Fox Bros owners still undecided on future of Big Tex space in Decatur
The owners of Fox Bros Bar-B-Q, who also hold the lease on the vacant Big Tex restaurant in Decatur, haven’t decided what they’ll do with the space more than a year after the restaurant closed.
For the many months, people could be seen working within the building off of West Ponce de Leon Avenue, even though the restaurant is obviously closed.
Since November 2014, the restaurant has served as a kitchen to support Fox Bros busy catering business. But co-owner Jonathan Fox, who lives in Kirkwood, told Decaturish that as of today the company will be moving its equipment to a new commissary kitchen located near the SweetWater brewery. He said he and his brother Justin are planning on keeping their lease for the space, but don’t have any definitive plans.
“We had started this project going on two years ago now of a catering commissary kitchen that’s located over by SweetWater Brewery,” Fox said. “The project has taken over two years from lease conception to permitting. It’s sitting over there done and completed. We’re just waiting on the city Department of Water to activate the water sprinkler system, which they’re way backed up on.”
He said Big Tex closed in part due to business, but also due to the growth of its parent company.
“We couldn’t keep up with the production of all of our sides and all that stuff to continue to operate our catering side of the business out of the store on DeKalb Avenue,” Fox said. “It was deemed necessary at the time to close down Big Tex and use the kitchen as a commissary slash production kitchen for Fox Bros and catering. At the time we thought it would only be six months, but it’s gone well over a year at this point.”
Fox said he doesn’t think Big Tex will become a sister location to the main store on DeKalb Avenue, where parking routinely overflows onto nearby residential streets.
“We talked about it,” he said. “I think there are two things that kind of hinder that. The proximity to our DeKalb Avenue store and then just trying to get smokers and everything into that building is kind of a logistical and expensive nightmare.”
The lease on the Big Tex building was for five years, with two five-year options. Fox said the company is in the middle of renegotiating a five-year option for the store.
“Now that we can move our operations out of there, now we can really sit down and start to figure out what we’re going to do with that location. I doubt that we’re just going to let it go that easily,” Fox said. “I have some partners that are definitely still interested in doing stuff over there.”
The Big Tex location is in proximity to the city of Decatur’s Beacon Municipal Center, which opened last year. It houses the city’s Police Department, courts and the City Schools of Decatur administrative offices.
Fox said the company is exploring a second Fox Bros location in another part of Atlanta but couldn’t offer any other details.
“We haven’t signed a lease on it yet,” he said. “We’re trying to do our diligence on that location.”