Mike Copeland: Terry Black’s Barbecue in Waco; Main Event opening date; Sports possibilities | Local Business News

Waco real estate agent Clay Fuller has landed a big slab of brisket. He brokered a deal that will bring Terry Black’s Barbecue to Waco, in the vacant Morrison Heating & Plumbing Supply building at Eighth Street and Mary Avenue.

Fuller said Terry Black’s could not resist what downtown has to offer. It will do business in the vicinity of the Union Hall food hall, Pivovar, Magnolia Market at the Silos and The Findery. Across Eighth Street is the federal courthouse. About a block away, at Ninth Street and Franklin Avenue, the old Tribune-Herald building will become Chip and Joanna Gaines’ corporate headquarters following a major renovation.

The Texas Meter & Device Co. building, 300 S. Eighth St., sits across Mary Avenue from the Morrison building. The same Czech investment group behind the Pivovar restaurant brewery, bakery and hotel has said it would love to place a high-rise where Texas Meter now operates, one offering professional office space and more.

Anyway, local barbecue aficionados probably know the Terry Black’s name. The company is related, through familial but not corporate ties, to the Black’s Barbecue launched in 1932 in Lockhart and in its fourth generation of founder Edgar Black’s family. Twins Michael and Mark Black, members of that fourth generation, split off with their own operation in Austin approaching a decade ago. After some legal wrangling, they landed on the name Terry Black’s Barbecue, using their father’s name while their uncle continued at Black’s Barbecue.

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Both operations have landed on Texas Monthly’s top-50 list of Texas barbecue joints. The Terry Black’s in Waco will join locations in Austin, Dallas and Lockhart.

Fuller said the 10,000-square-foot Morrison building will feature the barbecue restaurant and another operation to be determined. He said the Gensler architectural firm will design the Terry Black’s location in Waco, and Rogers-O’Brien Construction will serve as general contractor.

“Over the last six months, we have been looking for the right opportunity,” Fuller said. “They bring generations of BBQ knowledge and operation experience. I cannot wait to see what Gensler and the family design for this site. It will be special for everyone to enjoy.”

Main Event opening date

No fooling, Main Event announced it will open April 1 at Cottonwood Creek Market, the development near New Road and Interstate 35 that now features a 14-screen Cinemark movie theater and a Topgolf attraction.

Waco’s Main Event is the company’s 47th overall and 19th in Texas.

The list of activities and attractions filling the nearly 50,000-square-foot venue will include 22 bowling lanes, laser tag spread over two stories, virtual reality experiences, high-flying gravity ropes and billiards.

“The Waco Main Event will also be one of the few Main Event centers in the country to have Multiball, a new attraction that combines digital gaming with interactive sports that allow friends and family to play together,” according to a press release announcing the opening date.

There also will be an elevated bar where parents can enjoy food and drinks while youngsters play.

The press release says Main Event will offer space for private events, its rooms equipped with audio-visual technology, catering and free Wi-Fi.

And it will create about 200 jobs, spokesperson Beatrix Panitz said.

couch boss

Another Nesbitt will lead Central National Bank.

Joe Nesbitt will succeed his father, Bill Nesbitt, as CEO of the bank. He was unanimously elected by the board last month. Bill Nesbitt will continue as director and chair of the Central National Bank board.

“I’m incredibly honored and humbled by the confidence that the board has placed in me,” Joe Nesbitt said in a statement.

He joined the bank in 2003 as a loan officer after six years in the insurance business. He later became location president at the Bosque and Highway 84 sites.

Central National Bank has locations in Waco, Temple and Austin, and assets of $1.2 billion.

Sports goals

Mike Vogelaar, executive director of the Greater Waco Sports Commission, has plenty of goals to pursue. He said Waco families need a place to swim, that fields at the HOT Soccer Complex near Waco Regional Airport show great potential, “but are not in a condition that will attract competition from outside the region,” and the city also could use a centralized sports complex, with a turf field.

Vogelaar pursues his goals while traveling the community, meeting community leaders and hosting town hall meetings. During an interview and Zoom meeting with business leaders, he mentioned some recent developments in his realm of sports opportunities in the area.

  • Ironman’s decision to hold its full-length and half-length triathlons, not that either is a slouch of an endurance event, in Waco through 2028 is expected to give the local economy a $12 million to $16 million annual boost, he said. Ironman announced a 7-year extension of its partnership with Waco in January. The Greater Waco Sports Commission will give a handful of $2,000 scholarships for McLennan County residents to pay entry fees and buy equipment for the Ironman and other events leading up to it.
  • Waco lacks a venue “where the community can come together and socialize at the pool, where kids can learn to swim,” Vogelaar said. An indoor pool could benefit quality of life and contribute to economic development, though swimming facilities are costly to build and operate, he said.
  • New owners of BSR Cable Park off Old Mexia Road want to rebrand the attraction to the community. To that end, the sports commission will participate in activities there on Mother’s Day, May 7, creating a tropical paradise of races, beach waves, spa treatments and bounce houses.

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