HARTVILLE – Scott and Christine Harmon purchased Miners and Stockmen’s Steakhouse & Spirits almost seven years ago and one of the greatest challenges they have faced was the global pandemic. In a town of 62 people, a diamond in the rough best describes the 5-star cuisine.
The Harmons are the epitome of community helping community. During the pandemic when everything had to close, they got creative, served breakfast burritos out of the back door of the kitchen and sold product wholesale and carry-out.
Here at one year past the start of the pandemic, things are still bleak and people have not grown tired of helping other people. The Guernsey Community Food Pantry and the Mobile Pantry feed hundreds of families every month and when resources grow thin, Guernsey Food Pantry Director Pat Russell says that people and businesses step up to help.
Such was the case for the Spaghetti Fundraiser as the Harmons decided that they wanted to do something to help out the food pantry and suggested a fundraiser. They shopped for and purchased all the product for the fundraiser and then proceeded to cook all the meals and offer their restaurant venue. With a volunteer work force of 12, the standing room only crowd from all over the area that had purchased $12 tickets for a meal cooked by the Harmons were not disappointed.
Harmon worked his magic in the kitchen as he donated his culinary skills to create a spaghetti with his special meat sauce and a homemade Caesar salad. There was also fresh garlic bread and freshly baked oatmeal/raisin cookies. The patrons turned in their tickets, took a seat and were promptly waited on by the volunteer army of the Guernsey Community Food Pantry.
“Scott and Christine offered to do a benefit dinner for the food pantry,” Russell said. “They have donated all the proceeds to the food pantry. We have sold about 210 tickets or so, so we’ll make around $2,500 just for tonight. We have volunteers here from the food pantry board that handle other activities for the pantry plus I have a couple of people from Laramie that came over to help.”
Russell said that the night would go a long way to ensure that food would continue to roll out of the food pantry.
“We talked about this fundraiser in November or December,” Russell said. “With all the construction in the pantry, we decided to move it from the end of January to March. They’ve done other spaghetti benefits for other organizations.”
Due to COVID, the restrictions were adhered to with no more than six people at a table, social distancing was advised and masks were optional.
Scott and Christine Harmon who purchased the establishment from Scott’s brother-in-law and sister, have owned the business for almost seven years. The couple both grew up in Los Angeles, Calif. and lived there most of their lives.
The move from one of the biggest cities in the world to one of the smallest was a dream come true for Scott and at the same time, took some getting used to for Christine. “He loved it, but it took me a little while,” she said. “Winter is entirely different here than it is in California. I didn’t know snow and cold, and I mean, this is a hearty place.”
Add to the change in climate the fact that neither one had any restaurant business experience.
“I can remember as a child, we would take family vacations every summer to Jarbridge, Nevada,” Scott said. “It was a small town where everybody knew one another. We used to cook out and enjoy our family and it was always a dream to live in a town like that.”
The couple packed up, lock, stock and barrel and made the move. With that move there was the risky endeavor of running a fine-dining restaurant. In a town of under 100 and where the closest big city is Casper, which is 130 miles away. The first question would be, “why?”
“We just figured we wanted to move out of California and my brother-in-law and sister had this place up for sale,” Scott said. “We came out and looked at it, and six months later, here we were.”
To learn more about the Harmons and their restaurant in Hartville, you can see the HOMESPUN interview with them at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y3wi3XEzLk