When looking at opening Higgy's, the Higgasons had been considering purchasing the adjacent building to open a gaming room, then learned they could purchase the former 1854 Wine Pub as well.
“My husband likes to find the smallest space available and put a kitchen in it,” Debbie Higgason said. “When we bought County 5 five years ago, there was just four walls and a bar. Here in Pawnee, there was a kitchen, so we had an idea what we were doing.”
Debbie joked and said that Jon said got the idea for a bar after they were sitting around in their garage, and he said he needed to open a bar to charge for beers. Then she laughed and added, “He built a kitchen so I would cook for him.”
Debbie said when she was a teen she worked as an Assistant Manager at Wendy’s. “I said I would never do it again,” she laughed since she recently retired from the Kincaid Power and is now working at the two bar/restaurants fulltime.
Jon works at the Northern Suffolk Railroad besides Higgy’s and County 5. “When we first bought County 5 in August of 2018, we started and planned to have pizzas and a bar, then we added different ways to cook and kept adding,” Debbie said about the expanding menu.
While the menus at the two bar/restaurants are not quite mirror images of each other they are quite similar. At Higgy’s, they offer extensive appetizers, from French fries and tots, to white cheddar balls, portobellos, and cannelloni bites. They also have wings, broccoli bacon bites, and more. Then there are the pizzas! “We can make about any concoction if we have the ingredients. Then with appetizers, hot wings, pretzel bites and cannelloni bites are very popular.”
As far as sandwiches they offer hamburgers, Philly cheesesteak, and Debbie added, “We can’t hardly keep Italian beef in stock.”
“Our horse, pony, and mule shoe doesn’t have bread unless you ask for it,” she added. While the kitchen usually closes most nights around 10:00 p.m., customers can still order appetizers or pizzas until closing time.
County 5 in Bullpitt also has a drive through window option. Debbie said, “We didn’t think about the 16” pizzas when we designed the window. We usually take the money, then bring out the pizzas.”
The drive through window made all the difference during COVID, it truly supplemented their income. “On Sundays in Pawnee, we have fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans and corn. We always have real potatoes,” Debbie said.
Tuesday’s, they offer a homemade chicken and noodle special, and in Bullpitt, it is offered on Wednesday. Higgy’s is open 10:30 – 12:00 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and until 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Although they close at midnight usually, Debbie said they will stay open if someone is playing. County 5 is open until 3:00 a.m. every night. Debbie said in Bullpitt they have a later crowd that overflows from the Taylorville bars that close at midnight.
She said they are liking it in Pawnee. “I like the locals, they are friendly.”
They have regulars that come in for lunch, and the crowd is smoothing out. With Bingo every Tuesday night with Progressive Jackpots, and a pool table and darts, along with gaming and often entertainment, there is something to do that keeps bringing customers back time and time again. Bingo has become quite popular. “My daughter calls the numbers,” Debbie added.
As summer comes, she said the entertainment will dwindle off a bit since people like to be outside. The Higgasons are in the process of building a small beer garden out back. “We have one started, but I have to wait for Jon to finish it,” Debbie said, adding he is very busy with a fulltime job as well as the business.
For the Debbie and Jon their customers become almost like family. Most holidays they have been open, and Debbie has prepared a traditional meal and served them at no cost.
If looking for a place to kick back and try out some new food, appetizers, drink, or entertainment, check out Higgy’s on the square. For more information, call (217) 646-8188 or check their facebook page at (1) Higgy's | Facebook.