Restaurants / Closings

Five Restaurants Shutter at Texas’ New $200 Million Concert Mecca Just Months After Opening: Strange Explanation Deepens Mystery Behind Sudden Departure

BY // 05.30.18

Despite some admirable efforts, it seems my hometown of Irving is having a tough time becoming a cultural hotspot. Big Beat Dallas, a major tenant of the new $200 million Toyota Music Factory, has shuttered just two short months after opening. The concept, which included five bars and restaurants, an outdoor stage and a plaza, came from Billy Bob Barnett – founder of the legendary Fort Worth honky tonk Billy Bob’s. The restaurants – Texas Jam House, Highway 61, Martini Ranch, and Texas C Bar – all folded suddenly at the end of the long Memorial Day weekend.

Big Beat Dallas revealed it was closing through a rather ambiguous public Facebook post (which has since been removed), addressed to employees and signed by Barnett. The post read:

“We have been advised by our attorneys that we should discontinue our business operations as a result of the inability to operate with any efficiency due to the lack of parking efficiences, the inability to operate the plaza as a result of landlord interference, and other material factors affecting our business.”

The explanation is a little strange, considering that the complex actually has more than 4,000 parking spots. But, I will say that parking at the Toyota Music Factory has been a bit of a nightmare in my personal experience. (Sometimes there are no rules in the parking garage, and sometimes there’s an attendant directing you and then getting mad that you’re bad at parking valet-style. It’s inefficient parking, but it’s definitely there.)

The future of the vacant venue spaces is up in the air. They may be taken over by Restaurants Unlimited, the restaurant group that partnered with Barnett on Big Beat Dallas, or by a new renter. The many concerts slated for the Big Beat Dallas plaza have also been cancelled.

Toyota Music Factory is not affected by the closure, and its remaining 20 bars and restaurants are operating as usual.

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