Mayor Gretchen Fagan Talks Old Town Tomball, 403 EATS & Mother’s Day

If you haven’t been to Tomball lately, tisk, tisk! We sat down with Gretchen Fagan, Farmer’s Insurance Agent, and the Mayor of Tomball. In this interview, we’re fixing to help everyone understand how awesome this big little Texas town really is. Among other things, Tomball is famous for its antique shops, Farmer’s Market, Railroad Depot, and German Heritage Festivals. The festivals take place during the last weekend in March, and again (with a Christmas twist) in December. Soon, Tomball will be known for its fantabulous food truck park, 403 EATS, as well.

First off, how was the Tomball German Festival?

German Fest was great! Friday and Saturday were incredible so the Sunday rain didn’t hurt the overall weekend. But rain is never good for a festival. They were predicting horrible storms so we were lucky.

Tomball is a historic town with a rich heritage that’s experiencing exponential growth. What are some of the ways the city is preserving its small-town feel?

We are (and have been for the last 10 years) making a focused effort to keep the small town feel and encourage “mom and pop” establishments in Old Town Tomball. We have waived parking requirements in Old Town Tomball, as well as waived water impact fees in that area. Water impact fees help with the future infrastructure for our system, but they can be huge fees for small businesses. This was done in 2014 and is currently being discussed by the Tomball City Council.

It really is turning into a fun tourist destination. If someone is driving in from Houston or Dallas to experience Tomball for the first time, what are a few of the places you recommend they visit?

Holy moly! I’d suggest getting a room and spending a few days. There are so many cool places it is hard to name a few “musts.”

Are there any local bed and breakfasts where people can stay?

There is a new B&B on Hufsmith called Maple Creek Bed & Breakfast. Check them out!

You recently posted photos on Facebook of the paving of the new food truck area. Tell us about that?

403 EATS will be located at 403 East Main (get it? Haha!). It is located just two doors down from our Farmers Insurance office. When it became available, we knew we wanted it, but didn’t know what to do with it. Council had discussed food trucks and actually implemented some pretty strict guidelines. Mike and I decided a Food Truck Park would be a good fit for Tomball so we decided to jump in and see if it could work. We worked with City Staff and established guidelines that would ensure a high-quality development.

The Planning & Zoning Commission and the City Council unanimously approved the project and we started construction. I sat in the audience and did not speak, which is very hard for me! Haha! There will be room for up to six food trucks. They will sell all the food and we will sell sodas, tea, beer, and wine. There will be indoor seating with AC and TVs, along with a 1,000 square foot covered patio. We hope to officially open June 1, 2017.

I know there’s a ton of restaurants. What are some of your favorites?

Again, way too hard to narrow that down! Mike and I eat out every day so we hit them all!

Very smooth! Haha! OK so finally, do y’all have any upcoming events we should know about?

Mother’s Day Brunch at 403 EATS. It’s a “sneak peek.” We will not be officially open but will have two food trucks, so we can practice. There will be Jerk Chicken & Waffles, Shrimp & Grits, Pancakes & Plantains, and Brisket Quiche with Phyllo Dough … and maybe more. Check our 403 EATS Facebook Page for photos and updates. The trucks are Lyndley’s and Jamaican Pon Di Road. FYI, we only had four chairs delivered today so you may want to throw a lawn chair in your car.

Mother’s Day Brunch at 403 Eats

Sunday, May 14, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
403 EATS
403 East Main Street, Tomball, Texas

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