|Pitmaster Justin Fourton works the pit during the early days of Pecan Lodge. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
|It was a joyous day when the City of Dallas allowed Pecan Lodge to sell BBQ again in June 2011. Since then, the rest is history.
(Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)
The new owners, operating as DF Market Holdings, say they want Justin and Diane to stay. They say that keeping Pecan Lodge – while they remake nearly everything about the market – is a priority for them. And it should be. With apologies to the tamale stand, the fudge shop, the guy selling candied nuts, and the really nice folks with the terrific butter cakes, Pecan Lodge, in the cavernous, largely vacant Shed 2, is about the only thing left at the market that’s worth getting in your car and driving to. I can get fudge and candied nuts at any mall. There are four grocery stores at the corner near my home, and they all sell peaches, nectarines, blueberries, and watermelons. They also sell mealy, flavorless tomatoes. No need to visit the Farmers Market for a bag of those.
Reaching an agreement with Pecan Lodge – right away, before someone else lures the joint away – would help validate the City Council’s decision to privatize the Farmers Market. There’s an ethos at Dallas City Hall – not as dominant as it was 30 years ago, but present still – that if you want something done right, you give a tax break to a wealthy businessman and let him do it. “You see what happens when we get government out of the way and let business people run businesses? Business people know how to make things happen. Business people keep the hardwood logs flying!”
|Justin Fourton checks a batch of homemade sausage on the pit. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)|
I thought that by now the promoters of the New and Improved Farmers Market would have opened their arms to embrace Justin and Diane Fourton. The business and marketing reasons for doing so seem to me to be as sound as they are obvious.