The lunch line queues up at Pecan Lodge in the Dallas Farmers Market. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/Fotobia.com)

UPDATE: we received a Tweet from Pecan Lodge: @texasbbqposse @jimrossman: Thx for your thoughts. Adding 2nd cash register in next few wks. Already hv 2 cutters in kitchen. Doing our best.

So the BBQ blogosphere seems to be full up on stories about Pecan Lodge and whether or not it’ll remain at the Dallas Farmer’s Market.

The City of Dallas sold the property and there are plans to redo Shed 2, which apparently include tearing it up while a new sewer line is installed. Not exactly the right environment for any restaurant.

Nancy Nichols over at D Magazine’s SideDish blog talked to owners Justin and Diane Fourton:

“They are going to gut Shed 2 and put in a new sewer line,” said Diane. “I just wish somebody would say ‘here is how we will help you run your businesses while we’re under construction.’ I don’t see how we, or any of us, can operate under those conditions. It’s crazy.”

So the thinking is Pecan Lodge may just move to a more hospitable location.

But let’s think about what that location would need:

  • Room for a line of up to 200 people — preferably indoors. Right now the popularity of Pecan Lodge through a combination of the Food Network’s Diners Drive-ins and Dives and making the Top 4 of Texas Monthly’s 2013 Top 50 list means there’s a constant line of 100 – 200 people during the lunch service each day from 11am until at least 1:30pm. A new joint would need a place for those people to stand. Right now, that line is indoors and blissfully air-conditioned. Ask the line-standers at Franklin BBQ in Austin if they’d prefer to be indoors. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m not waiting outside in line for hours in the Texas heat.
  • Parking for all those people in line. One thing the Farmer’s Market has in abundance is parking. Moving to a different place is going to necessitate a large number of parking spots.
  • Seating for all those people. It sounds obvious, but I’m pretty sure restaurant owners at the Farmer’s Market don’t really have to worry about the number of tables and chairs or hiring people to clean those tables. The seating is food court-style — shared by all the restaurants there.

So while it may or may not be great if they moved, there’s more than a few factors to consider.
Justin’s mentioned to us that he’d like to remain in the downtown area. He said they’d like to remain within a mile of where they are now, which would mean downtown or perhaps Deep Ellum.

While I’m on the topic of Pecan Lodge and the line, I’d like to throw out a thought to Justin and Diane…how about a second cash register and a second cutter in the kitchen?

John Lewis at La Barbecue told us they open up a second cutting station and register on weekends when the line there gets long.

I’d eat at Pecan Lodge more often (like the good old days) if we didn’t have to send someone to wait in line at 10am.

This line is around 100 deep at Pecan Lodge, a wait of one hour-plus. (Photo ©Daniel Goncalves/Fotobia.com)

 

Leave a comment



Anonymous

4 years ago

Part of the reason there is such a long line is that Justin is not currently allowed to have more than one smoker. If he moved to a facility that would allow him to triple his output the lines, in theory, should dissipate because there is no fear of running out of food by noon. Also, if people don't want to stand in-line in the heat, and there is lesser seating, then people should be able to walk right-up and order at 1:00.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Todd Tinker

4 years ago

Poignant observations about the line and service. Something I've also thought about Franklin's. I don't think either place should take their popularity for granted into the indefinite future. As for Shed 2 and parking, how do we know that generous parking will remain after the new owners have made all of their changes?

Anonymous

4 years ago

If you want all that, they should just deliver.

Anonymous

4 years ago

Dude….that math is just wrong.The rent has tossed the price right through the roof.
Been there,done that and the food is FANTASTIC and if you're wanting to be seen in a new,trendy place,this is where you want to go.I'll be back in two years.

Dennis
Ft.Worth

george Stlouismo

4 years ago

Enjoyed the party at Four Corners yesterday. Wish I could have made it out for the entire soiree. Best of luck with the book!..
texas best bbq

Joanne

4 years ago

Good blog, give me lots of help, thanks




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