DALLAS -- Just like barbecue takes time before you can call it some of the best in Texas, the decision to move Pecan Lodge from the Dallas Farmers Market to Deep Ellum simmered for more than a year.
“It really just came down to finding the best place for the business,” said co-owner Justin Fourton.
Owners Justin and Diane Fourton had hinted since last June that they might not renew their lease agreement with the Farmers Market after the city sold it to a private developer. Friday, they announced a move to the 2700 block of Main Street in Deep Ellum.
“Deep Ellum gives a chance to have a place of our own -- a stand-alone location,” Diane Fourton said. “And there’s a big community revitalization project going on right now.”
That revitalization effort is being led by Scott Rohrman of 42 Real Estate.
The Fourtons have only been in the barbecue business since 2010, but it didn't take long for Pecan Lodge to rack up accolades. They’ve had appearances on The Food Network and Texas Monthly's "Best Barbecue" list. People usually start lining up at least an hour before doors even open.
Judy Anderson and a coworker walk over from their office a few times a week.
“I think the Farmers Market is a very unique area,” Anderson said. “I understand there’s going to be a lot of development here, and I don’t want to see a great place like this leave.”
“The food will always be the same,” said Justin Fourton. “But the new space will have a much bigger smokehouse, which means we can cook more meat, which means there will be more for people there.”
Barry Annino, president of the Deep Ellum Foundation, said the addition of Pecan Lodge adds to a string of successful restaurants that have moved into the area. He estimated at least 10 have set up shop in the last nine months.
“A lot more people are moving down here," Annino said. “It’s more of a lifestyle and daytime is full. Restaurants are doing really well. There’s plenty of parking and it’s an opportunity for the restaurants. It’s relatively cheap compared to the rest of town to rent here.”
What will replace Pecan Lodge in Shed 2 has not yet been determined. Brian Bergersen, of DFW Market Holdings said it is talking with several groups interested in the space. He released this statement about the move to News 8 Friday afternoon:
"We will miss Diane and Justin Fourton, owners of Pecan Lodge, their great staff and their outstanding barbecue," Bergersen said in a statement. "They have been a very important part of the Farmers Market for almost five years. Everyone at Farmers Market wishes them well in their new location and know they will continue to grow with great success. We will continue to be their catering customers and, of course, we’ll be in the line at lunchtime.”
The Fourtons said construction is already underway on the new location.
Until it’s finished, Pecan Lodge will remain open at the Dallas Farmers Market, Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.