A big name in North Texas entertainment is helping launch five of the 25 food and fun venues set to open at the Irving Music Factory at Las Colinas, a 250,000-square-foot entertainment center that will begin opening Labor Day weekend.

Billy Bob Barnett, founder of   Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth, has joined with Seattle-based Restaurants Unlimited to create five restaurants and bars and a farmers’ market at the Music Factory. The venues will collectively be marketed as  Big Beat Dallas.
The new spots are Texas Jam House & Marketplace, Bar Manzanilla Taqueria and Tequila Bar, C-Bar, Highway 61 South and Martini Ranch.

Barnett has worked with Restaurants Unlimited “in creating the marketing strategy as well as the overall, general concept idea, what’s the flavor of the restaurants, what’s the direction?” said Noah Lazes president of the North Carolina-based ARK Group, which is the developer of The Irving Music Factory.

“He helped create the vision and he is certainly a knowledgeable and experienced Dallas promoter,” Lazes said, adding that Restaurants Unlimited will operate the venues.

“The two together make in our opinion a very strong team,” Lazes said.

Barnett, who has sold his interest in the self-proclaimed “world’s largest honky-tonk,” was not immediately available for comment.

Each of the Big Beat venues will have a unique vibe, said Eric Kelly, who is working with Barnett on the project.

Texas Jam House, expected to open in mid-November, will be open 24 hours a day serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The “Texas heritage” recipes include chicken and dumplings, smoked brisket enchiladas, chicken fried steak, collard greens, black-eyed peas and peach cobbler, according to the company’s website.

The Marketplace stage will offer live entertainment daily, with free admission up to 9 p.m.

Highway 61 South,  offering barbecue and burgers, and Bar Manzanilla also are expected to open before Thanksgiving, Kelly said.
C Bar is a cigar lounge and wine bar with up to 350 vineyards represented, Kelly said.

In addition to the Big Beat venues, some familiar chains will have outposts in the center, including Alamo Drafthouse, Bar Louie, Freshii, Gloria’s Latin Cuisine, Sambuca and Grimaldi’s Coal Brick Oven Pizza, according to a news release.
Alamo plans to open an eight-screen movie theater, marking its third North Texas location.

Frozen yogurt vendor TCBY and sports bar chain Yard House, which already has an Addison spot, also plan locations.

In addition, the roster includes Boi Na Braza Brazilian Steakhouse, Burgerim, Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, MaxFrut, Texas’ First Frozen Whole-Fruit Bar, Nosh & Bottle, Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill, Top Round Roast Beef and Uncle Gino’s Cucina Italiana. No opening dates were announced by the developer. New restaurants and entertainment venues are expected to open nearly every week from early September through the end of 2017. A grand opening celebration is set for Dec. 8 to 10, hosted by the project developer the ARK Group.

“We are excited to be entering the final stages of construction,”  Lazes said in a statement. “We look forward to celebrating all the hard work poured into this project by so many.”

The first venue to open will be The Pavilion, a convertible indoor/outdoor, state-of-the-art concert hall that can hold 2,500 guests in a theater-style setting, 4,000 guests for an indoor upscale arena experience, or expand into an indoor/outdoor open-air pavilion for up to 8,000 guests.

The Pavilion is booked, managed and operated by Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter.

Based on past traffic patterns seen at Live Nation events, and at the restaurant brands that already have locations elsewhere, Lazes estimates the Music Factory could see an annual attendance of  3.5 million visitors a year.

Comedian Dave Chappelle will be the kickoff performer in sold-out shows on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

Opening weekend continues with country crooner Brad Paisley’s Weekend Warrior World Tour on Sept. 2.

Funnymen Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy will be joined by the Marshall Tucker Band and Eddie Money for Jeff and Larry’s Backyard BBQ on Sept. 3. The weekend closes out with Lifehouse & Switchfoot: Looking for Summer Tour on Sept. 4.

The developer has not said if any of the restaurants will be open the first weekend, but most will not be.

Presented by the Dallas Morning News – July 7, 2017

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