Wrong turn leads couple to new life in Van Alstyne

By: Daniel Gotera Email
By: Daniel Gotera Email

VAN ALSTYNE, Tex. -- The city of Van Alstyne is always looking for ways to bring people to the growing community. Some say a new restaurant would do that, but the fact the city has a new restaurant isn't what makes this story so special. It’s how the owners arrived in Van Alstyne.

Steve and Fonda Clumsky have been in the restaurant business for eight years and wanted to continue it when they moved to a new city.

They are doing that, just not in the city they had expected.

Take a stroll through downtown Van Alstyne and you'll find a new restaurant called The Rib Joint. It is situated in a 100-year-old building, but when you're inside you wouldn't know it.

The new interior just might be part of the plan.

"There’s not a question in my mind when we left Plano, Texas, God took a hold of that steering wheel and brought us here," Steve says.

The Clumskys owned a restaurant in the small Texas panhandle town of Parraton, but after nearly a decade, they wanted a change.

"Honestly, we came down here to find some place a little bit warmer, and we got lost and came to Van Alstyne and fell in love with the community and never left," says Steve.

Friends suggested them look into towns just east of McKinney along Highway 380, but as they drove up Highway 75, they never saw 380 and ended up in Van Alstyne.

"They came in and literally had no idea where they were going. We hit it up, made a real friendship immediately, and I wouldn’t let go of them," friend Linda Oliver says.

In a matter of six month, they sold their old restaurant, moved to Grayson County, and opened the doors to The Rib Joint on Wednesday morning.

"Some things in life are just destiny, and no matter what you do to mess it up you get directed in the right direction, and I think coming to Van Alstyne is one of the right things to do," Steve says.

"We have never looked at each other and said are ‘We’re making a mistake’."

The Rib Joint is open six days a week and is closed on Sunday.


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  • by daniel van alstyne Location: helotes on Mar 23, 2010 at 12:11 PM
    this town is cool was there one time and it has the same name as me :>
  • by Larry Location: Whitewright on Sep 12, 2008 at 07:47 AM
    I have been to The Rib Joint many times and the food is great. The restaurant is set up very nicely, looks good and is a pleasure to eat at. Steve and Fonda are a very friendly couple and treat all their customers very well. I do know that they have a great singer and guitar player at the restaurant who plays old time Rock-N-Roll and old Country songs. His name is "Mr. Rock-N-Roll". He plays on Friday evening and interacts with the audience in a friendly way. I love going to The Rib Joint! You will too. See you there.
  • by Steve Location: Van Alstyne on Jun 29, 2008 at 07:56 PM
    Nice building and great location. Van Alstyne really needed a good restaurant, to bad we still didn't don't have one. The Rib Joint has the potential of being a good place to eat but the joint falls flat. When I went to the Rib Joint, they were just about of food, no pork, no chicken, no links. Just some watery old ribs that had all the flavor cooked out of them. They weren't even barbequed I don't think, they taste like they were cooked in an oven. There were no side dishes left on the food bar, just some sort of green looking vegetable, it may have been green beans, I don't know. Oh yeah, the desert was great, if you like chocolate putting out of the can. That meal cost me more that $20 for my wife and I. If you ask me, they should have paid me to eat that crap. Oh well, it's not to far to go to McKinney or Plano to the Red Hot and Blue to get some GOOD barbeque. Van Alstyne still doesn't have a good place to have a rib diner.
  • by Aaron Vogel Location: Sherman, TX on Jan 29, 2008 at 01:48 PM
    Best of luck to both of you!! This area demands GREAT bbq. Trust me, I know. If ya'll need anything, feel free to give me a shout. Sincerely, Aaron (owner of Cackle & Oink)
  • by Darla Rutz Location: Perryton, Tx. on Jan 22, 2008 at 03:31 PM
    Perryton's loss is Van Alstyne's gain! We miss Steve and Fonda, but they did leave us The Rib Joint here in Perryton! Good Luck Steve and Fonda!
  • by "down the road" Location: Tom Bean on Jan 17, 2008 at 07:42 PM
    It is great to hear that small towns close to us are prospering with new businesses. As we frequent Van Alstyne regularly, we will definitely give it a shot! Welcome!
  • by butch "dubya" hickson Location: the stix on Jan 17, 2008 at 03:33 PM
    there are some good ole' laid back country folk in van alstyne good story channel 12
  • by alky Location: Van Alstyne on Jan 17, 2008 at 11:28 AM
    Anyone know if they serve booze?
  • by MW Location: Howe on Jan 17, 2008 at 05:37 AM
    Can't wait to eat there! It is always nice to get new restaurants in the smaller towns in the area. We need to support our small towns and small business owners.
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