The developer of the upscale Hotel Indigo at 211 Clay Ave. has announced plans to place another full-service lodging establishment locally, this one on the Baylor University side of Interstate 35.
To be called the Cambria, the L-shaped hotel will have 170 rooms spread over four stories and also will feature a five-story tower, said Jacquelyn Baumann, director of sales for the Hotel Indigo Waco-Baylor.
“When this hotel opens it will be similar to the Hotel Indigo in quality but much larger, with more than double the number of queen-room types and three times the meeting space to accommodate the groups and teams traveling to Waco,” Baumann said.
Kenny Bhaka, who developed the Hotel Indigo Waco-Baylor, also is the driving force behind the Cambria, Baumann said.
“We are not planning to announce the specific location until the first quarter of 2017,” Baumann said.
Like Waco’s Indigo, KB Hotels will manage the Cambria. Waco’s Indigo was honored as offering the best guest experience in 2014 among all Indigo properties in North America, she said.
“Guests should expect the same great service they have come to expect at the Hotel Indigo Waco-Baylor,” Baumann said in an email.
Baumann said Bhaka is considering at least two sites for the Cambria, which likely will open in the fall of 2018.
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop has opened at Franklin Avenue and University Parks Drive, taking 4,000 square feet on the bottom floor of a building owned by businessman Trent Weaver, who joined franchisees Laur and Casie Cernat in remodeling the interior, installing a wrap-around patio and walkways, and setting up picnic tables and umbrellas.
Weaver said he secured about $38,000 in Tax Increment Financing support to tackle the improvements, which he thinks help create a good-time feel near Lake Brazos.
Weaver’s building has 17,000 square feet of space available on the second floor above Fuzzy’s Taco, Bicycle World and the Bangkok Royal restaurant on the first floor.
Work continues on space Giddy Up Glamour has taken between Fuzzy’s and Bicycle World to sell clothing, jewelry and novelty items.
“We’re probably 45 days from having an opening on that,” Weaver said.
Laur and Casie Cernat are serving as the local franchisees for Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, and Casie Cernat said business has been booming the past few days.
“Just to let people know we’re not all tacos, I want to say we also serve salads, nachos, quesadillas and fajitas, and we serve breakfast all day,” she said.
Bar service is available inside and outside Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, which seats about 100 indoors and half that many on the patio.
Casie Cernat said nearly all entrees are priced at less than $9.
Michna’s Bar-B-Que restaurant, 2803 Franklin Ave., has closed its doors to the public but will offer catering service and meals for special events.
The 30-year-old restaurant underwent a four-month remodel this year before a quiet reopening in April, but the owners “have decided to go in a different direction,” said Brad Harrell, who is marketing the Michna’s building for the local office of Harrell & Associates. It is priced at $449,500.
“They will continue hosting private parties at that location until it sells and then they will look for a smaller building,” Harrell said.
Many people know Michna’s for the large handgun-shaped barbecue pit on the front lawn.
For years, the restaurant has served brisket, sausage, ribs, chicken, turkey, ham, chopped barbecue and a long list of sides. Patrons could eat their fill while examining the many photos of John Wayne and other Western heroes on the wall.
When the eatery reopened after receiving a new look and feel, proprietor Greg Talasek had decided to scrap the daily buffet, saying it was not an efficient use of food. The decor also had changed with the installation of bricks from downtown buildings leveled by the deadly 1953 tornado. Talasek also liberally applied barn wood and created a new “Western corner.” He and brother-in-law Billy Michna gutted the place and exposed the rafters to create a rustic look and installed new fixtures.
But those changes will become part of the building’s appeal to a new owner, and Harrell said he’s receiving inquiries.
The for-sale sign went up Friday, but Harrell said the building actually had been on the market since shortly after the renovation was complete.
Built in 1942, the Michna’s building was expanded in 1990 and now covers 7,184 square feet on nearly an acre.
More restaurant notes
The restaurant and dining scene continues to evolve in Greater Waco, and the following are projects in the works:
Exterior remodeling has begun on the former Whataburger building on Valley Mills Drive near Waco Drive that will become Greater Waco’s third Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen location. Real estate agent Pat Farrar, who markets the shopping center where Popeyes will serve, said, “Something like that typically takes 90 to 120 days, so we’re probably looking at early spring for an opening.”
A Coco’s Shaved Ice location is under construction at North 24th Street and Waco Drive, next to The Ranchito #5. The Coco’s at 3824 Bosque Blvd. has gained a reputation for serving snow cones and also offers cold drinks and snack items. The new Coco’s going up is much larger.
Tandoori Trailer, a food truck that serves authentic Indian food at Franklin Avenue and University Parks Drive, will relocate to Dallas. A post on Facebook says, “Beloved Facebook friends, it comes with a heavy heart that we have to announce that we will be stopping service here in Waco. . . . We were really hoping that we would become a stable part of the Waco food truck culture, but unfortunately that did not happen.”
Family business awards
Baylor University’s Institute for Family Business has presented its Family Values award to Pointwest Bank of West and recognized Focus Behavioral Associates in Robinson as the fastest-growing family-owned venture in the state as part of its Texas Family of the Year Award contest.
They and other winners and finalists were recognized during an awards ceremony Friday in the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation at Baylor.
The program recognizes outstanding firms whose families demonstrate a commitment to one another, to business continuity and to the needs of their employees, community and industry, according to a press release from Baylor.
“The IFB is in its 27th year of celebrating family businesses in Texas, and these firms have risen above the crowd by demonstrating the strength and wonder that merging family with business can create,” institute director William Worthington said in the press release.
Other winners include: Small Family Business of the Year, Son Beverage Co., of San Antonio; Medium Family Business of the Year, The Nitsche Group, of Giddings; Large Family Business of the Year, Dalworth Group, of Euless; Community Commitment Award, Stewart Family Orthodontics, of Weatherford; Stewardship Award, Cole Health, of Spring; Well-Managed Award, First Place Foods, of Garland; Founders Award, Diamond C Trailers, of Mount Pleasant; Heritage Award, Don Hewlett Chevrolet Buick, of Georgetown; and Young/New Business Award, Lily Jade, of San Antonio. Award finalists included H&R Manufacturing and Supply, of Willis, and Kemp & Sons General Services, of Fort Worth.