|August 16, 2017||Comments Closed|
Milo Biscuit Co., whose food truck at Magnolia Market at the Silos has created a loyal following, may find permanent quarters in the former Big Green Automotive garage at Eleventh Street and Franklin Avenue that is being marketed for retail and restaurant use.
Meanwhile, developer Shane Turner said Wednesday he is pursuing a “Man Cave” concept for his Franklin Square development in the 700 block of Franklin Avenue, where he has gutted several buildings and proposes to fill them with lofts, food establishments and retail shops.
Discussion of these projects took place Wednesday during the monthly meeting of 1000 Friends of Waco, an organization that promotes development around the city and specifically in and around downtown.
Bobby Horner, who oversees the city of Waco’s inspection services department, said plans show a new facade for the Big Green Automotive building that housed a Goodyear tire dealership in the 1960s and ’70s and most recently housed a series of automotive shops.
Corey McEntyre, a chef and owner of Milo Biscuit Co., which dotes on freshness and locally produced ingredients, said he envisions opening a sit-down restaurant in the old Big Green building that would occupy about 4,500 square feet and include a catering kitchen, seating for about 120 people and patio dining space.
“I’m crazy excited about this, but we still have a ways to go in our planning,” McEntyre said. “We have submitted a letter of intent to the owners.”
He is timing his development to coincide with the remodeling schedule of the owners of Big Green, Waco builder Tate Christensen and two Balcones Distillery investors wanting to create another destination for growing downtown crowds who may also tour the whiskey distillery.
Megan Henderson, executive director of City Center Waco, said she sees something special in McEntyre’s vision for a brick-and-mortar locale.
“Corey McEntyre is a creative chef whose company epitomizes ethics and good food, but also hospitality,” Henderson said. “It’s hard to do hospitality with a food truck, which is why I applaud his decision to open something inside Big Green garage. I think it will become a link between Balcones and other pedestrian areas downtown.”
Henderson described the fare at Milo Biscuit Co. as “upscale comfort food, soul food that is locally sourced and has created quite a following.”
The partnership of Shane and Cody Turner and Bicycle World owner Todd Behringer are in the process of creating Franklin Square mixed-use development in repurposed buildings in the 700 block of Franklin Avenue.
Turner said Wednesday he is negotiating to bring a “Man Cave” franchise to Franklin Square. The “Man Cave” brand is popping up in locations around the country, with locations calling themselves ManCave Hair Lounge, Man Cave Barbers Lounge and Barber Shop Man Cave, among others.
They typically offer hair cuts, shaves and beard grooming in a masculine-centric atmosphere that may include flat-screen TVs showing sporting events, free Wi-Fi and movie rooms. Some serve food and drinks.
Turner said Franklin Square will include 4,500 square feet of retail space, all of which is committed, though he declined to identify the lessees.
Henderson said the “Man Cave” franchises are part of a gender-specific marketing phenomenon.
“Some people think of shopping when they think of downtown, but not all guys are into shopping,” she said. “That’s where ‘common’ spaces become important. Women have their beauty shops and spas. Now men will have the Man Cave. This will be great for groups of tourists, with the women and men splitting off to go where they want to go.”