Pecan Lodge Considering Taking Its Brisket on the Road ... for Good

Categories: Food News

Justin-Fourton-pickins.jpg
Catherine Downes
Slim pickins indeed.
Earlier this week the Dallas Farmers Market was handed over to DF Market Holdings, LLC. The management group (formerly known as the Farmers Market Group) is now responsible for market operations and working with farmers, vendors and the business owners of Shed 2.

While some business owners retain their optimism for the coming renovation, many are uncertain exactly how the transition will be carried out. Yesterday, Pecan Lodge created a stir when it announced three different mayors from surrounding cities are offering incentives to move the barbecue restaurant outside of Dallas. So far Dallas has been silent.

There are many reasons why owners Justin and Diane Fourton are considering moving their restaurant, but the biggest is uncertainty. "They're willing to do whatever they can to help us out," said Justin of DF Market Holdings, "but there are still no concrete plans."

Justin says all of the proposed plans for keeping his restaurant at the farmers market have been insufficient, and future rent, temporary kitchen space and other logistics remain uncertain. The group is looking at keeping Pecan Lodge right where it is through the construction phase, but that would require tarps and temporary barriers to keep dust away from all that delicious fatty brisket. Other options including a proposal to use food trucks for kitchens present significant challenges and uncertainty. Meanwhile, other cities are offering attractive incentives to move.

Justin won't discuss which cities he's talking with, but says each municipality is willing to offset the cost of his relocation through either tax or rent incentives. And while he wants to stay at the Dallas Farmers Market, he's more concerned about the long-term viability and stability of his business.

"I'd love to stay in Dallas, but at the end of they day we have to make the right decision for our business," he said. "The hospitality and forethought from [other cities] stands in stark contrast to the silence from our hometown."

Mayor Mike Rawlings couldn't be reached for questions for this story, as he's currently out of town. But considering the popularity of Pecan Lodge you'd think a close look at how to retain the barbecue restaurant within city limits is forthcoming. The city worked hard to save Rudy's Chicken in South Dallas (to the tune of an $890,000 investment.) While Pecan Lodge doesn't have the same lengthy history, it's just as much (if not more so) an asset to the city.



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32 comments
EdD.
EdD.

The east side of Plano is still funky enough (relatively speaking) that folks riding the train up from Dallas won't go into shock, there are plenty of folks to patronize the joint during the week and on weekends, and the competition is weak.

ericamyers
ericamyers

Come on over to East Dallas/Casa Linda area like Goodfriends and Twenty Feet Seafood. We are very appreciative of good food over here, and judging by the packed parking lots every night, it looks like people are making the trek to eat here. Did I mention cheap rents?

ChrisDangerShow
ChrisDangerShow

We would love the PL over in Flower Mound, as all we have here in fast food 'que...

Dallasphotog
Dallasphotog

I say follow the money if I were him.  I'd be more likely to go there more often if it wasn't such a CF to visit in the first place.  Besides, last time I went to DFM, I got hit up 4 times for handouts on my way to and back  from the sheds.  

casiepierce
casiepierce

If Dallas is smart, they'll offer to locate him over to that incubator over on the other end of the MHH bridge. Oh wait, we've already invested in that terrible Babb Bros......

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

Why would they stay in DFM for a "remodel" that will last years?

PL is established while the take over of DFM isn't.

the move will be coming....

Willie
Willie

"The hospitality and forethought from [other cities] stands in stark contrast to the silence from our hometown."

This just about says it all.  Dollars to doughnuts, Pecan Lodge won't be shown the love by the new owners.

HazmatUniform
HazmatUniform

Looks like someone is getting the "big head"...

azwldcatfan80
azwldcatfan80

You know your city is in trouble when Rudy's Chicken and Pecan Lodge are two of its best assets.

beda50
beda50

Justin, please start serving iced tea.  I hate dealing with the unfriendly people at the hot dog place; they get really mad when you just order tea and then go eat somewhere else.  They even have a sign that says something like, no refills on tea unless you're ordering food here.

AeroRazavi
AeroRazavi

In all fairness, the City of Dallas had the Farmers' Market which allowed Pecan Lodge to get off the ground to begin with. 

Pecan Lodge started there for a reason (probably because all those other cities he is talking to would have never been financial possible at onset).

__will
__will

Come to Denton, guys. Come to Denton. 

loislane907
loislane907

What isn't mentioned, is the fact that he's successful because of the patrons. Dallasites have supported and helped grow his business. Now that he's got some celebrity, he wants to take it and run for greener pastures. Frankie's in Uptown just closed. Move there. Dallasites have supported you, now support us.

Don_O
Don_O

@HazmatUniform When you're named one of the top 4 in the state by Texas Monthly it ain't a big head.  He has built a destination restaurant by having great food.  Wherever he goes, the crowds will follow.  Some others have figured that out.  He'd be crazy not to consider attractive offers from other area cities.  I'd be HAPPY not to have to drive to downtown Dallas to get his food.  He doesn't "owe" Dallas anything.  It's a business and he needs to make his best business decision.

Don_O
Don_O

@AeroRazavi Yeah, but he made great food.  People came to the Farmers Market because of him, not vice versa.  He built a successful business despite the location, not because of it.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

The rent is too high, kitchen and bathrooms suck, people don't want to valet for BBQ, no parking for staff and limited patron, I could go on and on.

lljohnsonjr
lljohnsonjr

@loislane907 Dallasites weren't supporting him until he made it onto Diners DriveIn and Dives. I mean certainly business was good but nothing like it is now. I was at the farmers market pretty much every saturday last summer and up until he made it on TV didn't have any problem getting lunch there, now it's just ridiculous. Also, I'm willing to bet most of the people that are standing in line on Saturday mornings aren't from Dallas proper but are driving in from the Burbs.

AeroRazavi
AeroRazavi

@Don_O @AeroRazavi Again, the City had a place called Farmers Market - then a publicly-owned facility - that gave Pecan Lodge a shot to begin with.  That helped maintain PL's low costs so the PL can focus on its food and not on who's cleaning the restrooms or bussing tables, etc.  Was there any other similar real estate options in any other city? No. 

kyndbrah
kyndbrah

@lljohnsonjr @loislane907 i was happy for the success that DDD gave him but it killed my weekly BBQ lunch.   ive only been able to eat there half a dozen times since Guy Fieri told the world about them.   im not sure who has time at lunch to wait 1.5 hrs but i know that i dont.  

in my dream scenario PL would move to the old Wachovia at belmont & abrams and become a bbq joint/icehouse.  

Twinwillow
Twinwillow

@lljohnsonjr @loislane907 To say Dallasites weren't "supporting" him until he made it onto DDD gives the wrong impression. I would say DDD just made us all aware of Pecan Lodge's existence. We all know that with few exceptions, Dallas is basically, a BBQ wasteland. So when Guy Fieri showed us on national TV what they're doing at Pecan Lodge, we all of a sudden, woke up! 

I too used to go to PL before DDD and walked in on a Saturday at lunchtime and got served immediately. 

I said elsewhere that PL's biggest problem is their modus operandi. If DF Holdings, the new owners of the Dallas "farmer's market" could give the Fourton's enough space to include a cafeteria style line, as is the norm for most all BBQ joints in Texas, the waiting time to be served would probably be cut by 75%. The current process of ordering and serving food as it is now is ridiculous. One person takes your order and then you have to wait at least 10-15 minutes for someone to call your name when the food finally  comes out of the kitchen. That's the main reason the damn line is so long! 

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@AeroRazavi @lljohnsonjr @Don_O I think the rub is that temporary tenants were told to build out or get out.  So they spend the money to build out.  Now that is going to get scrapped. 

And if PL can get a good deal elsewhere more power to them.  The new FM owners don't really owe the tenants anything beyond their contractual obligations and vice versa.   

AeroRazavi
AeroRazavi

@lljohnsonjr @AeroRazavi @Don_O When all is said and done, PL is looking for something that Dallas already offered them from get go subsidized real estate, in this case Farmers Market.   

None of these cities that are allegedly talking him to PL would have offered PL a subsidized place from the beginning.  

Perhaps that is the biggest issue,  the fact there was subsidized location, PL now expects to receive a continued subsidy.  

You would think a private business (PL) would welcome private business (new FM owners), but no.  

bealotcoolerifyoudid
bealotcoolerifyoudid

@AeroRazavi @Don_O I can't remember if I read it in DO or elsewhere, but one of the issues is that many people including PL have put some money into building out their space in Shed 2.  That money is gone and the improvements soon will be scrapped. 

Unless the tenant knows they will get a new space at the same rent, without disruption, then that is a bit of a kick to the crotch. 

lljohnsonjr
lljohnsonjr

@AeroRazavi @Don_O The Low costs for Pecan Lodge was because there were no customers going to the Farmer's Market, not because if was publicly owned.


MBM99
MBM99

@kyndbrah @lljohnsonjr @loislane907 I've really been wanting to check this place out but every time I walk through there the line snakes through the entire building.  When is a good time to go and avoid that?  I live across the street and have not seen a time where the line is short.


No matter how good the BBQ, I cannot wait that long for my food, aint nobody got time for that.  Not when Baby Back Shack is down the street with shorter lines.

lljohnsonjr
lljohnsonjr

@Twinwillow Well whining that PL somehow owes Dallas some sort of loyalty because "he's successful because of the patrons. Dallasites have supported and helped grow his business" is just ridiculous. I agree the Farmer's Market needs to do something to encourage him to stay because PL is a draw that gets people down there but if Dallas doesn't do something to encourage PL (or any business) to stay then they should look for a better location somewhere else. If the product stays good, the customers will follow. I'm just praying they don't move farther away from me than they already are and wherever they land, the wait times go down. I love their BBQ but I'm not blowing my whole saturday morning to score their brisket

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