Big Texan likely will begin building new complex by fall

Steak Ranch

The Big Texan Steak Ranch likely will begin building its new restaurant and entertainment complex after it submits its plans to the city of Amarillo in September, according to a report by KFDA-TV in Amarillo.

The station reported a water park along Interstate 40 west of the Big Texan is being dismantled to make way for the project.

While the restaurant is only moving one fourth of a mile from the current location, it will house a new year-round water park, hotel, museums and gun ranges to name a few.

“We are in the final stages on the architect drawings for the new Big Texan and it’s going to be a lot like it is right now, it’s not going to change, look Disney or plastic,” says co-owner Bobby Lee. “It’s still the same old unique ugliness of the big Texan that we’re taking down there.” […]

The restaurant itself will have a bigger kitchen, more seating, a bigger waiting area and a brewery.

As for the current Big Texan Steak Ranch buildings, Lee said he’s considering converting them into a bourbon distillery or a family-style chicken restaurant. He said the building will not be demolished.

Local media reported last year the Big Texan planned to build a bigger facility because it was straining under the sheer volume of customers. An estimated 500,000 people eat at the Big Texan each year, and wait times have swelled to up to 90 minutes.

Although the Big Texan no longer sits on Route 66, it began on Amarillo Boulevard (aka Route 66) in 1960 and often shows its Mother Road roots in the gift shop and decor. It moved to Interstate 40 during the early 1970s after Route 66 was bypassed.

The Big Texan is best-known for its 72-ounce steak dinner, which is free for the customer if it’s devoured in less than an hour. Well under 10 percent of those who attempt it succeed.

(Image of the Big Texan Steak Ranch by Lee Winder via Flickr)

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