide the community with an evening of shopping, dining, art, music, antiques, and more. The first Friday After 5 will be on July 10 and Carol invites everyone to visit Drucilla’s for dinner.

Another exciting feature new to Drucilla’s is the “proper” English high tea. The event is by reservation only, and is custom designed for the client. You can choose from such traditional items as cucumber sandwiches, scones, desserts, Drucilla’s “bottomless pot” of several flavors of teas, and all the staff needs is 24 hours to create your event. People have come from all over the area to experience the high tea. The specially blended teas are also for sale to take home.

Drucilla’s is a beautiful place for wedding receptions, bridal and baby showers, church dinners and other special gatherings. They are also available in the evenings for private dinners, and will be the site of some high school reunions this summer.

I speak from experience: 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
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner