A Wichita Falls institution, Pioneer 3, was bought by Brady Crumpler and his two brothers, almost 3 years ago; and the character of the restaurant has been preserved. However, the new character in the restaurant, Brady, now makes it even more fun to eat there.
Brady has worn many hats; farmer, rancher, dude ranch owner, and professional bronco rider. He comes from a family that raised cutting horses. In fact, his father and brother were inducted into the National Cutting Course Association Hall of Fame. Not to be outdone, Brady was just recently inducted into the Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. “I got nominated this year, and it is a tough field,” he said.
Back at the restaurant, Brady loves to visit with his clientele.“You would be hard pressed to find someone in this city that hasn’t eaten at P3, and if they have, it wasn’t just once,” he said. “We have people that come here every day just to interact with someone—the human connection. I want to start conversations, and I want people to know each other by first names,” he said. “If I don’t know them when they get here, then I want to know them before they leave.”
Brady was a professional cowboy from 1975 to 1991, with his best years between 1977 and 1978. When he quit he was still in the top 15 bronc riders in Texas. He also ran a dude ranch. “It was a three ring circus,” he said with a smile. “I got kids, seniors and drunks. I got them all. We had parties, horse riding, hay rides, and even corporate events. At one time we had a Wild West Show there with almost complete audience participation.”
Now his newest venture, P3, as it is commonly known, has gone through some changes. Don’t worry the menu hasn’t changed, and Anna, the waitress who has been there 58 years, will still wait on you if you sit in her booth. The changes include new floors, new restrooms and more fun. Brady has musicians come in on Thursdays and some Saturdays to serenade his quests, while he makes the rounds to chat with them all. Some of his musical talent includes Dillon Pirkle, Ken Fields, Michael Merrill, Levi Mullen, and his own musical daughter, Elaina Kay.
Once a month they have square dancing in the dining room. Brady said that they move the furniture and dance.Brady bought the restaurant from longtime friends, Chris Raines and Dwayna Richardson, two daughters of O.D. McBride, the founder of P3. “I was such good friends with the people who owned it they let me come in and follow them around for two months to get the ropes. Dwayna’s husband, Danny Richardson, was the inventory guy, and he stayed on beyond the call of duty to help me out.” Danny eventually trained his replacement. Brady has big plans for the future of P3. First, he is going to get a flag pole with Old Glory waving from the top of it. He wants to honor his veteran customers. He also has buildings behind the restaurant that he would love to convert to a supper club with entertainment and an all bar-b-q menu. He would also love to have a beer garden. “I hope I get this all done before I die,” he said smiling. “Here is the cool thing about this place; you can’t have too many friends. I now have time to sit down with old timers and hear their stories. I make pretty good friends,” he said. “I am trying to make memories every day.”
“A true Texan can have a good time anywhere, and that is the attitude I want this place to have,” he concluded.
(Fun fact: Brady’s daughter, Elaina, was the first Hub cover story in June 2016.)
-Cindy Kahler Thomas