DALLAS -- You know you’re on to something when you have to lock the front door to keep the customers away.
But that’s the phenomenon of Pecan Lodge BBQ — widely regarded as one of America’s best. It opens Friday, but Thursday, customers were still trying to get in.
After four years in the Dallas Farmers Market, Pecan Lodge will be the first high-profile business to relocate to Deep Ellum, a neighborhood better known for smoke shops and less for growing successful businesses.
“It just feels like home,” said Pecan Lodge owner Justin Fourton, who entertained relocation offers from cities across North Texas before opting from Deep Ellum.
Developer Scott Rohrman is the man placing the big bet that could bring Deep Ellum back. His vision is to attract chef-driven restaurants, art galleries, and unique retail.
Since 2012, he’s bought 27 buildings and 10 parking lots around Main Street. Each one has a green “for lease” signs on it.
“I wanted people to see them as they drive down the road,” Rohrman said. “I want people to know that someone controls this many properties."
Rohrman said controlling so many properties was critical to luring a Pecan Lodge to Deep Ellum. He says it allows him to keep out the bad neighbors and lure in the good ones.
That’s critical, when you’re running a family-friendly BBQ place which will, for the first time, will be open for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.
“We’re going to start our music at 6 [p.m.] and we’re going to rock out 'til 9. And then everyone who doesn’t have kids and doesn’t have to go to bed can walk up to any number of places down the street,” said owner Diane Fourton.
That’s the vision of the new Deep Ellum. A flavor we haven’t tasted around here before.