Irene’s Grill: Home of the Jerzi Dog

by Charlotte Purdy

Homestyle breakfast, char-grilled burgers, juicy all-beef hot dogs, and more are on the menu at Irene’s Grill in Stuttgart and if you haven’t stopped by to enjoy the many delicious menus items, you are truly missing out! Located at 216 E. 2nd Street, Irene’s Grill opened on July 12, 2021, on the birthdate of the amazing woman the restaurant was named after, Irene Bradford Reeves.

Owners Carl and Stephanie Williams chose the name Irene’s Grill to pay tribute to Carl’s grandmother, Irene Bradford Reeves. Reeves was a prominent citizen of Arkansas County who lived 87 years and left behind a large family to carry on the family legacy. And now, Williams is doing just that.

“I hated cooking!” Stephanie stated in a recent interview. A graduate of PCCUA with a Cosmetology degree, Stephanie passed the State Board, yet here she is, the proud owner of Irene’s Grill which is steadily gaining attention from restaurant-goers from all around the county. Williams explained that she had always wanted to be a cosmetologist, and although she hated cooking, she always had a knack for it and could memorize any recipe.

Williams’ background in the food industry began when she started working at Sonic before taking a position at Subway and working there for eight years. She then began her next chapter at Troy’s Drive-In as a business partner and now she not only owns Irene’s Grill in Stuttgart, but she is the owner of Troy’s Drive-In in DeWitt.

With an established customer base in DeWitt, some of which work in Stuttgart, Williams wanted to open a restaurant that offered menu items like Troy’s Drive-In to meet her customer’s requests. However, Williams wanted to offer other menu items that set Irene’s apart from Troy’s Drive-In.

That is when Williams introduced the Jerzi Dog which is named after her granddaughter. The mouth-watering all-beef hotdog comes topped with chili, cheese, slaw, red onions, crushed Fritos, and jalapenos, and has quickly become a favorite to Irene’s Grill’s return customers. And for the early risers, a breakfast menu consisting of eggs, potatoes, bacon, waffles, and more was added toward the end of 2021, just in time for duck season.

Finding the perfect setting to introduce the community to Irene’s wasn’t an easy task at first though. With a few locations in mind, it took a little time to secure a building that was available. Then, with the COVID pandemic still present, finding employees was another hurdle that the Williams’s had to overcome. “We had fifteen employees at the first meeting, but now we only have three, including myself,” Stephanie said. Although low in numbers, they are mighty in passion and dedication to providing their customers with the best service and food. “I want Irene’s to be a community place where everybody knows everybody,” Stephanie said.

As if running two restaurants wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Irene’s Grill provides lunch to the children at the Holy Rosary Catholic School. “I like to work! I see new faces every day with my job, and I’m truly blessed,” said Stephanie.

So, what items are available at Irene’s Grill in Stuttgart? For breakfast, you can order eggs, potatoes, waffles, bacon, sausage, and more. Lunch menu items include the following: hamburger, cheeseburger, club sandwich, chicken (grilled or crispy) sandwich, ham and cheese sandwich, corn dog, the Jerzi Dog, footlong hot dog, chicken strip basket, fish basket, shrimp basket, wing basket, wings (multiple flavors available), and wraps (chicken, club, ham, or turkey). Then you can choose from the sides that are available and include crinkle-cut fries, spicy fries, tater tots, onion rings, cheese curds, jalapeno poppers, fried mushrooms, and fried pickles.

Are you hungry yet?! If you are, head on over to Irene’s Grill or call and place your order to go. Irene’s Grill is open Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and offers dine-in and carry-out services. To call in your order, phone (870) 672-9141 and be sure to like and follow Irene’s Grill on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest menu item and specials.

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