Manny's

The building that housed Manny’s on the River, seen in this 2014 photo, remains on the market. The listing agent said he has received interest, but no deal has come through.

Staff photo — Jerry Larson, file

Guess Family Barbecue and Savage Finds Antiques and Oddities are moving to 324 S. Sixth St., joining Apex Coffee Roasters and a bike shop called Welhous Bikes, according to downtownwacotx.com.

Guess Family Barbecue proprietor Reed Guess said in an interview he has relocated his food truck from next to Bare Arms Brewing on LaSalle Avenue, near Waco’s traffic circle, to a site just outside a building on South Sixth Street.

“I’m moving mostly because of the heat,” Guess said with a laugh. “I was operating on an asphalt parking lot, and the hotter it got, the smaller my crowds became. Downtown, my truck is shaded much of the day, and I also have a couple of tents that I use to keep the sun off.”

Guess and his wife, Sara, moved to Waco from Austin when they had children and started serving barbecue out of their food truck in January.

“We opened at our new location today,” Guess said Friday.

He will start serving at 11 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and continue until the barbecue is gone. Guess said his product “is as old-fashioned as you can get,” and he reportedly sells meat by the pound. Customers make their own sandwiches, with the bread and extras provided.

Nearby, at 301 S. Second St., Honky Tonk Kid BBQ will set up shop around lunchtime Thursday through Saturday, and also will serve until the grub is gone. It specializes in “Texas barbecue with global flavors.”

Savage Finds, meanwhile, is the brainchild of Joey and Tami MacArthur, “who sold their super successful shop outside of Seattle and moved to Waco to open the same sort of antiques and oddities shop,” according to the downtownwacotx.com post.

“You will find everything from arches out of First Baptist Church to original art to Waco Hippodrome chairs,” according to the blog.

Great Escape merges sites

Great Escape of Central Texas will close its doors in the Waco area, choosing to merge its location at 635 N. Robinson Drive and one in Killeen into a new and larger site at 4400 Central Texas Expressway in Killeen.

It will close for business in Robinson on Aug. 4, co-owner Michelle Smith said. Great Escape has a location at 811 South W.S. Young in Killeen, and the new location on Central Texas Expressway will open by Dec. 1.

“The new facility is larger than the Waco and current Killeen location combined,” Smith said in a press release. “This gives us the ability to have six fully-themed escape room choices for you, your family and all your team building needs. This decision does not come lightly. We can’t fully express our deep gratitude for the support Waco has given us.”

Great Escape of Central Texas is not to be confused with Waco Escape Rooms, which operates at 711 Washington Ave. downtown.

Manny’s location

To the dismay of some, Manny’s on the River closed in December of last year, ending a two-year run of serving Tex-Mex food out of the former Lake Brazos Bar & Grill location. Manny’s renovated the building to include a 4,000-square-foot deck and boat dock, promising good times to those who traveled up and down Lake Brazos.

Waco real estate agent Jim Peevey is listing the building, priced at $3 million, and has received several nibbles. But he has no deal to announce.

Peevey said he’s feeling a little pressure to get the place filled. He said he knows Waco is growing as a tourist destination, and he has heard from out-of-town fans of Baylor University athletics who liked Manny’s, love the location and crave the opening of another dining establishment there.

Creating more urgency are plans by Catalyst Urban Development to place a full-service hotel, retail space, restaurants and multifamily residences on a 16-acre site near University Parks Drive and Intersate 35. This $100 million project will draw even more visitors to Lake Brazos corridor.

Of note is that prominent local developer Rick Sheldon, whose partnership acquired the building in 2013, no longer is involved in its ownership, Peevey said. He would say only he is representing a “group of investors.”

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