A Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop has operated at 1547 Wooded Acres Drive for nearly 50 years, and its small home has become somewhat of a Waco landmark dating back to when an enclosed Lake Air Mall operated in the area now occupied by Target.
But times are changing, said Priscilla Dyer, who has owned the ice cream parlor for eight years. Dyer has bought a long-vacant building across Wooded Acres from Baskin-Robbins and will remodel it into a new and larger shop with a drive-thru lane.
“I’m trading 1,200 square feet for 2,000 square feet,” Dyer said.
She said she likely will spend more than $100,000 to renovate a structure she described as “horribly ugly.”
Dyer said she will install a party room and public restrooms the present location does not have. The building also will feature the latest Baskin-Robbins decor mandated by the chain of 2,500 stores in the United States and 7,600 worldwide.
“I would like to complete the relocation in time to capture some of the summer traffic, but that’s probably not possible,” Dyer said. “I’ll shoot for the fall, which may prove better because my staff will have more of an opportunity to work out the kinks.”
Elite Cafe building permit
The city of Waco has issued a building permit for renovation of the historic Elite Cafe building on Waco’s traffic circle.
The Elite closed in 2016 with sagging sales, but “Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines bought it last year and announced plans to open a restaurant featuring breakfast food.
The Gaineses have not announced a timetable for getting the restaurant opened. Magnolia spokesman Brock Murphy said they would have no comment on the project at this time.
The building permit estimates the value of the renovation at $500,000.
Allergan on Linkedin list
Allergan, a pharmaceutical company with a plant in Waco that makes eye-care and dermatological products, has been named to Linkedin’s Top Companies 2017 list, according to a press release.
The list recognizes the companies most sought after by professionals in the United States. It was generated by Linkedin’s 500 million professional users and is based on applications for jobs, company reach, member engagement and employee retention, according to the press release. Allergan is the only biopharmaceutical company on the list.
Linkedin is a business and employment social networking service.
Allergan in Waco employs about 750 people involved in the manufacture of products including Restasis, Lumigan, Combigan, Refresh Plus, Refresth Tears and Latisse.
The company has announced plans to spend $200 million expanding the Waco facility in phases by 322,000 square feet. The move would double the plant’s manufacturing capacity and could potentially create 250 additional jobs.
The Tribune-Herald reported last week that a Louisiana restaurant chain called Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar will open a location near the small lake that anchors Legends Crossing, the upscale mixed-use development at West Loop 340 and Interstate 35.
Since that story ran, franchisees Joshua Allen and Johnny Qubty have provided additional information.
“We asked Walk-On’s for possible locations available in Texas after the success of our Lubbock location. We jumped on Waco and the Dallas area but chose to start in Waco,” they said in an email. “The lake at Legends Crossing and the surrounding restaurants looked like a perfect location for our sports-themed family restaurant. We are planning on opening February 2018.”
The 8,500-square-foot Waco location will feature more than 70 flat-screen TVs, 48 beers on tap, customized pour-your-own table taps, a VIP room and banquet facilities, the franchisees wrote.
“There will also be a beer garden and an 1,800-square-foot patio. The restaurant will seat more than 280 guests and bring in about 125 to 140 new part-time and full-time jobs,” they wrote.
They said their partnership likely will open 10 locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and one in El Paso. Other franchisees plan locations in Tyler, San Antonio, Austin, Midland and Houston.