Biz Beat

Huckleberry’s restaurant coming to Oakdale, bringing Southern breakfast-lunch staples

Oakdale is about to be your Huckleberry.

The California-based breakfast and lunch chain is opening a new location in Oakdale, its third in Stanislaus County. The standalone restaurant will be in a renovated building in the Oakdale Station Shopping Center, along busy West F Street at the corner of North Oak Avenue.

The owners also operate all of the region’s other Huckleberry’s and Perko’s Cafe locations. The family behind Happy Bees Inc. also started the Happy Steak chain, which had restaurants dotted across the valley for decades. The first Happy Steak in Modesto opened in 1969, and then the first Perko’s opened in 1978.

Huckleberry’s, which serves Southern-inspired foods including some Louisiana favorites, first opened in the region in 2008. That location on Yosemite Boulevard, which was converted from a former Perko’s, is still open. The company also has a location on Geer Road in Turlock.

The company, which was originally founded by the late valley businessman Beryle Burns and is now on its third generation of local ownership, also has three Perko’s Cafes in Modesto and one each in Turlock, Riverbank, Salida and Tracy.

Happy Bees Inc. District Manager Paul Dias said the new Oakdale Huckleberry’s should open around the middle of July. The approximately 4,000-square-foot space is being fully renovated first. The space was formerly a car wash and then a frozen yogurt shop. The renovations include adding a large front porch and redesigning the interior. The new space will have seating for about 125 people.

Like all of the other Huckleberry’s locations, the new site will be open for breakfast and lunch only — from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. The menu follows the company slogan, “Southern cooking with a California twist.” It includes beignets (a New Orleans version of a doughnut), breaded catfish, jambalaya, fried okra, bananas foster French toast and more.

“We still have your traditional steak and eggs, pancakes and the like, but we also have signature dishes you can’t get anywhere else,” Dias said.

The restaurant is also ready to handle all your brunch party needs, as it plans to serve mimosas, Bloody Marys and beer.

Dias said a job fair is planned for mid-June to hire the some 50 employees needed to staff the site.

For more on Huckleberry’s restaurants, visit

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Marijke Rowland writes about new business, restaurant and retail developments. She has been with The Modesto Bee since 1997 covering a variety of topics including arts and entertainment. Her Business Beat column runs midweek and Sundays. And it’s pronounced Mar-eye-ke.
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