This year, a new era begins for Harvest. The farm-to-table restaurant moved from its old Louisiana Street location to a 19th-century, three-story building that previously housed a Masonic lodge. A new location means a new name: Harvest at the Masonic.
While the moniker and the location might be different, this is still the delicious eatery that North Texas loves — and it's the same Harvest with a mission to support local growers, ranchers and businesses.
"This is a full restoration — from the windows down to the door knobs," owner Rick Wells tells Local Profile. "The goal was to leave this building better than we found it, which is what we are all about." It's a weekday evening. We're on the second floor — dubbed Chef Dre's Dining Room after the restaurant's award-winning chef, Andrea Shackelford. Wells is making the rounds, greeting diners one by one.
The sage walls are decorated with Chef Shackelford's cowboy hats, purchased at the neighboring McKinney Hat Company, as well as with local art that's for sale. The ambience is different from the first floor, which is filled with booths from the original Harvest. But the different vibes are part of the fun. And now, Wells and his team have three floors to play with.
Each floor of Harvest of the Masonic is different. Besides the bright pastels of the first floor, there is a lovely lit bar. The shelves are decorated with dried flowers and herbs from the old Harvest as well as old cocktail and food tomes owned by Wells. One wall is all wine. "We have over two hundred bottles," says Lisa Myrie, a restaurant staffer showing us around.
A grand staircase takes us up to the second floor. Above are dried flowers and herbs, and to the right is an open, exposed kitchen. You can see everything — all the action, right here. The restaurant nerd in me loves this.
Up on the third floor, the vibe is, once again, different. The walls are, I'm told, painted dark night. There is another bar, where patrons dine and drink. Comfy lounge chairs and thick, wood tables populate the rest of the space. The stage, an original to this 19th-century building, is now for regular music performances, including McKinney Mayor George Fuller and his band.
This was a Freemason Lodge. Since 1850, the windows were covered, and after Wells purchased the building in 2021, the windows were finally uncovered and opened — for the first time in over 90 years. "This is the only three-story building in the square," says Myrie. "This is the best view downtown." She's right. The view is great, and this is certainly a special place.
Back in the Chef Dre's Dining Room, courses are coming out one by one. The deviled eggs with pecan are some of the best I've ever had. The fried shrimp is big, plump and cooked to perfection. The appetizers are followed by bison New York strip and some truly tender pork tenderloin. Meat and veggies galore, all seasonal and all farm to table. Going local, supporting your neighbors and trying to make things better isn't only embodied in the menu but in the restored building itself.
"I wanted to not only expand our footprint but what we do," says Wells. "I thought this building was a perfect opportunity to spread our wings and have a ripple effect throughout the community."