A week after discovering that Dallas Farmers Market's Shed No. 2 has one new tenant -- and, by the way, that Chicago-style deli's actually called the Old World Sausage Co., and it's scheduled to open at the end of this week -- Unfair Park brings news of another. And this one is no small build out: As you can see from the photo above, taken during my visit yesterday to pick up cookies, more or less the entire front half of the shed's been cleared out in the last couple of days to make room for Pecan Lodge Catering, which, by the time it opens in late January or early February, should take up 1,500 square feet in the front of the shed.
So says owner Justin Fourton, who, with wife Diane, has been operating the catering company out of Frisco for the last year, after ditching their gigs at Accenture in order to prepare "authentic Texas cuisine." The couple had spent the last couple of months looking in downtown Dallas and Deep Ellum for a permanent location and settled on Dallas Farmers Market. They've signed a three-year "recurring permit" with the city, which is in the process of reviewing Pecan Lodge's plans before allowing build out.
"We just happened by Farmers Market and saw the specialty foods shed, and it was perfect fit for our business," Fourton tells Unfair Park this morning. "We use fresh, local produce and Angus and organic beef, and it was an opportunity for us to be as close to our food source as possible with good traffic coming through on weekends. We felt it was the right place. [Farmers Market administrator] Janel [Leatherman] has been very helpful, as has the rest of the staff, and it's been a smooth process to get in."
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The plan, Justin says, is to open for breakfast and lunch and provide prepackaged dinners for the take-home crowd. Should be a varied menu: The wide-ranging catering menus boast everything from mesquite-smoked ribs to low country shrimp and grits to apple cobbler.
I've left messages for Leatherman this morning about the changes in Shed No. 2; I'll post a separate item when she calls back. Till then, Justin Fourton says Pecan Lodge's opening suggests that finally the city's figured out what to do with the $3.2 million shed, which, only last April, was maybe 25 percent full.
"People have been in a wait-and-see mode, and working with Janel, the idea is with us in the anchor spot, other vendors will see this is going to work, and hopefully that'll draw them in, especially as there are more and more businesses open consistently throughout the week," Fourton says. "Her plans for Shed 2 are great. The vision is to get close to L.A. and Pike Place Market in Seattle. If they can get there, it'll be a great addition to the city."