By BRIAN SMITH
For nearly nine years now, Whistle Hill Café, 104 S. Walnut Street, has been focusing on the lunch needs of Parker County residents.
Owners Ryder White, his wife Leslie, and brother D’Lancer have all worked in the restaurant business for many years, Ryder as a former training chef for Olive Garden. Ryder takes pride in knowing his restaurant isn’t cookie cutter and corporate.
“Some folks want to ear corporate and that’s fine, but our menu is definitely more eclectic,” Ryder said. “It’s hard to compete with corporate, I know, I used to work corporate but we’re still here.”
Ryder previously operated the Out-To-Lunch Tea Room on Oak Street in what was a 100-year-old house. After working there since 1994, the trio went their separate ways for a few years before coming back together to start Whistle Hill, which the couple’s three sons named for being close to the railroad tracks and the restaurant overlooking the area from atop a hill.
Many of their customers followed them over from their previous haunt. Each member of the trio has their focus; Ryder handling the kitchen area, the hiring and dealing with the purveyors. Leslie handles more of the front of the house aspect with D’Lancer, who waits tables and focuses on desserts,
All of D’Lancer’s desserts are made in house, as is all the food. Another aspect that separates Whistle Hill from its competitors, which have grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, is the fact repeat customers keep coming back for more of the service.
“We really take the time to bond with our customers,” Ryder White said. “We’ve built a relationship with them and it’s one of the reasons we’re still here, despite being open primarily for lunch.”