While groundbreaking remains weeks away, the owners of the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo revealed many plans for a bigger restaurant and other attractions just down the road.
The current Big Texan seats about 500 people, but customer demand has outgrown it with no room to expand. According to the Amarillo Globe-News, the restaurant loses more than 50 customers a day because of long wait times to get in.
Co-owner Bobby Lee, son of the legendary founder Bob Lee Sr., gave details about the future Big Texan Steak Ranch less than a mile west of its current site:
While much of the plan is still in the preliminary stage, the concept is to create a village under the umbrella of The Big Texan. Surrounding the new location would be a music hall big enough to seat about 1,100 for concerts and comedy shows, an indoor water park and hotel developed by the same team who created the Great Wolf Lodge and Resort in Grapevine, an outdoor oasis with 80-foot towers for zip lines where the old water park was located, a brewery, retail shops and lodging. […]
Parts of development plans also include removing the old RV park and building the mother of all RV resorts. The brothers are in talks with famed RV developer Bud Surles to design it. Surles has more than 30 years of experience in the business and has won national awards in both the public and private sectors for his outside-the-box designs.
In addition to the RV resort, a full-service hotel, tiny homes and fiberglass teepees will all be available for guests to rent.
The brothers also are keeping pets in mind, and will include a place to walk and bathe dogs and an equestrian center.
Lee said the new restaurant will keep its current yellow-and-blue scheme, along with its quirky, Old West decor and its 72-ounce steak dinner challenge.
The kitchen will be almost double in size, allowing chefs to test new dishes and expand the menu to gluten-free options and more seafood.
The Big Texan submitted a master plan and drainage study to the city. If all goes smoothly, the owners expect to break ground within two months.
Bob Lee Sr. acquired the undeveloped piece of land a few years before his death, telling his sons “one day you might need it.” That day apparently has come.
As for the current Big Texan site, no plans are stated for it, but the owners have no plans to tear it down. It holds too much sentimental value and history.
The Big Texan started on Amarillo Boulevard (aka Route 66) in 1960 and often shows its Mother Road roots. It moved to Interstate 40 during the early 1970s, which happens to sit on an older alignment of Route 66, as well.
(Image of the Big Texan Steak Ranch by Lee Winder via Flickr)