Small towns are known for their family-owned burger joints, shops along Main Street and the iconic corner drug store. Irving was no different during the mid-20th century when Big State Drugs took over what was once the B&H Dry Goods Store.
Sitting on the corner of Irving Blvd. and Main Street with its iconic neon sign, it welcomed the locals to downtown Irving. There was even a soda fountain and juke box in the back. In 2014, Rick and Susan Fairless, life-long Irving residents and regulars at Big State, turned it from a drug store into Big State Fountain and Grill. Like their parents before them, Rick and Susan ate here for years. “ Me and my wife,” Rick explains, “every Tuesday at 11 o’clock.”
Many elements of the original Big State Drug are still intact, including the iconic neon sign, only now it reads “Big State Fountain.” They also kept a few of the long-time employees and much of the old menu featuring burgers, grilled sandwiches and smooth, silky, hand-made milkshakes. You can still sit at the diner seats, select tunes on a jukebox and shop for 50’s era candy.
Used as a backdrop in an episode of Fast ‘N Loud, a reality-style show about restoring old cars, Big State maintains the look and feel of mid-century Americana. In keeping with its nostalgic atmosphere, on the first Saturday of the month Rick and Donna host a Classic Car Cruise In where vintage car owners gather in the parking lot to showcase their classic rides.
An anchor of the Heritage District in downtown Irving, Big State Fountain and Grill keeps customers coming back for their friendly staff, satisfying menu, and a walk down memory lane.