AP NEWS

Dine on steak and hit the dance floor

April 4, 2019

A Beaumont restaurant and dance hall known as much for its namesake as its steaks is back under a different name and new ownership aimed at providing a date night venue for the city’s 30-and-over crowd.

Brandon’s Wood Fired Grill and the Lucky Nickel Saloon and Dance Hall will make its debut in the next few weeks at the site of the similarly named steakhouse and entertainment venue owned by Jerry Nelson.

Nelson, founder of Frontier Rodeo Company and former owner of the Beaumont Mavericks basketball team, sold the property off U.S. 69 to Louisiana restaurateurs Lawrence and Carolyn Brandon in January.

Lawrence Brandon, who has been in the restaurant and entertainment venue business for 35 years, said the new addition to Beaumont’s food scene could be open by next week.

“It looks like we are two to three weeks out before we get a liquor license, but — either Wednesday or Thursday of next week — we will have a soft opening,” Brandon said. “Then we will look to open the restaurant the following Monday, with or without alcohol.”

Brandon said the restaurant’s menu will focus on quality cuts of meat and upper-end entrees for a “working man’s price.” For the music venue next door, he said he plans on scouring for known-name talent from as far away as North Carolina along with local talent to compliment what he said was the most valuable part of his new venue.

“Jerry Nelson cuts no corners on the things he does, and I was very impressed with the dance floor,” Brandon said. “I believe this hall has the best dance floor in Beaumont, so we are going to bring music in seven nights a week.”

The entertainment lineup will be mostly classic and new country artists, but Brandon said he will also look to bring in classic rock acts and contemporary artists as well. He also said most nights won’t require a cover charge, unless there is a top-billed act.

The restaurant and dance hall has been closed since July after Nelson announced through a Facebook post that the businesses weren’t working out in Beaumont’s consumer environment.

“We tried it for about three years, but it was just hard to make a nickel,” Nelson said in an interview Monday. “Local talent wasn’t bringing people out, and I’m convinced we just aren’t a big enough market to support bringing in the bigger acts.”

He said the city’s role as a commuter city meant most people either weren’t willing to come back to town after they left work, or were already used to going to Houston for their entertainment.

The restaurant was the first for Nelson, and he said it would likely be his last, at least in Beaumont.

The Brandons have spent most of the spring on a kind of road trip tour in their RV, setting up restaurants in Hemphill, Burkeville and Lufkin, as well as in Beaumont. Lawrence Brandon said setting up businesses “just seems to balance out better in Texas,” but he also thinks he can offer something Beaumont is in need of.

“Beaumont is wide opened for something different, and that’s what we will try to give them,” he said.

jacob.dick@beaumontenterprise.com

Twitter.com/jdickjournalism