Barbecue News

Upcoming Dallas restaurant exploits best of Texas with BBQ and a big wheel

New Dallas restaurant exploits best of Texas with BBQ and a big wheel

Generic Ferris wheel
A restaurant with a Ferris wheel: coming soon to Dallas. iStock

A new restaurant is opening on the edge of the Dallas Design District, from This and That Concepts, the team behind Wayward Sons. It'll break new ground with a feature that surely no other restaurant offers: a Ferris wheel.

Called Ferris Wheeler's Backyard & BBQ, it seems to combine every hot restaurant trend that has surfaced in the recent past. Let us recap in a list format:

  • It has barbecue on the menu.
  • It not only has barbecue on the menu, it has chef-driven barbecue.
  • It has Texas craft beer.
  • It has a patio.
  • It has an outdoor performance space à la The Rustic and The Foundry.

According to co-owner Brandon Hays, the barbecue menu is being conceived as we speak by Wayward Sons chef Graham Dodds.

"And we are building a 7,000-square-foot back patio, with a 50-foot Ferris wheel, where we will focus on Texas craft beer and live entertainment," he says.

Hays and partner Phillip Schanbaum have an increasingly impressive track record. They nailed Uptown Dallas with patio bar So & So's, conquered Henderson Avenue with the casual Whippersnappers, and won over Greenville Avenue with the chef-driven Wayward Sons.

For Ferris Wheeler's Backyard & BBQ, they wanted a concept that telegraphed "Texas," to serve the neighborhood best. The restaurant will open at 1950 Market Center Blvd., next to Rodeo Goat, with a target opening date of fall 2016.

"That area is over by the Market Center as well as the Renaissance and other hotels, so you have a revolving door of locals and visitors," he says. "For out-of-towners, we wanted to show them something that was truly Texas, a place to find Texas craft beer and find out what Texas barbecue is about."

If you google Ferris wheel, Dallas comes up pretty quick, thanks to the State Fair of Texas, whose 212-foot-tall Texas Star Ferris wheel is emblematic. Ferris wheels are pretty much the epitome of summer fun. But having one in your backyard takes a local trend of combining restaurants with entertainment to a new level. We have the outdoor party vibe of Truck Yard and The Foundry, the onsite volleyball pit at Sandbar Cantina, and the built-in golf driving range at Goat Ranch.

Hays and Schanbaum acquired their Ferris wheel serendipitously. "We're getting it from a guy in New Mexico," Hays says. "When we found out it was for sale, Phil and I were like, 'We'll take it.'"

It is functional, although Hays says they haven't decided if it will be operational. "But you can see it at nighttime from the highway as you drive by," he says. "We'll have it fully lit up to create a landmark that people would know."