New Ice House in the North
Katy Trail Ice House spinoff to open in old Bandito's spot in Plano
A spinoff of the Katy Trail Ice House called Katy Trail Ice House and Outpostwill open this month in the old Bandito's spot in West Plano, where it will do a suburban version of the popular Uptown beer garden and restaurant. Bandito's closed May 5.
Set to open "within the next 2 to 3 weeks," the second Ice House may not be on the Katy Trail, but it will have a similar menu, lots of beers and a big big patio, says co-owner Buddy Cramer.
"It's not meant to be an exact copy," Cramer says. "It's not as big. It’s in the 'burbs. We'll do some of the same things, like serve barbecue from an ice house, and we'll capture a lot of the Ice House spirit. But it's going to be a little bit different."
That includes a landscaping overhaul to the current Bandito's space. "We're bringing in eight ginormous trees. You won't be able to see the street anymore," Cramer says. "Like the Ice House, we're going to protect the space with all kinds of plants. It's going to have a real Katy Trail feel to it when you go there."
Bandito's closed down Sunday afternoon; it had been there about a year. "It was doing okay, but it wasn't exciting," Cramer says. "We thought, instead of doing Mexican food up there, why don't we come in with the Katy Trail concept?"
Katy Trail Ice House opened in 2011 and has seen phenomenal success. It was on board early with the craft beer trend and has been a consistent drop-in for high-profile guests ranging from Mark Cuban to Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. Maybe too successful: Neighbors at the Park Towers condo high-rise have lodged complaints about the noise level, a hot-button topic that was raised at a recent candidate forum of District 14.
It's a sticky issue. No one wants to be anti-business, but you have to feel bad for those enduring the noise.
As for the Dallas branch of Bandito's, it will remain a Bandito's. Meanwhile, can you transport the Katy Trail vibe to a location that is nowhere near the Katy Trail? As far back as May 2012, Bandito's was dubbing itself "Katy Trail II."
"It's kind of the perfect space," Cramer says. "It has a very large area already, but it's going to have a patio two and a half times the size of the existing patio."